The first half started competitively with both teams having noteworthy passages of play. Cuckfield’s threat down wide channels arguably saw them edge the first 15 minutes however it was Ringmer’s Sam Sowter who opened the scoring.
Man of the match Connor Ghosh’s pace took him past Cuckfield’s fullback and whilst his delivery was not converted initially, Tom Stevenson’s subsequent driven cross was finished by Sowter.
Having taken the lead Ringmer looked the more threatening side during the middle phase of the half. Sowter, Marcin Ruda and Ghosh all with good opportunities to extend the advantage. Frustration at missed opportunities was compounded by a quickfire Cuckfield double.
First Ryan Jackson closed down Ringmer ‘keeper Joe Whiting, converting the deflected clearance. Second a Danny Novis freekick nestled in the top right corner to give the hosts the lead.
A frustrated Ringmer finally rediscovered some passing rhythm to end the half. Midfielder Rob Le Cras’ ball released Sowter who finished clinically to restore parity at the break.
More composed after the half time interval Ringmer collectively set about atoning for a disappointing first 45 minutes. Within five minutes Ringmer were in front again thanks to a undefendable delivery from Le Cras. Le Cras found Ruda who finished emphatically from close range.
With Cuckfield’s attacking threat diminishing Ringmer doubled their advantage. Stevenson’s movement allowing him space to header home Ghosh’s delivery for 4-2.
The goalscoring was complete at 5-2 with ten minutes remaining. Ghosh again the provider, this time finding Sam Strutt who tucked the ball home from close range for his second goal in two substitute appearances since the start of the year.
Next weekend has a familiar look as Ringmer again travel to Cuckfield, this time playing for a place in the quarter-finals of the Sussex Intermediate Cup (1.30pm kick-off at Downlands School).
RINGMER AFC II
Despite dominating for long periods, Ringmere AFC II's title charge hit a bump in the road with defeat against Burgess Hill Rhinos.
Ringmer were out of the blocks quickly missing a number of chances, hitting the post and Watson seeing his free kick well saved by the opponent keeper.
The inclusion of Jake Thomsett in midfield saw AFC in full control but they simply could not take the lead.
And, half an hour in, a long kick by the keeper caught out AFC and the opposition striker coolly slotted home to put them in front against run of play.
Ringmer lost their way a little before half-time and game become more even. A change at half-time saw Ringmer move to 4-3-3.
A brilliant run by man of the match Sam Gayford provided Charles Porter with chance to shoot. The keeper again saved well but Jonathan Nussey tucked home the rebound to make it 1-1.
Ringmer were once more in control but again failed to take chances to put them ahead.
Then, with 15 minutes left, a long range effort from the Rhinos took a wicked deflection off a RIngmer player and looped into the net.
Ringmer were denied a penalty in the dying seconds when Nussey was taken down in box. But the referee waved away huge appeals from players, management and supporters.