It's five out but five up for Ringmer AFC as Eastbourne Rangers are beaten

Despite torrential rain, Ringmer AFC's first XI opened up 2022 with a good performance and a 5-2 win against Eastbourne Rangers result that saw them go joint top of the Mid Sussex League Premier Division - even with five absentees through injury and Covid.

Sam Strutt scores for Ringmer AFC from a Martin Stephen cross / Picture: Andrew Hazelden
Sam Strutt scores for Ringmer AFC from a Martin Stephen cross / Picture: Andrew Hazelden

Refreshed from a winter break Ringmer started on the front foot and showed no sign of rustiness. MoM Marcin Ruda’s midfield dominance and Tom Stevenson’s skilful play from wide areas key features of a solid performance. Within 15 minutes the Rhinos were in front.

Sam Sowter turned sharply inside the penalty area and whilst Eastbourne defenders expected a shot on goal, Sowter found Callum Connor with a neat lay off. Connor finished emphatically from 15 yards.

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The advantage was doubled 10 minutes later as David Altendorff’s attacking foray led to Sowter wrongfooting Eastbourne’s goalkeeper Louis Peach and the forward slotted the ball home with ease.

Knowing conditions might favour the away side in the second half, Ringmer again sought to start positively. Within three minutes of half time substitute Martin Stephen had made his first mark on the game. A driven finish from the in form forward nestled into the far corner twarting Eastbourne’s ambitions of a comeback.

The game was put to bed just prior to the hour. A clinical through pass from fullback Connor Ghosh released Sowter who’s left footed finish again left Peach stranded to take his recent goal tally to seven in the last five fixtures.

A cross/shot from Kalem Taylor beat Ringmer’s Joe Whiting and thwarted the home side’s chance of the clean sheet that the resolute defending of Brad Duke and Ryan Doyle deserved, however the score line differential was restored two minutes later. A towering header from the returning Sam Strutt from Stephen’s cross again highlighted Ringmer’s squad depth. Taylor’s close-range finish completed the score line in the closing minutes, their second goal a reward for the away side’s application throughout.

Tomorrow sees Ringmer visit Holland Sports (2pm).

Ringmer AFC: Whiting, J. Ghosh (Bines 62), Altendorff (Whiting, T 78), Doyle, Duke, Le Cras, Hunt (Stephen 46), Ruda, Stevenson (Watson 80), Connor (Strutt 67), Sowter.