It's seven wins in a row for Steyning - and they're in a cup semi-final too
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At a ground that had not been a happy hunting ground in recent years, Town scored two unanswered goals.Chances for both sides were at a premium all afternoon. The two vital goals came from Joe Radley-Martin in the fifth minute, sweeping home after great work down the left by Tom Chalaye, and then from Mark Goldson in the 77th minute, cooly slotting home down the right channel after being played in by Radley-Martin.Town’s other really good chance of note was shortly before the second goal.
Goldson,after a great run down the right, crossed for Meehan at the far post, and he should have converted from an angle with defenders and goalie scrambling around on the line, however he blazed over.Crowborough had plenty of possession in the game but they only created two real chances during the afternoon and luckily for Town the woodwork saved them on both occasions.
In the first half a looping shot came back off the inside of the post to safety and early in the second half a header from close range cannoned back off the bar. Other than this the Town back four of Clark, Shooman, Da Costa and Cooper were in great form all afternoon dealing with all that was thrown at them.As the second half wore on it felt more and more like it was going to be Steyning’s day, as the midfield started to slowly win the almighty battle in the centre of the park, eventually creating the icing on the cake of Goldson’s strike.The win springs Steyning further up the league and creates a small bit of daylight between them and those below them – with Newhaven and Hassocks still in sight above them. All to play for in an exciting run in.Full credit to Crowborough for getting the game on when many others managed not to on after all the week’s rain, and being great hosts as always.Att 277
Steyning Town 3 Newhaven 1
Peter Bentley Cup QFSteyning Town moved into the semi-final of the Peter Bentley Cup with a dramatic second-half comeback to defeat cup-holders and league leaders Newhaven at the Birchwood Stadium.However, the outcome could’ve been very different if the visitors had not been so profligate in front of goal during the first half in which they were well on top.Lucas in the Steyning goal had to make a number of vital saves, including a great penalty save from Alfie Rogers midway through the half. All the visitors had to show for their dominance was a goal on the stroke of half-time as Robinson and Lucas come together leaving Maila to nod home in to an empty net.There would clearly have been some harsh words for the players from Kev Green at half-time, combined with a tactical switch which meant the Barrowmen came out with much more purpose, helped by the swirling wind being predominantly at their backs in the second half.In fact, the second-half performance was stunning as they dominated from start to finish and quite frankly the Dockers were overwhelmed and had no answer. The Town could’ve and really should’ve scored a hatful.The equaliser came from a neat Chalaye header from a corner, soon after Remfrey made it 2-1 on the night with a powerful stooping header.The icing on the cake came in the final moments as Tom Chalayes notched his 20th goal of the season for the Barrowmen. Incredible considering his season started late and this was only his 18th appearance.An incredible run lately of eight straight wins has propelled the team in to an exciting position with two cup semi-finals and a promotion race to get excited about.There are tough challenges ahead but back to back wins in four days against Crowborough and Newhaven have shown the Barrowmen are up for the fight over what promises to be a couple of exciting months coming ahead.Next up is Crawley Down Gatwick at home on Saturday at 3pm.
Peacehaven & Telscombe 1 Steyning 2
Seven wins in a row to equal the club record in senior football. Three points from the Window Workshop Sports Park for only the second time this century. And now level on points at the top of the Southern Combination Premier Division with Newhaven.
This was some Saturday for Hassocks down at Peacehaven & Telscombe, as they ran out 2-1 victors at a venue where success has traditionally been in short supply.
You had to go back to the 2011-12 campaign to find the last time the Robins defeated the Tye on their own patch - the sole Hassocks Southern Combination success in these parts between 2000 and now. Goals from Phil Gault, Nathan Miles and current head coach James Westlake secured a 3-0 win for Mickey Jewell’s side. Hassocks went onto end the season in fourth spot, the highest finish in the club’s history.
Nobody at the Beacon is publicly taking about the Class of 2024 surpassing that achievement yet - especially with five of their 10 remaining games against fellow teams in the top six. Yet at the same time, nobody expected the Robins to be kept off the top of the standings by only goal difference after 28 matches.
They were meant to have fallen away, back into mid table long ago. Consequently, Hassocks find themselves under little pressure and are thriving in their role as gatecrashes of the play-off picture.
“Whatever happens now, we’ve just got to enjoy the journey,” said assistant manager Tom Hughes after the full time whistle at Peacehaven. And enjoy it, they certainly are.
With half the Premier Division fixture list wiped out because of the wet weather leading into the weekend, a bumper crowd of 301 were at the Sports Park. There was never any danger of this one being off; Piddinghoe Avenue is one of the windiest places on Earth, meaning the pitch was thoroughly dried out to the point no inspection was even needed.
The general consensus amongst the neutrals watching was that even in a game of few clearcut chances, you could understand why both Hassocks and the Tye are fighting for a top five finish. Westlake though was of the opinion that his team can play better. “We weren’t at our best but we dug deep, stayed organised and got another three points,” said the Robins boss.
There was, however, one negative to come from Hassocks’ afternoon down on the coast. Captain Alex Bygraves required lengthy treatment before being substituted with a serious knee injury seven minutes before half time. Hassocks were still waiting for an official diagnosis on Sunday morning, but Westlake felt it unlikely Bygraves would play again this season.
Westlake also thanked Peacehaven officials and fans for the fantastic support given to Bygraves in what was a difficult situation, though it did not come as a surprise. Bygraves remains a popular figure with the Tye, having skippered Peacehaven through the 2021-22 campaign.
Losing Bygraves for the run-in represents a blow to Hassocks, even with a decent roster of centre backs in Bradley Tighe, Matt Gunn and Dan Turner still to choose from. Turner started his first league game of the season here after scoring the late winner against Little Common in midweek. He was joined by Gunn from the bench once Bygraves departed the action.
Tighe meanwhile was at right back with Harvey Blake away skiing. The stalwart made the most of the attacking licence the brief afforded by opening the scoring on 27 minutes. A cross-shot from the right was caught by the wind on its way to defying former Hassocks number one Nathan Stroomberg-Clarke in the Peacehaven goal.
Having waited 192 games and nine years to open his account for the Robins, Tighe has suddenly become prolific to notch twice in nine matches. Not only that, but both goals have come against Peacehaven - a fact which has gone down rather well with Tighe’s father Jason, who had a long association as player and coach with the Tye’s arch rivals, Newhaven.
There was also a certain element of luck involved when Hassocks doubled the advantage in the second half via an own goal turned past Stroomberg-Clarke by a black and white shirted defender. Fortune may have favoured the Robins but they deserved it, having just about been the better side.
Ross Barclay pulled one back for Peacehaven in the fifth minute of injury time to set up a nervy final few, which included the Tye throwing Stroomberg-Clarke up for a corner. Hassocks though held on for another famous victory in a campaign full of them and a well-deserved place in the record books.
Hassocks: Trigwell; B Tighe, Bygraves, D Turner, Bull; Stephenson, Wilkes, Williamson, Harding; Khallouqi; Troak. Subs: Gunn (Bygraves 38), Loversidge (Stephenson 67), Durand (Harding 86), Mundy, McHale (unused).