Lancing and Rustington youngsters serve up cup final to cherish

A stunning summer evening was bettered only by the football on show at East Preston by Lancing United Colts and Rustington Otters under-13s competing for the Kier Covid Response Cup final.

Cup winners - Rustington Otters under-13s
Cup winners - Rustington Otters under-13s

It was an even start to the game as both teams played good football and the deadlock was broken 17 minutes in by Lancing captain Louis Holder, who struck a terrific 30-yard free kick into the top corner past a despairing dive by Otters keeper Nick Osinski. Lancing had the better of the half until the last few minutes when Otters perked up.

Lancing made it 2-0 five minutes into the second half when Alfie Chaplin fired in after controlling a ball into the area following a corner.

Otters looked to get back into it and a lovely free kick from captain George Coe halved the deficit with five minutes left. An enthralling finish was capped when Coe drove into the Lancing half and after a nice exchange of passes between Coe, Jamie Clark-Eden and Alfie Caig, Coe slipped a terrific through ball to break the Lancing defensive line and Clark-Eden ran on to it and fired a great shot into the roof of the net.

Gallant runners-up - Lancing United Colts under-13s

Otters continued their momentum into extra time and won the game after a brilliant run down the right saw Jack Barnard beat the full back and put a cross into the danger area – and under pressure from Otters striker Charlie Neal, a Lancing defender put through his own net.

It was a great advert for youth football, played in a competitive and fair spirit with

real quality on show throughout.

A crowd of nearly 300 made for a terrific atmosphere.