Peter Bentley Cup makes it two trophies in one season for stunning Steyning Town

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Steyning Town rounded off one of their most memorable seasons in dramatic style on Saturday as an injury winner saw them snatch a 2-1 victory over Crowborough Athletic in the Peter Bentley Cup final on a sunny afternoon at Hassocks FC.

The win completed a memorable league and cup double for The Barrowmen. The goalscoring heroes on the afternoon were both substitutes off the bench as goals from Sam Remfry and Charlie Towning did the damage in the second half as Steyning really turned the screw on the Crows after going in to the break one nil down.

For long periods of the first half Crowborough had been the better side; snappier in the tackle, faster to react and full of more running. Lucas made a fine stop from a one on one early in the half, and although not a huge amount of clear cut chances were taken The Crows were on top and Steyning looked really flat.

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When Town did get possession they were very wasteful. Frustration was creeping in. And a poor half got worse as minutes before half time Skipper Jack Barnes conceded a penalty after a coming together of shins in the box. Initially it seems both players swung and missed the ball, and the ref made the safe decision to award Steyning a free kick.

Steyning Town lift the Peter Bentley Cup | Picture: Steyning Town FCSteyning Town lift the Peter Bentley Cup | Picture: Steyning Town FC
Steyning Town lift the Peter Bentley Cup | Picture: Steyning Town FC

However, rather bizarrely, the assistant referee decided to get involved and a penalty was awarded. Even more bizarre with the benefit of seeing the incident afterwards. Anyway a penalty it was, and Vowles made no mistake from the spot. In to the break and a lot to do. Could boss Kevin Green and the team work their magic one last time this season?

They made an immediate change with Francis, back after injury, replacing Goldson. During the second period Clark, Remfry, Towning and Hallett also all made their way in to the action, and it was the subs and a change in formation which seemed to give Steyning the extra impetus required. Firstly Francis teed up Remfry, after a neat flick from Shoman, who scored a fine goal with a hooked finish from just inside the box just after the hour mark.

After the equaliser it was pretty much one-way traffic as Town came at Crowborough who seemed happy to be sitting deep and just clearing their lines. Remfry and Meehan were causing issues down the flanks, Edwards was having a particularly strong half in the centre midfield, winning ball after ball and driving the team on.

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One great run from Edwards saw Towning blaze over the bar from close range, and a succession of corners were scrambled clear as the defending got more and more desperate, with one great goal line clearance.

Just as it seemed we might be heading for penalties the crowning moment arrived. A long kick from Lucas was flicked on by Shooman and it found Towning racing through the centre. He nodded the flick on further ahead of himself, and he made no mistake sprinting clear and lashing home as he closed in on the Crows goal.

There was just time left for Crowborough to launch an attack and they created their first chance of the half as Lucas was beaten with a deft lob, but Shooman was there to clear off the line as the crowd held their breath. Seconds later was the final whistle.

A great finish to the season for Steyning and a great moment for scorer of the winner Charlie Towning, who was in great form earlier in the season until an injury kept him out these past few months. So coming back from injury and scoring the winner hopefully made all the rehab worthwhile.

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As for the team, Barnes lifted the trophy to the delight of the Steyning supporters and the curtain was bought down in spectacular fashion on one of the greatest seasons in the clubs history. A league and cup double. Sussex Senior Cup semi finalists. 179 goals scored in 59 games. 43 of those games won, including a famous win against Brighton & Hove Albion U23s. A memorable match with Maidstone Utd at home in the FA Cup in front of 1,500 fans. Well done to everyone at the club; players, managers, coaches, staff, committee, volunteers, supporters. It’s been one we will all remember for many years. Take a breather! Big challenges ahead.

Steyning: Szendela-Goetzke, Fuller, Weller, Cooper, Da Costa, Barnes, Edwards, Radley-Martin, Meehan, Shooman, Goldson. Subs used: Francis, Remfry, Towning, Clark, Hallett.

Att 260.

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