A young Ringmer side pulled off a 3-2 win after extra time in the FA Vase.
The game began as a feisty affair, with a number of hard tackles flying in from the St Francis.
They were obviously out to unsettle the young Ringmer side, but they appeared stunned on 8 minutes when Seb Saunders pulled out a stunning goal from the right wing. His looping ball from 30 yards, caught the goalkeeper off his line and sailed in to the top left corner. The pressure then mounted from the home squad and following a corner kick the ball was not cleared by the Saints defence and was crossed back in, where Jordan Woodley tapped home.
The 1st half remained Ringmer’s until following captain Callum Sherriff’s injury which saw him substituted for Matt Scott, Goalkeeper Dan Goodchild put the home side in danger from a poor goalkick. Although he bravely pushed the ball out for a corner from the advancing forwards, the resultant set piece ended in a goal. A second came shortly afterwards and Ringmer went in for half time, undeserving at 2 a piece.
The second half played out as a stalemate between the 2 sides, with both sides having chances foiled by great saves from the 2 keepers and an interruption mid-way through the half when Referee Marc Meeten was poleaxed after unwittingly getting in the way of a crossfield pass. The best of the chances however, came in the 88th minute. Saunders latched on to a through ball on the right wing and after losing the defender fired the ball past the keeper, only to have his effort denied by the post.
Extra time was then the order of the day, to avoid a replay in midweek and it it took a superb run from substitute Jacob Shelton up the left wing and pinpoint cross that found the battling boot of hard-working left back Dan Bolwell to settle the game 3 minutes into the second period. The visitors came close to upsetting the home crowd. With late substitute Jack McClean back from a long recovery from injury, harrying the visitors down the right wing and some good fortune in their own box, the result was probably a fair reflection on the game as a whole.
Manager Jason Hopkinson and the Ringmer faithful now look forward to a good a draw in the next round and to their next league fixtures away to Crawley Down on Tuesday evening and Lancing next Saturday.
Teams:Ringmer: Goodchild; Mickolay; Bolwell; Story: Sherriff (Scott 24); Rogers; Seb Saunders (McClean 90 + 6) ; Bunn; Trickett (Shelton 70); Stubbings; Woodley. Subs not used: Watkinson; Essam
St. Francis: Gordan; Westlake; Vinten; Hawkes; Walsh; Bryant; Millroy; Sam Saunders; Leppard; Peacock; Weston. Subs: Smith; Rice; Sam Saunders Referee: Meeten
Assistants: Hinton; Howard