Sussex & Surrey Round-Up: FA Cup heartbreak, an injury time winner and nine over the line for CDG

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Merstham bowed out of the FA Cup to League One side Oxford United, despite an impressive attacking performance.

The U’s were dominant in the opening twenty minutes, MacDonald scoring the opener with a superb free kick into the top corner. Merstham however, began to look threatening and created several chances which tested Simon Eastwood. Hayden Bird commented:

“Once we settled down, we caused problems with Alex Addai. Dan Bennett was unfortunate not score… 1-0 at half time wouldn’t have been the worst result in the world. We could’ve really worked off that.”

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Unfortunately for Merstham, Josh Ruffels doubled the lead before half time. A loss of concentration ensued two goals in quick succession as Kane Hemmings and Tyler Roberts made it 4-0 in the sixty-second and sixty-third. A consolation goal, scored by Dan Bennett, was disallowed for offside before Kane Hemmings completed his brace in the ninetieth minute.

Hayden Bird comments:

“Whilst it’s disappointing that, at times, we didn’t take our chances and made mistakes, credit to Oxford. They were very professional, they were very clinical and they took their chances.”

You can listen to Hayden Bird’s full post-match reaction by going to

The Moatsiders host Hythe Town in the FA Trophy this Saturday.

Horley Town 2-1 Bedfont Sports

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With Sports sitting fifth in the league and having only lost once away from home this campaign, Horley went into this fixture knowing it was going to be tough. A mid-week two-goal win against Chessington & Hook United and two-nil victory last weekend to Abbey Rangers however, had the side in good spirits, hungry to extend their winning streak.

Bedfont had the better start of the two, with more possession and great movement upfront. On twelve minutes, Sports had the opportunity to take the lead, however failed to find the target. Growing into the game, Horley soon built up momentum and created chances. Breakthrough came after twenty minutes, after build up play from the back to the front found Richard Wetton, who unleashed a strike into the bottom corner. The game reached half time 1-0.

The second half started very fast paced, with both teams creating chances. On sixty-five Sports keeper made a great save to deny Hough, then at the opposite end of the field, Horley keeper Hyde, saved a free-kick to keep Horley ahead. New signing, Kerran Bowlan had a great chance to double Horley’s lead, in a one-on-one, however a low save from Sports kept Bedfont in the game.

On eighty-eight minutes Bedfont levelled the game with a long cross and a good finish from close range. With the final whistle imminent, it almost looked like Horley were going to pay for not burying their chances. On ninety-two Alex Barbary volleyed home the winner, scoring the second injury time goal of the week; sealing all three points for Horley Town.

Manager, Anthony Jupp comments:

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“[This season] we have had to change our way of playing and our game plan – it has taken a while to get right but the team seem to have clicked now and are doing well”.

Dorking FC 1-7 Balham FC

Another bitter pill to swallow; the Chicks extend their winless streak in an eight-goal showdown at Westhumble.

The opening of the game was very even, with half chances at both ends. After twenty-two minutes Dorking were awarded a penalty for a handball in the area, however Brazil failed to capitalise from the spot. Six minutes later, Balham took the lead through a strike from the edge of the box which found the back of the net. The lead lasted a grand total of sixty-seconds, before Dorking found their equaliser on twenty-nine; a free-kick whipped in my Darryl Mothee which avoided everybody and found the back post.

Two successive goals three minutes apart for Balham, moments before the half time whistle took the game to half time with the visitors leading 3-1. After the interval, the Chicks found themselves further behind when Balham scored their forth on fifty minutes. In the last ten minutes of the game, once more Balham scored in successive fashion, this time only two minutes apart, making it 5-1, 6-1 and finally 7-1.

Chairman, Roger Mahony comments:

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“Balham are a good team, but there can be no excuses whatsoever for our performance – very flat, full of errors and probably the worst we’ve been this season. We’ve always said we’re sticking to our plan to build a team around local, youthful players, giving them a chance to grow and develop, even when results haven’t gone our way, because we’ve seen good performances and steady improvement. But the players have to realise that doesn’t give them an automatic right to be in the team, they still have to earn the right to present the club. I’m sure manager Danny Fox will be making matters clear in training this week, and looking at his options for the squad”.

Metropolitan Police 2-1 Burgess Hill Town

After a masterclass from Dean Cox upfront last weekend, the Hillian’s need an extra class in defence, following defensive errors which let points slip away this weekend.

After thirteen minutes, Police took the lead thanks to Jake Reid. Half chances for both sides followed, but Burgess Hill seemed in control of the game, dominating possession. The deficit double on forty-six when Ola Sogbanmu found the target, moments into the second half.

Tyrell Richardson-Brown found consolation after eighty-six minutes, but it was too late in the game to retrieve any points.

Manager Ian Chapman comments:

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“It was a disappointing result, especially when we had around 75% of the possession. In the end, our defending cost us – but we need to move on now and prepare for Tuesdays game”.

Wick 3-1 AFC Uckfield Town

Poor form and the unavailability of players through injury and suspension is really taking its toll on Uckfield Town.

After twenty-eight minutes the home side took the lead after splitting Uckfield’s defence and finding the target. Nine minutes later their lead doubled in a similar tactic to their first, exploiting gaps amongst the defence. The game reached half time 2-0; Wick comfortably ahead.

Uckfield resumed the game with the same defensive problems as they did in the first. Wick’s third goal of the game shortly after the break, when the Oakmen were easily broken down and Terry Payne saw red. The player ratio soon levelled when a dangerous challenge on Ryan Cooper, saw red for Wick. Consolation for Town then followed when Hassan Ibrahim buried a strike from the penalty spot.

South Park 0-2 Dorking Wanderers

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Dorking Wanderers ended their losing streak at South Park with with a 2-0 win. In form striker Tom Tolfrey scored both the goals that secured all three points for Marc White’s men. Tolfrey opened the scoring in the forty-third minute, and completed his brace with a fine curling shot in the seventy-third.

“I’m delighted with our win, and to break the losing streak we’ve had at South Park. We’ve never won their competitively. What made the win even more impressive was that we were playing with so many key players missing (5). It all bodes well for next week with the long-awaited return of Matt Briggs.”

Crawley Town 1-1 Bristol Rovers

Crawley earned a replay in their F.A. Cup first round tie with Bristol Rovers. Lee Brown had put Rovers in front after fifteen minutes, and then Billy Clifford equalised for The Reds with his first goal for the club. Crawley had to play the last twenty-five minutes with ten men as Andre Blackman was dismissed for his second bookable offence, after he handled the ball.

Dartford 3-6 Sutton United

Sutton United made it through to the F.A. Cup second round with an emphatic victory away at Dartford. A thoroughly entertaining game at Princess Park produced a total of twenty-seven shots on goal and saw Dartford come from behind to equalise three times before Sutton United finally showed their quality to progress. Two goals from Biamou (1, 23), (15,71) and Stearn (58, 94) were enough to put them in the draw for the next round.

Crawley Down Gatwick 9-0 Worthing United FC

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Crawley Down Gatwick thumped Worthing United 9-0 on Saturday. It was an impressive performance, and we caught up with Paul Cooper after the game;

“I’m really pleased with the boys again today, and of course the three points. You can’t ask for much more than nine goals and three points. We have worked on a few things in training, especially defensively, and it’s given us a solid foundation to move forward. Today however, the attacking play was great. Every time we went forward, we looked like scoring, but that’s what a bit of confidence does. It was nine, but it could have been another five or six. I was pleased Oli got his hat-trick, Cano came on to bag two more goals, and new signing Lewis made it two in two. The contribution of the whole fourteen again shone through. The win is dedicated to club stalwart George Russell who hasn’t been too well recently, so we hope it’s put a smile on his face.”

Redhill 4-0 Epsom Athletic

An 8-4 loss to Westfield in the Premier Challenge Cup on Tuesday night did not deflate the Lobsters, as the side thrashed Epsom 4-0 on Saturday. Redhill are unbeaten in their last five league matches, taking wins against Banstead, Sheerwater, Farleigh Rovers and Epsom. A 4-4 against South Park Reserves precluded a winning streak.

Manager Gavin Gordon comments:

“It was a very solid team performance in a game where we created plenty of opportunities to score. We’re very pleased to be on a decent run of form. We will get the lads in the week and prepare to build on this and look to push on.”

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Redhill encounter Sheerwater this Saturday, previously beating the side 9-1. Next Tuesday, the team host Balham.

South Park 0-2 Dorking Wanderers

In a local derby, South Park lost in the league to Dorking Wanderers on Saturday. Tom Tolfrey’s brace determined the scoreline, which puts the Sparks twelfth in the Ryman South. The team are level on points with Sittingbourne and Walton Casuals, who sit in eleventh and tenth place.

On Wednesday night, the side face Carshalton Athletic in Round Two of the Alan Turvey trophy. South Park are in another cup match this weekend, visiting Hastings United in the Second Qualifying Round of the FA Trophy.

Horsham 4-3 Faversham Town

A seven goal thriller saw Horsham take all the three points, defeating Faversham Town 4-3. The opposition took the lead after twenty three minutes, Mobolaji Dawodu scoring his first. The score was still 0-1 at half time, but, in the second half, George Brandford equalised. Tom Lawley took the lead shortly after, Nwachukwu making it 3-1 with a one-on-one. Two goals from the visitors in the last ten minutes gave Faversham hope, but George Branford secured the victory with another goal in the ninetieth minute.

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Horsham comfortably sit in fifteenth only two points adrift of the top ten. On Tuesday night, the side visit Newhaven in the Sussex Senior Cup Second Round. This weekend, Horsham host Chatham Town.

Lingfield 1-4 East Preston

A goal from Charlie Dodd in the twentieth minute was insufficient to take all three points as Lingfield were on the end of a 4-1 defeat to East Preston. The Lingers’ league form has been generally solid this season, losing only one match and August and September.

This defeat has not been too costly for Lingfield, as the side are currently seventh in the table. Another five points would put the side in 2nd place, which is where East Preston stand.

In the league, the Lingers host Selsey on Saturday.

Oakwood 4-2 Seaford Town

Jordan Mase took the lead for Oakwood in the thirty-forth minute, Grant Miller adding another goal before the half time whistle. A dominant display saw another two goals scored in the second half, Jack Nourse finding the net in the fifty-seventh minute and Lee Wragg scoring in the sixty-fifth. The Oaks, however, were unable to keep a clean sheet; Craig Pooley and Adebola Sotoyinbo scored before the final whistle.

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Oakwood take a trip to Old Barn Way this Saturday as the side meet Southwick.

Chipstead 4-2 AFC Morzinga

A brace each for Farrell and Deane secured all three points for Chipstead. An excellent performance throughout saw them bounce back from a 2-0 midweek defeat to Guernsey.

Three Bridges 2-3 Herne Bay

For the second game in a row Three Bridges allowed a 2-1 lead to slip as they lost at home to Herne Bay. They went behind within two minutes of the kick off, after some bad defending gave Herne Bay an easy tap in. Drew Cooney headed home from a corner to put Three Bridges level, and then on thirty-seven minutes Fender put them 2-1 up with a stunning twenty-five-yard strike. The lead lasted less than two minutes though as more bad defending lead to Herne Bay’s equaliser. On sixty-six minutes Herne Bay got their deserved winner as they broke down the wing to deliver an excellent cross and finish.

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