Tye boss Saunders admits to mixed emotions after big cup week ends in heartbreak

SHAUN SAUNDERS admitted to a whole host of different feeling after Peacehaven’s big week ended in two heartbreaking cup defeats.

The Tye boss saw his valiant troops edged out of a their Sussex Senior Cup tie against Brighton & Hove Reserves on Wednesday last week, before going out of the FA Vase in the cruellest possible fashion against St Ives on Saturday.

Peacehaven had opportunities in both matches but were made to pay for not taking their chances. They had chances to take the lead against the Seagulls before finally going down 3-1, and against St Ives on Saturday were winning 1-0 though a Ryan Bradley goal when Rob O’Toole had a gilt-edged chance to double the Tye’s lead and effectively put one Peacehaven foot in the last 32 of this prestigious competition. However, his reaction effort came back off the boot of the St Ives keeper and, within moments the visitors were level through a disputed Junior McDougald effort, before, deep into stoppage time, the home team were left stunned by a shot that was deflected into his own net by the hapless Aaron Gunn.

And Saunders admitted the events of the past week had left him feeling a curious mixture of pride, frustration, acceptance and disappointment.

“I’m really disappointed about Saturday’s game,” he said on Monday.

“The first half we edged just about and then had an opportunity to go two up. To be fair we never got going second half; I think the players thought it was job done after the first half.

“Rob O’Toole had an opportunity to put us 2-0 just before they equalised with about 20-25 minutes to go. Then they go down the other end and equalise. After that we couldn’t get out of our half.

The manner of the defeat was also hard to take, admitted Saunders: “It was the last kick of the game, the winner – and it was an own goal.

“If we could have got to extra time I felt we could have regrouped and we could have had another go at them.”

See this Friday’s Sussex Express for a full report on the game by Alex Panton plus more reaction and a look ahead to Peacehaven’s two games next week.