Westfield Football Club came close to reaching the semi-finals of a county knockout competition.
The Westies were edged out 4-2 after extra-time away to higher grade Crowborough Athletic in a closely-contested Sussex Principal RUR Charity Cup quarter-final last night (Tuesday).
Westfield manager Jethro Warren said: “It was a really good game. Like Saturday (when they lost 1-0 at home to Bexhill United), the performance was spot on from everyone really.”
Although Macron Store Sussex County Football League Division Two side Westfield play a level below Southern Counties East Football League outfit Crowborough, they had won away to Sussex Division One teams in the previous two rounds.
Westfield played into the wind and rain during the first half, but achieved what they set out to do and limited Crowborough’s opportunities. That said, they did need a Connor Holland penalty save to keep them on level terms.
Gordon Cuddington went off at half time with a groin problem and 14-goal leading scorer David Pugh departed five minutes after the restart with a tight hamstring, although Matt Dadswell was superb after coming on.
The game sprung to life in the final 20 minutes. Scott Treleaven put Crowborough ahead after Holland didn’t deal with a ball across the six yard box and captain Jason Barton atoned for his penalty miss by making it 2-0 having been allowed to turn.
Westfield, who kept the ball on the ground and frequently switched the play, pulled one back when Steve Ringwood delivered a good ball for Andy Hales to volley home. The home goalkeeper then fumbled a corner and Sam Willett made it 2-2.
The tie therefore went to extra-time and after no further scoring during the first additional period, Sam Carrington danced round three Westfield defenders before his pull-back ricocheted kindly for Paul Butler to put Crowborough 3-2 up.
Westfield defender Tom Archer had two good headed opportunities to equalise, one of which hit the goalkeeper from close range, before Wayne Clarke added Crowborough’s fourth near the end as the visitors pushed forward.
“It was gutting to go out and lose in extra-time, but overall really pleased,” added Warren. “Everyone was a bit down afterwards, but we were never expected to win and we’ve given a good account of ourselves.”
Westfield: Holland, Williams, Bell, Archer, Warren, Cuddington (Dadswell), Brand, Willett, Hales, Pugh (Coombes), Ringwood. Sub not used: Morris.