Brighton win Parafix Sussex Senior Cup

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Brighton & Hove Albion won the Parafix Sussex Senior Challenge Cup as they beat Crawley Town 3-0 at the American Express Community Stadium on Wednesday evening thanks to extra-time goals from James Tilley, Richie Towell, and Joe Ward.

It was a tight game throughout, but Brighton’s endeavour was rewarded in the added thirty minutes with three quick fire goals.

Speaking after the game Brighton’s manager Simon Rusk said: “In the end I am pleased and proud of the players for the way they conducted themselves throughout the ninety minutes and extra-time to stick at it and get the win.”

“The first-half I wasn’t overly pleased, we were over complicating it, and Brighton were very good on the ball. Then second-half we were brighter, but we then collapsed mentally,” said Drummy after his side’s 3-0 defeat.

Crawley signalled their intentions early on, with barely five minutes on the clock Rhys Murphy tested Brighton goalkeeper Robert Sanchez with a stinging shot from just outside the box, but Sanchez was equal to the effort.

After a good start from Crawley, Brighton gradually settled into the game and Tilley nearly opened the scoring with a fabulous long range effort which flew just over the crossbar, just before the fifteen minute mark. Crawley’s goalkeeper Yusef Mersin was rooted to the spot and wouldn’t have got to the ball had Tilley’s effort been on target.

The opening twenty five minutes proved to be quite a tentative affair. Both sides clearly wanted to play their football, but there wasn’t too much goalmouth action to write home about as both sides were reluctant to concede that early blow.

After the early excitement, the first-half proved to be a game of chess between the two sides. The League Two side certainly had the edge in terms of experience. But the youngsters of Brighton played some nice football, but neither side could find the crucial breakthrough.

But, just before half-time Brighton won a dangerous free-kick on the edge of the Crawley box. Tilley stepped up and flashed a curling effort into the side-netting.

Immediately after the restart Crawley registered their first shot-on-target of the second-half as Murphy again stun the hands of Sanchez from a distance, but it was another routine save for the keeper.

Crawley were in the ascendency after the break, and in the 53rd minute Bobson Bawling drew a smart save out of Sanchez low down to his near-post.

As the game ticked over into the last half-hour, the contest was still proving to be tight affair. For all of both sides neat possession, neither team could fashion that moment of brilliance which the game was lacking.

Much like the first-half Brighton grew into the second period. They were playing some nice football but without hurting Crawley. Towell was unlucky with a nice glancing header which nestled on the roof of the net in the 66th minute. But other than that, Brighton struggled to create any clear-cut chances.

Albion did have the best chance of the second-half as captain Dessie Hutchinson let fly from just outside the box in the 75th minute. But Mersin was equal to the effort as he clawed the ball away from danger.

Crawley nearly shot themselves in the foot as the game ticked closer to the full-time whistle. Mersin gave the ball away in a dangerous area, Tilley picked up the loose ball and fired towards goal but Mersin got back to tip the low effort away for a corner.

After an uneventful match, the game entered extra-time as both sides looked to grab that all important opening goal.

The crowd at the Amex waited 96 minutes for a goal, but Tilley rewarded their patience as he opened the scoring with a lovely volley. A deep floated ball from Forbes came into the Crawley box and the forward got in between the two centre-backs and fired in a volley which Mersin could do nothing about to give Brighton a 1-0 lead.

Five minutes into the second period of extra-time and Brighton put the cup final to bed as a mix up between Josh Yorwerth and Mersin in goal, provided Towell with the easiest of chances to put Brighton 2-0 up.

Brighton added yet more gloss on proceedings as Ward got in on the act after being put through by Towell. It was a clinical finish from the winger as Brighton secured the trophy.

(Photographs from the match can be found on Facebook - courtesy of Simon Roe Photography)
(Video highlights from the match can be found above and also on YouTube - courtesy of FilmMyMatch)

Stats: (Brighton & Hove Albion-Crawley Town)
Goals: 3-0; Shots: 9-6; Shots-on-target: 3-2; Corners: 11-4; Fouls: 5-8; Offside: 2-1; Cautions: 2-1; Red cards: 0-0.

Brighton & Hove Albion: Sanchez, Forbes, Cox (Collar), White, Hall (Davies), Dallison, Ward, Hutchinson (c),Tilley, Towell, Molumby (Barclay).
Subs: Collings, Mandroiu.

Crawley Town: Mersin, Harrold (c), Roberts, Blackman, Yorwerth, Garnett (McNerney), Bawling (Boldewijn), Clifford, Tajbakhsh (Payne), Lelan, Murphy.
Subs: Morris, Young.

Match report by Michael Stokoe

Match Result Find out more

Sussex County FA
1-2
Amateur Football Alliance
South East Counties Youth Championship (under-16s) Sunday, Kick off at Sussex County FA, Culver Road, Lancing, West Sussex, BN15 9AX
Parafix
Facebook - Sussex County FA
Film My Match
Simon Roe Photography