The final of the Sussex Women’s Challenge Trophy is due to take place on Thursday 7 March 2019 between Burgess Hill Town Ladies and Hassocks Ladies.
Burgess Hill Town Ladies vs. Hassocks Ladies
Sussex Women’s Challenge Trophy Final
Date: Thursday 7 March 2019
Venue: Sussex County FA, Culver Road, Lancing, West Sussex, BN15 9AX
This Cup Final is set to be quite an encounter, with two local sides having a lot to prove. Burgess Hill Town Ladies trail behind Hassocks in the South East Counties Women’s League – Division One West, with four games in hand, but Hassocks will be looking to continue their dominance and maintain their recent unbeaten run.
The Burgess Hill boss, Mark Bishop is in his sixth season in charge of the Women’s side and is relishing the opportunity to make amends of last season’s disappointing 5-3 loss to Newhaven Ladies in the same Cup Final: “It’s another great experience for the girls, all their hard work to get to the final again and they are so determined after throwing it away last season.
“It’s a great achievement, we’re looking to get promotion this season and with the games in hand I think we can do that, but this is an added bonus.”
Bishop feels as though his side froze at last year’s occasion and is hoping that they have learnt from their first County Cup Final experience saying: “Most of the team we had last season are still here, so I think they will look at this Cup Final a little differently now, as they have been here before.
“We come in as underdogs this time, so we will approach the final a little bit differently, with a different mind-set and I think this will suit us.”
The Hillians boss admitted that the route to the final was far from easy having almost crashed out of the competition in the Semi-Final stage against Sussex County Women and Girls side Pagham Ladies but emerged victorious thanks to a narrow 1-0 win.
“We always struggle when we play teams below us, teams we should be beating we drop down a level.
“We struggled with Pagham, we only beat them 1-0 and to be honest they put up a good performance and maybe a draw would have been a fair result.
“We are looking forward to Hassocks because we always raise our game against better teams.
“It hasn’t been an easy ride to get there but it never is.”
Although both sides compete in the same league, they are yet to meet each other and like Bishop, the Hassocks Ladies gaffer, Martin Lee is expecting this final to be their toughest game of the season: “I am expecting tough games against Burgess Hill, they will be our toughest opposition this season.
“I think it adds a bit of spice that it is a local derby and actually on the basis that we haven’t played each other either I think it will be an exciting game between two good footballing sides - it should be interesting.”
Lee, who took on the role of manager at the beginning of this season, after being the coach for three years, is really proud of his squad’s achievements thus far: “It’s brilliant, we have had a really good season through the league and to get to the cup final is going to be the pinnacle of the season really.
“We won a league cup last year but we want to win the county cup this year.”
Like Burgess Hill, Hassocks admit that their cup journey has not been easy despite their semi-final score line suggesting otherwise after thumping Montpelier Villa 7-0.
“We played a couple of Sussex teams who were very good and we don’t play them very often so we didn’t know how strong they would be, but we managed to win every game we came up against.
“The sides we played were really strong so we were pleased to get through each game.”
There is also a possibility that the local rivals will come up against each other in the South East Counties Women’s League Cup Final if they manage to overcome each of their semi-final opponents.
Although it is likely that The Robins will win the league title, they are not taking anything for granted and are fully aware that Burgess Hill are the only team who have a chance of knocking them off the top spot. The Hassocks boss is looking forward to Thursday evening and believes it will be a fantastic advert for women’s football in the county.
“I am expecting there to be a big crowd, I know we will have a fair bit of support and I am sure Burgess Hill will too. We all are looking forward to it!”
Entry prices for the final are as follows:
£5.00 Adult (17+)
£3.00 Concession (65+ and students with valid student ID card)
FREE Child (16 and under)
For further details about the Sussex Women’s Challenge Trophy please contact Competitions:
T: 01903 753547