Title hopes dashed as Sussex held by London
Our Under-16s Representative Squad shared the points, in their final game of the South East Counties Youth Championship, against London FA in an end-to-end encounter that finished 1-1 at Croydon Athletic.
London raced into an early lead as Tafari Jallim tapped in but Sussex levelled mid-way through the first-half courtesy of Liam Brady; despite plenty of endeavour neither side was able to find that killer blow in the second period to snatch the points.
The home side raced out of the blocks and made their early dominance count as soon as the fourth minute. Sussex goalkeeper Henry Lester did well to deny Philip Kourouma on the edge of the penalty area, but the ball fell kindly for Jallim to easily roll it into the empty net.
Play was end-to-end but without either goalkeeper being unduly troubled. That was until the twenty second minute when London keeper Tommy Kemp saw his poor kick pounced upon by the lively Jasper Pattenden. The Sussex forward drove forward with the ball before playing an inch perfect pass into the unmarked Liam Brady to slot the ball low into the far corner of the goal.
Pattenden brought out a fine save from Kemp moments later as Sussex grew into the game. The end-to-end theme continued as a London corner before the break saw the ball break for Jallim to strike a scissor-kick that flew just wide.
The tempo of the first-half continued in the second, as Kemp was forced into a good save soon after the restart to deny Sussex substitute Brad Santos and keep the score level.
The visitors dominated the majority of the second period but failed to capitalise on their overall possession as the London defence stood firm.
With eight minutes to go Pattenden tried his luck from twenty-five yards out, his dipping strike brought the save of the night from Kemp as he expertly tipped the ball over his crossbar to preserve a point for the hosts.
The draw ended Sussex’s hopes of securing the Championship, but there is plenty of promise for the future…
(A selection of photographs can be found on Facebook - courtesy of PW Sporting Photography)
Goals: 1-1; Shots: 5-7; Shots-on-target: 2-3; Corners: 3-9; Fouls: 22-9; Offside: 1-1; Yellow cards: 1-4; Red cards: 0-0.
London: T. Kemp, H. Kemp, Deen, Foley, Glazebrook, George, Williams, Kourouma, Jallim, Gemmell, Gale.
Subs: Clark, Francis, Frith, McDonald.
Sussex: Lester, Jelly, Harper, Mthunzi, Cocoracchio, Langford, Collins, Young, Hutchinson, Pattenden, Brady.
Subs: Britton, Santos, Greenslate, Buchanan, Langan.
Match report by Bob Rashbrook