The Sussex County FA Disability Representative Squad hosted the first round of Quarter-Finals in the South East Regional Disability Cup at Steyning Town Community Football Club.
The quarter-finals stage took place on Saturday 7 April 2018 with two separate groups of teams competing for the top spot and progression to the semi-finals and final of the tournament which take place on Saturday 16 June 2018 at Slough Town FC.
The quarter-final groups were made up of the following teams:
Quarter-Finals 1 (Sussex to host)
• Reading Deaf
• St Albans
• Sussex County FA
• Sutton United
Quarter-Finals 2 (Kent to host)
• Hampton and Richmond
• Healthy 4 Life
• MK Dons
• Saints Foundation
With Westcliffe United unfortunately unable to attend the competition due to illness it was decided by the competition organisers that double headed matches would be played. The Sussex County FA side would face Sutton United and Reading Deaf against St Albans.
In the first double headed game, Sussex started strongly and kept possession well with Dave Lambert narrowly missing the target with a fine strike from twenty yards out.
Minutes later, Reece Tanner had a great opportunity to put Sussex ahead when through one-on-one with the Sutton goalkeeper, but the latter came out on top thwarting the striker, unfortunately injuring himself in the process.
The Sussex pressure was relentless and broke the deadlock with eleven minutes on the clock. Tom Kent played a perfectly weighted ball through the Sutton defence into Lambert’s path and he calmly slotted the ball into the back of the net.
Sussex captain Nicole Webley commanded the midfield area and played superb ball into Tanner but he was denied a goal by a great save from the Sutton keeper.
Sussex made their first change which saw Tanner replaced by Lee Farrell, and almost immediately after the switch Sussex double their lead with Lambert netting his second goal of the match with seventeen minutes gone.
Opportunities kept coming for Sussex and James Smith delivered a corner which found Tristram Phipps at the back post but his header flew just over the bar.
A number of substitutions took place for Sussex in the latter stages of the match, with Toby Webb making way for Dylan Greeves-Lord and James Smith leaving the field for Robbie Crook. Kent also came off for Ben Wray and Marcus More was replaced with Sam Alymore.
With minutes to go, Paighton Gibson created the final opportunity of the game for Sussex when he sprinted down the right wing and managed to curl a dangerous a ball into the box which was dealt with by the Sutton stopper.
In the second game of the double header, Sutton clearly intended to make amends for their 2-0 defeat and started the game well applying immediate pressure to the Sussex defence.
However, the hosts regained their shape quickly and retook control of the game with Tony Webb putting Sussex ahead after eight minutes.
Shortly after Lambert found Tanner just inside the penalty area and he twisted and turned past two players only for his strike to clip the outside of the post.
Sutton pushed for an equaliser late on but that left space at the back, and Sussex managed to seal victory in the last minute as Lambert found space at the back post to direct a powerful header into the net.
Reading Deaf join Sussex in the semi-final after beating St Albans on goal difference. Healthy 4 Life and Hampton and Richmond who played in the quarter-finals at Kent have also progressed through to the next stage.
For further information on Disability Football in Sussex please contact Development:
T: 01903 766855