Sussex stun Kent with strong second-half performance
Sussex County FA Women’s Representative Squad started off their Southern Counties Cup Competition campaign with a dominant display against reigning champions, Kent FA on Wednesday night.
Newly appointed manager Karl Davy selected a fresh, youthful look to the side which saw eleven players make their first appearance for the county.
The match began in an even manor with both sides having equal possession and chances. The first chance fell to Sussex with four minutes gone. After some fantastic build up play, the ball quickly made its way to Lauren Amerena who calmly passed to Teagan Ashley but she struck her effort just wide of the target.
Minutes later, Kent’s first opportunity came from a perfectly timed through ball from Terri Cranstoun in midfield for Gemma Cumby to run onto, but her effort was saved comfortably by Lucy Apps in the Sussex goal.
Sussex took the lead on eighteen minutes thanks to Ashley on the left wing, she out skilled her marker and managed to loop her shot high into the top right hand corner.
The game settled down following the goal, with chances becoming scarce for the next twenty minutes with both defences on top.
In the later stages of the half, chances opened up for both sides. Ashley whipped the ball in from the right into the danger area which was cleared away up the pitch by a panicked Natasha Moloney.
A minute before the break, Russ split the Sussex central defence and smashed a powerful shot from 20-yards that flew narrowly over the bar.
The second-half kicked off and Karl Davy’s side began on the front foot looking to build on their one goal advantage.
The pressure nearly brought about an instant reward as Skye Bacon struck a powerful effort from the left side which forced Kent goalkeeper Cara Davies into a stunning fingertip diving save.
Just before the hour mark Sussex doubled their lead as Charlotte Young controlled the ball with ease and laid it off to Ashley just inside of the box, she steadied herself before drilling a powerful effort past Davies and into the back of the net.
The momentum was fully with Sussex and ten minutes later Meghann Wingsutton spotted Davies off her line and she cleverly dinked the ball out of her reach and into the top corner making to give Sussex a three goal cushion.
Three goals quickly became four and five as Sussex ran riot. Bacon skipped past Skye McNally and released a sublime curling strike that nestled in the corner, and four minutes later, Wingsutton picked the ball up in midfield and unleashed a powerful strike from distance that flew in!
Lauren Graves pulled off a terrific save in the Sussex goal with ten minutes remaining to deny Rachel Stevens and preserve the clean sheet.
It was end-to-end stuff in the final stages of the match, and the speedy Hayley Bridge put Sussex six goals to the good late on as she found herself one-on-one with Davies, and calmly slotted the ball underneath the Kent keeper.
Kent struggled to hold off Sussex’s attacking prowess and in added time Bridge converted her second and Sussex’s seventh from a low well timed cross courtesy of Bacon.
An impressive all-round first performance from the Sussex side with four different goal scorers on the scoresheet, and the perfect start for new manager Karl Davy!
After the match Davy praised his side’s efforts: “I think it went really well, we had a lot of young players in the side today. We had eleven people getting their first caps which is really, really good.
“I managed to get everyone on which is always nice because it is difficult sometimes with a full bench to use them all. I think we played really well in good areas.
“I think the score line is really positive for Sussex because three of them are quite young as well. I put a squad together of players that I have seen and know, and they’ve all done really well.
“We didn’t expect to come away with a 7-0 win with goal flying in but I’ll take it!”
(A selection of photographs can be found on Facebook - courtesy of Simon Roe Photography)
Goals: 7-0; Shots: 13-6; Shots-on-target: 10-3; Corners: 5-1; Offside: 0-0, Yellow cards: 0-0, Red cards: 0-0.
Sussex: Apps, Smith, Ward, Rowbotham, Russel, Young ©, Bridge, Davies, Phillpot, Amerena, Ashely.
Subs: Quinn, Graves, Bacon, Wingsutton, Anderson.
Kent: Davies, Charlesworth, McNally, Waters, Moloney, Portelli, Stevens, Cranstoun, Russ ©, Cumby, Myhill.
Match report by Natalie Clarke