Sussex progress after a tight FA County Youth Cup tie

Bedfordshire 0-1 Sussex

Our Under-18s Representative Squad booked their place into the Quarter-Finals of the FA County Youth Cup with a 1-0 victory at Bedfordshire FA.

A first-half goal from Demas Ramsis was the difference in which Bedfordshire were reduced to ten players late on. 

The visitors started on the front foot with Dan Blackmore heading narrowly over the bar, from a Fin Stevens corner, in the first two minutes. This was followed up with long-range efforts from Stevens and Louis Veneti. However, both failed to trouble Adi Connolly in the Bedfordshire goal. 

It wasn’t until the seventeenth minute that Bedfordshire created their first meaningful chance when Josiah Ramsay cut through the Sussex defence. His right-footed shot looked destined for the bottom corner until Taylor Seymour tipped the ball around the post. 

This seemed to spark the hosts into life with George Onwusonye influential in creating two further chances for Bedfordshire. The first, a cross from the left, was met with a first-time volley from Callum Short. This was shortly followed with an effort from Ramsay. 

In the thirty-second minute, momentum shifted back to Sussex. A through-ball by Stevens, was met by Ramsis but his effort was deflected away by the Bedfordshire defender. 

Sussex broke the deadlock in the thirty-seventh minute when winger, Sam Wright, picked-up the loose ball down the left channel and surged into the box. His square-pass found Veneti, who’s shot was blocked straight to the feet of an unmarked Ramsis who made no mistake from close range.  

Bedfordshire’s response to conceding was positive. A Ramsay through-ball into the Sussex penalty-area was met by Short who’s left-footed strike narrowly went past the post, into the side-netting.  

We had a chance to double our lead in the last minute of the first-half when a corner delivered by Stevens, created an opportunity for Blackmore. However, the Sussex captain could not find the target. 

Sussex started the second-half strongly. Blackmore, with his head, found Jay Popham who’s through-ball into the hosts’ penalty area was met by Veneti. The striker unleashed his shot, wide of target.

Another set-piece nearly resulted in the visitors scoring a second goal. Stevens and Blackmore combined once again with the latter’s’ header failing to trouble Connolly in the Bedfordshire goal. 

The visitors continued the hunt in extending their lead. In the seventy-third minute, Mthunzi’s speculative effort from long range went wide of Bedfordshire post. This was quickly followed by Popham, who met a Veneti cross. However, his shot was comfortably saved by Connolly, to his right. The Goalkeeper was called into action again, this time from Stevens who’s shot from outside the penalty area was well-held.

Bedfordshire substitute, Teddy Daniels, was an influential addition. With less than ten minutes remaining, Daniels’ first-time attempt, from a Tyler Fry cross, brought a good save from Seymour. Minutes later, the striker had another effort, however, this did not trouble the Sussex goal.

In the eighty-seventh minute, Mthunzi showed some good skill evading one challenge from the Bedfordshire defence. His square-pass found substitute Olly Munt on the edge of the area who unleashed a shot narrowly over the bar. 

Heading into additional time, with Bedfordshire trying to find an equaliser, Daniels used his physicality to find a way through the Sussex defence. His first effort was blocked well by Max Blencowe, followed by the rebound which was off target.

With the ball out of play, Daniels was involved in an off-the-ball incident which gave Referee Joshua Crofts little choice but to brandish the Red Card from his pocket. 

That was the last of action at Kempston Rovers and Sussex now look forward to a home Quarter-Final tie against Staffordshire or Durham in the New Year.

(A selection of photographs can be found on Facebook - courtesy of Simon Roe Photography)

Stats: (Bedfordshire-Sussex)
Goals: 0-1; Shots: 9-17; Shots-on-target: 3-8; Corners: 3-5; Offside: 3-3; Fouls committed: 17-11; Yellow cards: 4-0; Red cards: 1-0.

Bedfordshire: Connnolly; Fitzpatrick; Moore; Floyd; Scantlebury; Fry; Neziri; Onwusonye; Ramsay; Short.
Subs: Preston; Aderoju; Pyke; Daniels; Tilson; Gale.

Sussex: Seymour; Harper; Darienzo; Stevens; Blencowe; Blackmore(c); Ramsis; Mthunzi; Veneti; Popham; Wright.
Subs: Munt; Earl; Whitmore; Ward; Freeman; Honore.

Match Report by Dan Bartlett

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