Sussex County FA Under-16s Representative Squad against Essex County FA

Sussex hit four past Essex to extend winning streak

Sussex 4 - 2 Essex

Sussex County FA Under-16s Representative Squad recorded their third victory in as many games in the South East Counties Youth Championship with a well-deserved 4-2 win over Essex County FA at Culver Road on Sunday afternoon.

A Demas Ramsis hat-trick and a first-half penalty from Tom Chalmers sealed the points for Sussex, who now sit just three points behind league leaders Kent with two games in hand.

Sussex began brightly, pressing high when out of possession and, upon winning the ball, looking to attack with purpose.

They came close early on in the eleventh minute, with Ramsis rounding the goalkeeper after being released by Jay Popham, but he was ushered away from danger towards the corner flag by the Essex defence.

The striker made no mistake with his second chance of the match, though, as he tapped home in the nineteenth minute after being picked out by a deep cross from Marcus Chapman.

Ramsis grabbed another six minutes later, capitalising on a goalkeeping error for an easy finish on the edge of the six-yard box, and Chalmers added Sussex’s third from the penalty spot on the half-hour mark after he was felled inside the area.

Sussex’s dominance became increasingly apparent as the game progressed, with the visitors struggling to keep hold of the ball and finding it hard to clear their lines defensively with howling winds battering the Culver Road pitch.

A perfectly-struck long-range free-kick from Harry Cuthbert with five minutes of the first-half remaining needed Essex goalkeeper Tom Ballard at full stretch to prevent a fourth, and after the interval Ramsis was denied his third of the match by a strong save from Essex substitute goalkeeper Luke Craigie, but it was the visitors who fired back in the sixty fifth minute.

A misplaced goal kick from Sussex ‘keeper Oscar Lockyer found Kai Steven on the edge of the area, and he took a touch before unleashing a powerful strike right into the top corner, handing Essex a lifeline.

However, any chance of a comeback was quashed with ten minutes remaining when Ramsis dispatched coolly past a flailing Craigie to finally complete his hat-trick and give Sussex their fourth goal of the afternoon.

Lukas Zabulionis scored a second for Essex three minutes later, beating Lockyer one-on-one, but it turned out to be nothing more than a consolation as the hosts held on to maintain their perfect record in the competition and assert themselves as genuine title contenders. 

Sussex manager Gary Mansell was pleased with his side’s performance, and believes that if they can keep their current form up, it might be their name on the trophy at the end of the season.

“[In the] first half I thought we dominated the game and played really well,” he said.

“The second half was a little scrappy but we dug in and managed the conditions well, and played good football at times.

“We will go into our last two games confident of getting results.”

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

Stats: (Sussex-Essex)
Goals: 2-4; Shots: 12-11; Shots-on-target: 8-4; Corners: 2-1; Fouls: 6-12; Offsides: 0-3; Yellow cards: 1-2; Red cards: 0-0. 

Sussex County FA: Lockyer, Chapman, Little, Freeman (c), Marchant, Cuthbert, Ferriera, Chalmers, Ramsis, Munt, Popham.
Subs: Hewens, Honore, McSwinney, Wright.

Essex County FA: Ballard, Harrison, Bayon (c), Lockhart, Turnham, Zabulionis, Ainsworth, Green, Ambrose, Temple, Onu.
Subs: Stephen, Craigie, Newberry, Paul.

Match report by Archie Griggs