Hastings United win the Sussex C P Mason Cup (Under-14s)

Ten-man Hastings retain Sussex C P Mason Cup

Hastings United 2 - 1 Patcham United

Hastings United scored twice in the final ten minutes to win the Sussex C P Mason Cup (Under-14s) sponsored by Luke & Luke Construction for the second year running, and in doing so denied Patcham United two cup final victories in one day at Culver Road.

Having seen their under-13s lift the Sussex Les Kempster Challenge Trophy earlier on Sunday morning, Patcham under-14s looked on course to match their counterparts as JJ Durand’s goal put them 1-0 ahead in the first-half.

But despite having JJ Walker sent off for two yellow card offences, Hastings’ Alfie Still bagged a brace, including a last-gasp free-kick, as they produced an incredible comeback to retain the cup.

A tight and cagey affair in the opening exchanges saw both keepers only having to make one save early on; Charlie Holmwood comfortably saving a tame header from Terry Parsons and Jordan Gower having to be alert to tip over Still’s powerful drive.

But after a brief period of Hastings pressure, Andrew Brown’s side were caught out at the back and punished for it. Max Knight played a delightful through ball in to Durand, whose low drive took a touch off Holmwood but nestled into the bottom corner to give Patcham the lead in the 29th minute.

The second-half began in a very similar pattern to the first; with battles being fought in midfield and neither team able to create many clear-cut opportunities. Hastings captain Holmwood had to deal with two free-kicks from the right-hand side, the second of which he managed to gather well at the second attempt. Durand was proving incredibly tricky for Walker to deal with, as he was booked for bringing the Patcham man down in the 52nd minute.

Only eight minutes later, Walker would once again allow Durand to evade him, with the Hastings man cynically hauling him down as he burst through. Walker received his marching orders for the challenge, as Hastings now faced the seemingly improbable task of clawing themselves back into the game with just ten men.

But the red card appeared to spark new life into Hastings, who began asking serious questions of Patcham’s defence. Gower was once again called into action in the 62nd minute as he palmed away Harrison Smith’s long-range effort, and Hastings’ continuous pressure paid off in the 68th minute. After evading several challenges, Kian Tapp found Still in the middle of the park, who darted away from several Patcham players himself before unleashing an unstoppable strike into the far corner.

And in the fifth and final minute of added time, Hastings were awarded a free-kick in a promising position. Still stepped up, his low shot taking a deflection which completely wrong-footed Gower and trickled into the back of the net. An incredible finale to the game which sent the Hastings team into pandemonium as the full-time whistle blew. Harsh on Patcham, who were terrific value for their lead, but Hastings responded excellently to Walker’s red card and were rewarded for their fighting spirit.

After the game, Hastings manager Andrew Brown said: “The lads have got a really good mentality; they never give up. We didn’t really look like scoring for most of the game, and then going down to ten men sparked a little bit of life into us.

“After it [Still’s second goal] took a deflection, it seemed to happen in slow motion. But for them to dig in deep and do what they’ve done, especially with ten men, I’m incredibly proud of them.”

Hastings United lift the Sussex C P Mason Cup (Under-14s)
HIGHLIGHTS - Hastings United vs. Patcham United
Watch Your Instant Replay's highlights of the Sussex C P Mason Cup Final (Under-14s) between Hastings United and Patcham United.

(A selection of photographs can be found on Facebook - courtesy of Simon Roe Photography)
(Video highlights are available above and also on YouTube - courtesy of Your Instant Replay)

Stats: (Hastings United-Patcham United)
Goals: 2-1; Shots: 7-9; Shots-on-target: 4-4; Corners: 3-1; Fouls: 13-8; Offside: 3-2; Yellow cards: 3-0; Red cards 1-0.

Hastings United: Holmwood ©, Walker, Tuppeney, Still, Smith, Rutherford, Tapp, Austin, Chapman, Olujobi, Moir.
Subs: Arnold, Barton, Simmons, Small, Brand.

Patcham United: Gower, E. Durrant, Black, Turner, Thomas, Davies, Parsons ©, Duckett, Durand, Knight, Ouassa.
Subs: Carter, Guetteche, A. Durrant, Love.

Match report by Ben Knapton

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