Sussex edge Heartbeat in fundraising friendly
A makeshift Sussex County FA team took on Heartbeat United in an entertaining friendly on Bank Holiday Monday afternoon, as part of their mammoth 12-hour football marathon.
Three years on from Heartbeat United’s incredible Guinness World Record for a continuous 11 a-side football match, which lasted an impressive 108 hours, Heartbeat United were back for another challenge. But, this time, their task was to play an 11 a-side 12-hour football marathon running from 9:30am to 9:30pm playing six matches all in aid of mental health charity Coastal West Sussex Mind.Over the course of the day it was estimated that a Heartbeat player that played in every game would have run approximately the equivalent length of a marathon.
As well as celebrating the three year anniversary, it was also a day to remind why they started the incredible challenge in the first place, to remember Matt Chaplain, Matthew Grimstone and Jacob Schlit.
Onto the match itself and despite emerging as eventual 4-6 winners, thanks to a valiant second-half display, the Sussex County FA team were made to work hard as Heartbeat United, playing their second game of the day, got off to a quick start racing into a 2-0 early lead.
A late surge before the first-half drew to a close, however, saw Sussex grab two, quick-fire goals, including a conversion from the penalty spot to level the score. The leveller became anti-climactic though when Heartbeat managed a third moments before the whistle when their lively forward slotted home, putting our very own Marketing & Communications Manager, Darren Ford, hopelessly on his backside in the process.
The second-half proved to be a better one for Sussex who really found their feet responding with two goals to take a 4-3 lead. Newly appointed Marketing & Communications Officer, Jack Towers, opened his account for the County FA from the edge of the box to make it 5-3 and put Sussex in a commanding position.
The Guinness World Record holders put in a fought admirably and their goalkeeper pulled off numerous fine saves to keep the scores close, notably to deny Referee Development Administrator, Ciaran Kane, on numerous occasions when really he should have put the governing body out of sight.
Sussex did eventually grab a sixth goal and a late strike from United completed the scoring. Overall a fantastic day of football for everyone involved and hopefully lots of money raised for Coastal West Sussex Mind - well done Heartbeat United!
Donate to Heartbeat United 12-hour Footballing Marathon
(A selection of photographs can be found on Facebook - courtesy of Kyle Hemsley Photography)
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