In our feature game of the Sussex Senior Challenge Cup Round 2 we visited Prior Lane on a cold and wet Bonfire Night to witness three times winners Eastbourne Borough face first time entrants Roffey.
Eastbourne Borough set up strongly with new management, Danny Bloor and Sergio Torres, looking to make an immediate impact for their first game at the helm.
Roffey who only joined the Southern Combination Football League system in 2011 have enjoyed great success since. The installation of new floodlights and a spectator stand in 2018/19 saw them promoted to the Southern Combination Football League Division 1 for the first time in their history. Thus, gaining entry to the Sussex Senior Challenge Cup for the first time marking a huge landmark for the club.
After defeating fellow Division 1 side, Billingshurst 8-0 in Round 1, Roffey were drawn against National League South side Eastbourne Borough, who at Level 6 on the football pyramid, are the highest ranked side they have ever faced.
The game was also met with anticipation from Eastbourne Borough who, afteran inconsistent set of results were faced with new management coming in the form of former Sports’ assistant manager, Danny Bloor and a fans favourite Sergio Torres.
The Argentine midfielder, Torres, had taken care of management duties after the club parted company with Lee Bradbury and was appointed player/assistant along with Danny Bloor.
The Sports started off the game brightly and didn’t look to give Roffey a moments rest in the early exchanges. They were facing a Roffey side, however, that despite the difference in level, were determined to shut out Borough at all costs.
Despite Borough striking the bar and forcing a few good saves, Roffey were rewarded for their defensive efforts going into the break with the honours even.
The Sports wasted no time in the second-half though with two, quick-fire goals despite the hard-working efforts of Roffey.
Borough added third and fourth goals, to confirm their place in round 3 but there is no doubt that Roffey will come away from the experience with their heads held high.
What’s more, they were able to bring two under-18 players onto the pitch to summarise what will have been an all-round great opportunity for the squad.
Onto the rest of the round and Chichester City vs. Shoreham and Newhaven vs. Horsham were both deemed unplayable due to the weather and will be rescheduled in due course with AFC Varndeanians becoming the first side to progress last week.
Reigning champions, Bognor Regis, ran 4-1 winners away to Storrington Community, Peacehaven & Telscombe edged Broadbridge Heath 3-2 and highest ranked side Crawley Town overcame East Preston with a 5-0 away win.
Elsewhere, AFC Uckfield made themselves at home in Eastbourne having previously knocked out Eastbourne Town, they inflicted pain on their neighbours Eastbourne United winning 3-0 at The Oval.
Horsham YMCA ensured their round 3 place with a 4-0 victory over Crawley Down Gatwick along with Littlehampton Town who made it past Steyning town Community with a 2-0 win.
Last years finalists, Burgess Hill Town defeated East Grinstead Town in a nine-goal thriller at Leylands Park winning 6-3, whilst Whitehawk overcame Pagham 4-0 at home and Lancing winning away 4-1 to Hassocks.
As well as the postponements, still to play their ties are, Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Hastings United, Lewes vs. Three Bridges and Haywards Heath vs. Worthing.
For more information about County Cups, please contact:
T: 01903 753547