Celebration vs London FA

Under-18s Continue Fine Streak

Sussex 4-1 London

Our Under-18s Representative Squad have won Group B of the South East Counties Youth Championship and are now set for another cup final against whoever tops Group A.

Their place in the final was confirmed out of their hands with having beaten Essex in the opening fixture and no other team able to better them. 

The game final game against London FA therefore gave Jay Lovett the chance to rotate the squad with places up for grabs in both finals. 

Sussex were made to work and it was London who opened the scoring 12 minutes in, as Oscar Powell coolly dispatched a penalty won by Ope Abiru, who was taken down in the box when he was through on goal.

However, it wasn’t long before Sussex found their grove, and they started creating some good chances.

The home side eventually got their equaliser in the twentieth minute when the referee signalled for the second penalty of the game after Mitch Hewens was caught by a wayward foot in the box and went down. Jay Popham stepped up and sent the keeper the wrong way with his spot kick.

Sussex controlled possession for most of the remaining first-half, but preventable errors meant they were unable to make it count on the scoreboard, and they kept allowing the visitors to create chances.

After the interval Jay Lovett’s side got right back to where they left off, as they broke the deadlock seven minutes into the second-half when Sam Wright latched onto a loose ball and found the back of the net with a beautifully hit strike from the edge of the box

Despite being dominated for most of the game, London had a big shout for another penalty midway through the second half when Myles Bascombe seemed to be taken down by James Earl after knocking the ball past him, but the referee waved it away

Sussex doubled their lead five minutes later when Adam Lindo turned in a ball Demas Ramsis had hit across the goal, putting away any chance of Richard George’s team getting back into the game

The two-goal cushion allowed the team in blue to play more freely, and Reggie Ward came close to seeing his name on the scoresheet with five minutes to go when he cut in off the left side and fired a rocket shot from the edge of the box, but Ryan Coltress did well to get a hand on it.

Sussex finally made it four with three minutes to play when Ramsis tucked away a first-touch finish into the bottom left corner.

After the game, Sussex manager Jay Lovett said “It was a bit of a silly goal to give away, but they grew in character and confidence and started getting the ball down and playing a little bit.

“We knew they would do a high press, and they got their goal from that where we got caught playing out from the back. We had to adapt and play to what we said in the changing room before the game and eventually we did and bypassed their press.”

Despite the game not having any impact on the overall standings, Lovett said motivation was not an issue for his players: “The way I put it was that everyone is fighting for their place in these cup finals, and if you want to claim your spot, then these are the stages you need to go and do it.

“A full debut went to Matt Astle, I thought he had an outstanding game. Adam Lindo came in and played very well aswell. I was also pleased with Sam Wright who played number 10 and scored a goal.”

Action vs London FA
Sussex v London (Under-18s) - 14.02.20
Highlights from our Under-18s vs. London FA in the South East Counties Youth Championship - powered by Your Instant Replay.

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

Stats: (Sussex-London)
Goals: 4-1; Shots: 14-4; Shots-on-Target: 9-3; Corners: 8-5; Offsides: 3-2; Fouls: 10-12; Yellows: 0-1; Reds: 0-0.

Sussex: Earl, Ward, Jenkins, Honore, Whitmore, Blackmore (C), Popham, Astle, Lindo, Wright, Hewens
Subs: Freeman, Stevens, Ramsis, Munt, Ferreira

London: Coltress, Leeves, Walton, Powell, O’Dwyer, Orchard, Massango, Young, Samule Smikle, Abiru, Bascombe
Subs: Prenga, Whitmore, Cascoe Rogers

Match Report by Sam Carroll