The second Semi-Final of the Sussex Senior Challenge Cup is due to take place on Tuesday 3 March 2020 between Brighton & Hove Albion and Worthing.
Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Worthing
Sussex Senior Challenge Cup Semi-Final
Date: Tuesday 3 March 2020
Venue: Sussex County FA, Culver Road, Lancing, West Sussex, BN15 9AX
Record winners Worthing will be looking to upset the odds as they come up against Brighton & Hove Albion in the Sussex Senior Challenge Cup Semi-Final on Tuesday.
Brighton, themselves, are the competition’s second most successful team having won it on 14 occasions, most recently in 2018, and under-23s Coach, Shannon Ruth, are far from looking past their counterparts: “We know Worthing well, and we have a good relationship with them. Over the years, it’s a club we have frequently loaned our young players to, and they currently have some ex-Brighton & Hove Albion academy players in their squad.
“Of course, we cannot forget Adam Hinshelwood’s (Worthing manager) relationship with our football club. Due to these reasons, it is a team we have watched quite often this season and have seen what a positive season they are currently having. We are expecting a tough game and it’s a fixture where both teams will want to come out on top.”
Worthing have won this competition 21 times but you have to go back almost 21 years since they last won it in 1999 and manager, Adam Hinshelwood thinks it’s great for his young players: “Having such good links with Brighton we’ve got a lot of lads that at some point will have been at Brighton so it will be good for them to showcase themselves and show how they’ve developed.”
Most importantly though for Hinshelwood, he wants to use this competition as a way of repaying the Worthing fans: “It will be great to get to the final for the supporters. Our support is probably only behind Brighton and Crawley in Sussex who are professional clubs.
“To give our fans a night at the Amex, it would just be the perfect way to thank them for all the time they have given us.”
Brighton have been very successful in this cup in recent years and Shannon Ruth says the development it provides for the players offers something different: “We always feel these games tell us a story about our players. By no means are any of these fixtures straightforward, as they are always a test for our young players regardless of the level of the opposition.
“One of our real key messages in the under-23 group is regarding keeping your standards as high as possible, no matter who you are playing.
“The challenge is to maintain them day-in-day-out regardless what’s going on around them. This competition at times gives some of our younger players their first taste of senior football, and their first lesson on what’s important to become a professional.
“So, for us this is an important and useful competition in terms of helping to develop young professional footballers.”
Hinshelwood is reminiscent of his own time that he spent at Brighton over the years that could put his side in good stead: “I was there (Brighton) a long time as a player and more recently on the coaching setup with the under-18s so there’ll be recognisable faces that I’m coming up against.
“I won this cup as a player with Brighton many moons ago but it’s over to the new crop of players now that I’ve got to go out and enjoy it and have the chance to play at a world class stadium.”
Shannon Ruth is cautious that the demand of this game is not a straightforward one and that the Seagulls have to be on the ball: “It has demanded that our players step up when called upon and showed them there are good players playing at all levels of the football pyramid, and if we aren’t at our best we can be beaten.
“What’s been pleasing for us, is no matter what team we have put out this year, the players have embraced the challenge and done well.
“From what I know of Worthing, they have some talented players who are coached extremely well. I believe they have a blend of youth who will be hungry to win this fixture, and a few experienced players who have understanding of senior football, so they will compete well in a lot of aspects in the game.
“There’s no doubt we are expecting our toughest game of the competition so far and is a fixture we are looking forward to.”
Entry prices for the Semi-Final are as follows:
£10.00 Adult (17+)
£5.00 Concession (65+ and students with valid student ID card)
£3.00 Child (16 and under)
£1.50 Official Match Day Programme
For further details about the Sussex Senior Challenge Cup please contact Competitions:
T: 01903 753547