Goals galore in Scardifield friendly
It was a 10-goal thriller at Culver Road on Wednesday evening as we took on long-standing partners Gardner & Scardifield in our annual friendly fixture, after a COVID enforced years hiatus.
The visitors, who are proud supporters of sport across Sussex, arrived looking to avenge the narrow defeat from 2019, but fell behind early to a well-worked free-kick that was tucked home from just inside the box.
A quick-fire double followed shortly after as Sussex shot into an early 3-0 lead, leaving the Builders Merchants, Electrical Wholesalers and DIY Suppliers stunned.
Three soon became four, with only half-an-hour played, as the Sussex side further capitalised on their early and somewhat unexpected dominance, with a sublime postage stamp finish.
However, the goal seemed to spark life into the Scardifield’s side, and they soon pulled one back with a low drive just before the break, to give themselves something to build on in the second-half…
The second period started as the first had finished with the visitor in the ascendancy, and it didn’t take them long to halve the deficit following a well worked move down the right, and a fine finish into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.
Sussex responded though and added a fifth with a perfectly weight chip into the far corner leaving the keeper with no chance.
The setback didn’t phase a spirited Gardner’s side though, as they took the game to the hosts who had to perhaps started to rest on their laurels.
Several opportunities came and went as the half wore on, but the visitors were undeterred, and that determination was eventually rewarded as the game entered the final quarter.
Two beautifully controlled lobs in a short space of time brought the score back to 5-4, and with moments remaining, the Sussex defensive line in tatters, and the Gardner & Scardifield attack full of confidence the equaliser prevailed courtesy of a composed 1-on-1 finish.
With the score remarkably level, a penalty shootout followed to determine who would lift the coveted Shield.
It didn’t get off to the best of starts for Scardifield’s as their opening spot-kick was dragged narrowly wide, the following seven efforts were all converted, in some cases questionable style. That meant there was considerable pressure on their fifth penalty taker, who was very unfortunate to see a well struck effort superbly saved and that was that - the shield will remain proudly in the trophy cabinet at the Sussex County FA offices for another year!
(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)
To find out more about Gardner & Scardifield please contact:
Gardner & Scardifield
T: 01903 755774