Clinical Tackleway win first Junior Cup
The Junior Club Tackleway won their first ever Sussex Junior Challenge Cup with a 2-0 victory over Ifield Sports, redeeming themselves after their final defeat two years ago.
Ifield dominated possession and had 25 attempts in the match but could not convert any of them. Tackleway were clinical and defended excellently to take the trophy home to Hastings.
Ifield started the game strongly. Darren Helsdown chased down a long ball, cut in onto his left foot and drilled his shot towards the top corner, Nathan Smith was at full stretch as he tipped it onto the crossbar and over.
Despite Ifield’s bright start, it was Tackleway who scored the opener. Andrew Bridges floated a ball into the box and his overhit pass lobbed James Skipper in goal to make it 1-0.
Skipper injured himself attempting the save, he was able to continue for a short period before being replaced between the sticks by outfield player Kaine Stephens. Lewis Keast was substituted on to fill in at centre back.
Ifield dominated possession after conceding, Helsdown made a darting run into the final third, but no one got on the end of his cross. Sam Simpson’s long range shortly after was caught comfortably by Smith.
Stephens was called into action for the first time, Kale Hakos had an opportunity from close range which the make-shift goalkeeper parried out for a corner. Hakos injured himself in the process, he continued for a few minutes before Toby Payne came on to replace him.
Jimmy Degrace had two chances to equalise, one was curled towards the bottom corner but was caught, the other came soon after but the attacker’s shot flew over the bar.
Tackleway scored a second just before the break, the ball was chipped into Bridges who made a run into the six-yard box, he squared it to Joe White who finished to make it 2-0. It was a hard pill to swallow for Ifield who attempted nine shots in the first 45 minutes but trailed by two goals.
Helsdown had two good opportunities early in the second half, he received the ball in the box and turned onto his left foot, but his shot was deflected. He managed to find some space to try another strike, but Bridges blocked it out for a corner.
Tackleway had an opportunity to make it three, Shaw intercepted a pass in the opposition half and made a good run into box from the right flank but could not beat the last defender.
Sam Simpson bombed forward more often as the game went on, he tried his luck from distance twice in quick succession but neither shot troubled the keeper.
Ifield’s frustrations began to get the better of them as Omar Barry went in late on Grant Cornelius, receiving yellow card. Cornelius was unable to continue and was replaced by captain, Darren Payne.
Helsdown had plenty of chances in the second half, with his closest effort being a long shot that rattled the post,
Despite their backs being against the wall, Tackleway remained composed throughout. Their only booking came from Chris Chaloner when he pulled Helsdown’s shirt while the prolific attacker was dribbling.
Ifield captain Ellis Nicholls found himself one on one from close range but he mishit the ball and rolled just wide of the post. The skippers’ wasted chance summed up their game, no goals despite 25 shots with 14 on target with Tackleway finding the net twice in just three attempts. A resilient display as they lifted the cup.
Junior Club Tackleway manager, James Glavin, claimed that getting the second goal just before half time was very important.
“To get the second goal when we got it definitely helped, I think if we got into half time at 1-0, I don’t think they would have been as frustrated and we knew that at 2-0 with 45 minutes to go, naturally teams open up a bit more so obviously we didn’t get the third but threatened on the counter so yes very important.”
Ifield Sports manager, Jamie Martin, said his side were dominant throughout and will learn from losing in that fashion.
“Its that cliché, you don’t lose you learn. It’s difficult but we move on, we’ve still got the league to play for, it’s a shame things have gone the way they’ve gone, we were up for 3 cups, now we’re out of all cups but we have to learn from our mistakes, I thought we were the dominant team from start to finish we just could not find the net.”
Glavin also praised his team for bouncing back after recently losing in the final.
“I was not at the club at the time, so I did not feel that pain but there’s a few in there that did. We set out to go far in the competition, we played Rye in the semi-finals they are a great side, we’re basically joint on points with them going into the last game of the season, so to get where we have we have had to beat very good sides and then to come up against Ifield, we knew we were the underdogs today so to win the cup I am so proud.”
(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: (Ifield Sports-Junior Club Tackleway): Goals (0-2), Shots (25-3), Shots on target (14-3), Corners (7-2), Fouls (7-7), Offsides (0-2), Yellow cards (1-1), Red cards (0-0)
Ifield Sports: Skipper, Simpson, Stephens, Pickering, Larbi, Khan, Nicholls, Weller, Barry, Degrace, Helsdown.
Subs: Qaucoe, Keast, Pitcher, Iron, Davis.
The Junior Club Tackleway: Smith, Bridges, Hull, D. Payne, White, Chaloner, Adams, Davies, Cornelius, Hakos, Shaw.
Subs: Robinson, T. Payne, Benton, Grain, Eaton.