Barton Brace wins it for Bognor
Bognor Regis Town took home the Sussex Women’s Challenge Trophy after a 3-1 victory over Burgess Hill Town at Culver Road on Sunday afternoon.
A dominant second-half performance from The Rocks saw them take the game away from Burgess Hill who had led at half-time.
Two goals from Laura Barton and an unfortunate own goal from Becky Tansey sealed the victory after Daisy Tennant had opened the scoring for Burgess Hill.
A tightly contested first-half was played out in front of the 139 fans, with Bognor starting the brighter of the two teams.
Bognor’s Shannon Nolan was a danger on the right wing with her pace and her team had several flowing attacks in the opening stages. However, as the half wore on Burgess Hill grew into the game and started to have attacking forays of their own.
A corner was whipped in by Francesca Cook and Sadi Ashby’s volley was palmed away by Natalie Guyatt in the Bognor goal.
Just before the half-hour mark, Burgess Hill took the lead.
Tennant worked herself a yard of space in the box and her left footed shot curled inside the post and out of reach of the diving Guyatt.
The goal stirred Bognor back into life as they went on the front foot in search of an equaliser.
Barton hit a dangerous free-kick just wide, and Paige Kersey had her shot tipped past the post as they increased the pressure on Burgess Hill.
Bognor continued to push for the remainder of the half, but Burgess Hill defended their box well, when the ball did evade a defender, goalkeeper Iris-Lily Baitup was there, she claimed a number of crosses to ease the pressure on her defence.
The second-half saw a complete turnaround of fortunes and an early goal set the tone.
Within a minute of the restart Barton had equalised for The Rocks, hitting a first time shot from the edge of the box, which looped in the air and fell just under the crossbar as Baitup desperately backtracked.
While Burgess Hill continued to work hard, from that moment on Bognor controlled the game.
Bognor’s Barton was key to the performance, she peppered the Burgess Hill goal with shots from outside the box and was a constant threat. One of her free-kicks hit the post while another just crept over the bar.
Her next free-kick would prove to be more accurate. From just outside the box, she curled it into the top right corner to give Bognor the lead.
The third goal put the result beyond doubt but came in unfortunate circumstances for Burgess Hill’s Tansey and Baitup, the defender’s clearance was sliced towards goal and the bounce deceived the goalkeeper as it spun past her into the net.
The Rocks saw out the rest of the game to see their name added to the trophy.
Bognor’s manager Matt Trinidad was full of praise for Barton’s performance: “I don’t think you will find a better midfielder in our division,” he said.
“Obviously, she got two goals, the second goal from a free-kick and she was unlucky in the first-half as well, so she could have had a hattrick today. She is a phenomenal footballer, and she makes our team tick.”
He added: “We played really well in the second-half, the first-half we weren’t as good, we just didn’t move the ball quick enough.
“We made a couple of changes for the second-half and scored straight away, which always helps. Once we’d got that first goal, I knew that we always had the ability go on and get right back in the game. We were always in control second-half I thought.”
(Video highlights are available above and on YouTube - courtesy of Your Instant Replay)
(A selection of photographs can be found on Facebook - courtesy of Simon Roe Photography)
Stats (Burgess Hill Town-Bognor Regis Town): Goals (1-3); Shots (5-21); On target (2-8); Offsides (0-4); Fouls (10-8); Yellow cards (1-2); Red cards (0-0).
Burgess Hill Town: Baitup, Tansey, Burrows, Ford-Hunt, Burling, Ashby, Tennant, Cook, Saunders, Sargent, Harvey.
Subs: Nash, Pollendine.
Bognor Regis Town: Guyatt, Ogden, Butterworth, Downs, Widdowson, Robson, Willett, Nunn, Kersey, Barton, Nolan.
Subs: Beavan, Akmenkalns, Searley, Childs, Tetley.