Crowborough hold firm against persistent Peacehaven
In the battle of 5th against 10th in the Southern Combination League, it was advantage Crowborough, as they beat their higher placed division rivals Peacehaven 0-1 in our Feature Game of the Third-Round of the Sussex Senior Challenge Cup.
Going into the game, Crowborough were the team out for revenge, as they were on the receiving end of a 3-0 defeat the last time the two sides met back in August.
The opening exchanges reflected the turbulent conditions at Peacehaven’s WW Sports Park, with the wind putting pay to any attempt by either team of playing it long.
As such, chances were few and far between for both, with neither team able to get a foothold in the game as the clock ticked over to the half-hour mark.
Peacehaven however were enjoying the majority of possession, yet the few speculative efforts they had failed to challenge Matt Larkin in the Crowborough goal.
Yet these efforts did appear to galvanise the visitors, who started to grow into the game.
Indeed, the first real chance of the game fell to Crowborough’s Harry Forster, who was able to get his shot away on the edge of the area and forced a good save from the diving Nathan Stroomburg-Clarke in the Peacehaven goal.
Crowborough continued to keep the pressure up however and were rewarded for their efforts just three minutes before the break.
This time it was the Crowborough number nine Lucas Murrain who was able to get on the end of a deep ball into the box and bundle it into the back of the net.
Yet the visitors weren’t done just yet, with Forster sending in another long-ranged effort, which once again required Stroomburg-Clarke to be called into action.
The second-half saw a much-improved Peacehaven, as the home side looked to assert some authority over proceedings.
Indeed, it was Peacehaven’s Callum Edwards who had the first chance of the half, combining with his midfield compatriot, before driving his shot low, and forcing Larkin to get down quickly to prevent the equalizer.
Larkin was kept busy for the remainder of the half, with a curling effort from Curtis Ford just after the hour mark nearly catching him out, but he was able to tip it wide.
However, whilst Peacehaven were enjoying the lion’s share of possession, Crowborough were able to cause them problems on the counter, with Murrain coming close to getting his second of the evening, but his shot was just dragged wide.
Following this effort though, it was all about the resolve of the visitor’s backline, as they endeavoured to preserve their slender advantage.
The onslaught looked to have got the better of Crowborough several times, but Larkin, along with captain Tom Boddy, were able to marshal their defence to clear their lines, time after time.
Yet with just a couple of minutes left of added time, it looked like the home side had been handed a golden opportunity with one final free-kick into the box, as a reckless sliding challenge from Ollie Hyland left referee Dan Cooper little choice to award it, and a yellow card.
But the delivery into the box was well cleared and Crowborough were able to hold on for a few more tense moments to claim a hard-fought win, and advance into the Quarter-Finals.
(A selection of photographs can be found on Facebook - courtesy of Simon Roe Photography)
SUSSEX SENIOR CHALLENGE CUP ROUND 3 RESULTS
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