Rep Squad HERO

Sussex finish runners up in South-East Disability Cup

Disability Rep squad finish second in South-East Regional Competition

Our Disability Rep Squad were back in action on the weekend, finishing as runners up in the South-East Regional Disability Finals.

Sussex were up against the Chelsea Foundation, Sutton United, Slough Town and MK Dons as they bid to retain the title they won back in 2019.

Here’s how it all played out…

Sussex vs. Sutton United - 0-1

The opening game proved to be the battle of the top two, with Sussex coming up against a well drilled Sutton side.

Sussex goalkeeper Will Savage was tested in the opening few minutes, as Sutton’s striker got through on goal, but he reacted well to get down low and palm the shot away.

Yet it was a taste of things to come, with Sutton keeping up the pressure for the duration of the 20-minute game.

However, Sussex showed signs of the attacking quality across the side, with Chris Slater having an attempt from range 10 minutes in that looked like it was destined to catch the Sutton keeper out, but proved to be going just wide.

Savage continued to put in a remarkable performance between the sticks, with he saves keeping the score level as the clock ticked down.

He was aided by some solid defending from his backline, which worked hard to keep the pressure on the Sutton players when they found the ball in space.

However, in a game of few chances, Sutton proved to have the edge, getting a goal in the last minute thanks to some interplay between their forwards, which saw their number 9 pick up the ball inside the box and just squeeze his shot just past Savage.

Sussex vs. Chelsea Foundation - 2-1

Next up for Sussex was the Chelsea Foundation side, and our Rep Squad wasted no time getting off the mark, with Tom Rogers grabbing his first of the day after only two minutes.

Picking the ball up on the left flank, Rogers was able to dart into the box, beat his man, and calmly shot his shot past the Chelsea keeper.

An end-to-end contest then ensued, with Chelsea attempting to hit back straight away though an audiations chip from range. However, Savage read it well and was able to collect.

Savage was then called into action minutes later, as Chelsea’s number nine went through on goal. Yet, under pressure from savage, he was able to steer his shot on target, only finding the post.

Meanwhile, Rogers continued to be a danger down the flank for Sussex, with the Chelsea backline unable to cope with his turn of pace.

Several times he was able to bring the ball to the by-line and send it into the box, with the Chelsea defender scrambling to get it cleared.

Yet, with 12 minutes on the clock, the pressure finally gave once again, with a Rogers cross finding James Brown in the box, who was able to react quickest and get the all-important touch to see it nestle in the back of the net.

However, Chelsea weren’t done just yet.

With just a few minutes left on the clock a long ball was sent goalward, with Savage rushing out to claim it. Yet the bounce proved deceptive, and it just got the better of him.

Any danger of Chelsea completing their comeback though was soon snuffed out by Sussex though, with the side showing great composure to keep the ball and hold onto their lead.

Sussex vs. MK Dons - 2-0

There was no rest for our Rep Squad as they were straight back in action, this time coming up against MK Dons, who had shown their qualities in the earlier fixtures.

Indeed, they were straight out of blocks, looking to get in behind the Sussex backline.

However, the line was held well throughout, with the Dons repeatedly caught off-side.

For Sussex, Rogers picked up where he left off in the previous game, making his now trademark run inside.

Indeed, just four minutes in, a mistimed tackle brought him down just outside the box, winning the side a free-kick.

Captain Courtney Hazelwood was elected to take the kick and proceeded to fire in a looping shot towards goal, which was well saved by the Dons keeper.

Yet unfortunately for the Dons, it was Sussex’s Sam Webster who was alive to the drop and was able to get his first time shot away quickest to give his side an early lead.

There was little time for celebrations however, as the Dons came straight back at Sussex, with a great last-ditch tackle from Bailey Walker preventing their striker going through on goal.

The next 10 minutes saw Sussex continue to keep the pressure on their opponents, as they looked for that all important second goal.

Yet the backline couldn’t afford to switch off, with the Dons attack looking increasingly dangerous.

But it was Sussex who were able to get the breakthrough in the last few minutes, thanks once again to Rogers, who darted past his man and blasted his shot in the back of the net to secure another important win. 

Sussex vs. Slough Town - 0-0     

Going into the game, Sussex knew that they had it all to do, with only a win keeping the pressure on Sutton United going into their final game.

Straight away Sussex were putting the pressure on the Slough backline, with their keeper tested just a few minutes in, with good efforts were fired in from just outside the box.

Just after five minutes, it looked like Hazelwood might have found the breakthrough with a well struck effort from range, however it just wasn’t able to dip enough to test the keeper.

The best chance of the game for either side fell to Sussex just after 10 minutes, when Dan Brooks shot from inside the box was well saved.

Alive to the rebound though was Danny Horner, but he was just able to guide his shot past the keeper, who reacted well to make the save.

Sussex kept up the intensity, even as the clock ticked down, with Rogers sending a good strike towards goal, but only finding the crossbar.

In the end, the Dons defence stood resolute, despite the remarkable effort of the Sussex attack.

Despite the result though, a second-place finish was confirmed for Sussex, a due reward for the hard work and determination shown throughout the day!

(A selection of photographs can be found on Facebook - courtesy of Simon Roe Photography)

Sussex: Savage, Brown, Wright, Webster, Brooks, Rogers, Slater, Lomas, Walker, Larson, Flak, Horrobin, Woodward, Horner, Hazelwood

For further information on disability football in Sussex please contact:

T: 01903 766855