Saltdean vs. Bognor HERO

Seven heaven for Saltdean

Saltdean United 7-0 Bognor Regis Town

It was an exhibition of clinical finishing by Saltdean United at Hill Park yesterday afternoon, as they beat Bognor Regis Town 7-0 in the Quarter-Final of the Sussex Women’s Challenge Cup.

Going into the tie, Bognor had played well to overcome Steyning Town in the First Round, but almost straight after referee Brent Pettit blew for kick-off, they found themselves under near constant bombardment from the Saltdean attack.

Indeed, it took just seven minutes for the home side to go in front, thanks to Filippa Millqvist who picked up the ball on the edge of the box and proceeded to make a darting run around the Bognor backline, before curling her shot into the bottom corner and beyond the outstretched gloves of Nicole Robinson in goal.

Saltdean’s second wasn’t far behind either, with Molly Hill applying the pressure to the visitor’s midfield and intercepting a loose pass. Hill then showed remarkable composure to take a touch and spot Robinson off her line and send her shot just over her to make it 2-0 with 15 minutes played.

Bognor continued to look to create chances of their own, but the organisation of the Saltdean midfield and backline, coupled with adverse weather conditions, saw their attempts to play the killer pass continue to go array.

Saltdean meanwhile continued to be ruthless going forward, with their third of the game coming just before the 20 minute mark.

This time, Millqvist turned provider for Hill, who was there on the back post to tap home her pass across the face of goal and cement their control of the game.

Bognor’s first-half troubles weren’t over yet however, with the home side getting their fourth of the afternoon just a few minutes later.

Lucy Jellett was the next name on the scoresheet, slotting her shot past a diving Robinson with ease, after finding herself in no shortage of space in the box.

Things could have been even more dire for Bognor if it wasn’t for Robinson making a succession of impressive saves, including getting a strong hand to a venomous long-range effort by Jellett just before the half-hour mark.

Half-time did come, and in doing so, offered some respite for the Bognor defence, yet an equally challenging second-half awaited them.

Indeed, while the Rocks might have hoped to start the half in a positive manner, an unfortunate breakdown in communication between defender Macie Downs and Robinson, saw her back pass end up in the net, rather than at her feet.

Saltdean proceeded to rest several of their starting 11 from this point, yet there were still plenty of dangerous attacking options on the pitch for them, including Paula Howells, who continued to dictate the tempo from midfield.

The reward for her hard work all afternoon came just after the hour mark, as a corner was played to her just outside the box, which she whipped goalwards and (perhaps thanks to a flick on from one of her teammates) ended up in the back of the net to bring the scoreline to 6-0.

Despite the seemingly insurmountable scoreline, Bognor still looked to play their football, attempting to play it through the lines and set their forwards away.

However, Saltdean continued to simply have too much for them, with their seventh and final goal of the game coming in the 75th minute from substitute Chloe Nye, who made the most of the loose ball after Robinson spilled her initial effort to smash it home and set up a Semi-Final tie with Brighton & Hove Albion in the New Year.

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

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