Horsham lift the Sussex W J Jewell Trophy (Under-12s)

Edwards hat-trick wins trophy for Horsham

Words by Kieran Wiggs
Bognor Regis Town 1-3 Horsham

A first-half Rebuen Edwards hat-trick inspired Horsham to victory over Bognor Regis Town in the Sussex W J Jewell Trophy Final (Under-12s) yesterday afternoon at Culver Road, to complete a league and cup double.

Having topped the Mid Sussex Youth Football League, Horsham were disappointed to see defeat in their League Cup final against Three Bridges last month.

So, on this occasion, they were pleased to see domestic success with most of the damage done to Bognor Regis Town in the opening 25 minutes with the help of a remarkable Edwards hat-trick.

Despite wiping out Horsham’s clean sheet in the second-half, thanks to Harry Hudson’s 51st minute strike, it was too little too late for Bognor Regis Town.

Neil Vanson’s side got off to the perfect start when Edwards fired past Bognor goalkeeper Tyler Decourcey, who left a generous amount of space for the striker to fire his shot in with just two minutes on the clock.

Decourcey then denied Edwards’ second effort at goal and was quick to react to a forward-thinking ball over Bognor’s backline and clear away any potential danger posed by the nearby Harvey Vanson.

Bognor had a chance to level with a free-kick in a promising position on the edge of the box, but George Bowles saw his effort go over Alfie Penfold’s untouched goal.

At the other end it was a Horsham free-kick which led to the second goal, as Ben Martin’s long-range effort fell into the path of Vanson before finding its way to Edwards who pounced onto the opportunity for a brace, which he did ever so coolly.

Not long after, Edwards found himself through on goal once again and looked to play the ball across to teammate Ollie Jones for a simple finish but was frustrated to see his pass intercepted and stopped by a diving Decourcey.

Bognor came close to halving the deficit when Penfold’s misplaced pass fell to the feet of Bowles on the edge of the box but saw his effort impressively denied by Penfold off his line recovering well from his mistake.

Edwards made matters worse for Bognor firing past Decourcey for his first-half hat-trick before the half-time whistle, in what rounded off a dominant half for Horsham.

The Hornets looked to add to their tally after the restart, when Edwards’ flick found substitute Harry Gibson but saw his attempt superbly stopped by a stooping Decourcey, before he denied Edwards when the ball fell to him from a scrambled corner.

Bognor had Romeo Zousa to thank for denying Horsham a fourth when he bravely blocked Vanson’s effort at goal after he skilfully took the ball around Decourcey.

At the other end, substitute Alfie Lane forced an incredible save from Penfold taking aim at the top left corner when the ball was worked towards him from Bognor’s corner to go out for another.

Swinging in from the opposite side, Hudson pulled one back with the ball falling in his path which he struck with confidence and soon changed the mood and momentum of the players as they looked to loosen Horsham’s grip on the trophy.

However, it was past the deadline for any real disturbance on Horsham’s parade, with Bognor’s only real chance coming from Lane’s misguided effort at goal before a clever Eddie Jackson flick over Penfold was stopped for a foul and soon stopped for the celebrations of the victorious Horsham.

Speaking after the full-time whistle, Horsham manager, Neil Vanson, said: “We lost our last final, so I just wanted to keep them calm for this one. It was a big event today, but the players stayed really relaxed and went out and warmed up perfectly.

“The first-half, I think we really controlled it. The boys were calm again and really relaxed and nicked that goal in the second-half. I thought we deserved the win.”
On Edwards’ sublime performance, he added: “Reuben was on one today which was good!

“He is a strong boy, a Sussex striker. Wherever he is next year, he has had a really good season for us. Lovely boy, lovely family. He is one of the ones that came in this season and strengthened us up!”

Bognor Regis Town vs. Horsham HIGHLIGHTS
Bognor Regis Town vs. Horsham - 05-05-24
Highlights from the Sussex W J Jewell Trophy Final (Under-12s) - powered by Your Instant Replay!

(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 (Bognor Regis Town-Horsham): Goals (1-3), Shots (7-9), Shots on Target (3-8), Corners (5-4), Fouls (14-4), Offsides (2-0), Yellow Cards (1-1), Red Cards (0-0).

Bognor Regis Town: Decourcey (GK), Zousa, Hudson, Bowles, Proudley, Porter, Jackson, Caldwell, Weir (C).
Subs: Greenfield, Lane, Boxall, Keates, Child-Glue.

Horsham: Penfold (GK), Holmes, Newton (C), King, Martin, Edwards, Vanson, Murray, Jones.
Subs: Singporewala, Le Roux, Gibson.

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