Hollington United Football Club’s first team secured its place in the semi-finals of the Sussex Intermediate Cup.
The Lions earned a hard-fought 2-1 win at home to neighbours Sedlescombe Rangers in a quarter-final watched by another great crowd of 200-plus on Saturday.
Hollington started well and were awarded a penalty when Alan Foster was fouled in the box. Allan McMinigal stepped up and scored from the spot.
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The Lions were dominant and got a deserved second goal when Dominic Clarke headed home a Ross Southwood cross.
Sean Ray, Foster and Kian Moynes all went close, but the scoreline stayed 2-0 at half time.
The second half started in similar fashion and Hollington should have added to their lead when Clarke volleyed over and Moynes beat three players only to be denied by the goalkeeper. Sam White was also very unlucky when his 30-yard cross/shot thundered off the crossbar.
The game then livened up when the Lions’ back four stopped as the ball seemed to have gone out of play and with no-one really knowing what was going on, the referee awarded a penalty. Sedlescombe scored the spot-kick and now it was game on.
Incredibly, seven penalties have now been awarded in the last three meetings between the two teams.
The visitors tried and tried to grab an equaliser, but Hollington showed their mature side to manage the game out well. The Lions’ man of the match, sponsored by Horwood Drywall, was Sean Ray.
Hollington will travel to fellow Mid Sussex League Premier Division side Sporting Lindfield in the semi-finals after they beat Battle Baptists 2-0.
For me it was always about the result than performance,” said Hollington manager Scott Price. “First half we took the game to them and maybe on another day go in at half time three or four-nil up.
“But credit to Sedlescombe, who have got themselves some very good young players there. They kept going and made it very difficult in the second half. But my players did what was asked of them and saw the game out very well.”
Hollington will now turn their focus to an important first versus second league fixture away to Cuckfield Rangers this coming Saturday.