Local clubs suffer narrow defeats

Lewis Hole, pictured here against Westfield last week, put Little Common ahead against Lancing
Lewis Hole, pictured here against Westfield last week, put Little Common ahead against Lancing

The area’s three football clubs in John O’Hara League Cup action tonight (Tuesday) all suffered narrow defeats.

Rye United were edged out on penalties away to St Francis Rangers, Westfield were pipped 4-3 at Arundel and Little Common went down 2-1 at home to Lancing having led at half time.

Evan Archibald gave Rye a half time lead in an all-Sussex County League Division One second round tie, but St Francis levelled on the hour through a Jamie Weston penalty and with no further scoring, a penalty shoot-out ensued.

Anthony Storey, Ryan Alexander, Andy Hales and Ethan Strevett were all successful with their spot-kicks, but Olly Lockyer put Rye’s third effort over the crossbar and St Francis prevailed 5-4.

Dominic Clarke gave Division Two side Westfield a 15th minute lead with a close range volley and although Dave Hall equalised for Division One team Arundel, a Dave Hall own goal deservedly put Westfield 2-1 ahead at the break.

Gordon Cuddington made it 3-1 on 52 minutes after Arian Peake slipped, but Arundel produced a significant revival to turn the game around. Nathan Dacosta pulled one back and Scott Tipper equalised from a Rory Biggs cutback on 61 minutes before James Wotherspoon won it nine minutes later.

Little Common, also of Division Two, went ahead in the 39th minute when Adam Smith drove into the right-hand side of the box and hit a shot which deflected up in the air for Lewis Hole to nod into the net.

But Division One outfit Lancing got on top in the second half and turned the game around thanks to a brace of goals from substitute Alex Howell. The equaliser on 68 minutes was a low left-foot shot following a throw in and the winner 15 minutes later was a close range header from a left wing free kick.

Common felt hard done by in the end, though, because Hole had a terrific volley disallowed for offside and a huge penalty appeal when Zack McEniry was bearing down on goal in added time was waved away.

With Bexhill United having been beaten by Storrington in round one last month, all of the area’s clubs are out of the John O’Hara League Cup before the schools have gone back after the summer holidays.

See Friday’s Observers for full reports on each game.