Sedlescombe Rangers need extra-time to come past resilient Robertsbridge United and reach East Sussex Challenge Cup semi-finals
Reigning East Sussex Challenge Cup champions Sedlescombe Rangers secured their spot in the semi-finals of the competition after a thrilling win over Robertsbridge United.
The holders were pushed all the way by their league rivals but eventually came out 4-3 victors after extra-time courtesy of Josh Pickering's strike.
Pip Hatch put Sedlescombe in front on 14 minutes, latching onto Ryan Edwards’ through ball before calmly rounding the goalkeeper and slotting home from close range.
Rangers continued to dominate the first half and doubled their advantage five minutes prior to the interval.
In a reverse of the opening goal, Hatch this time turned creator with a smart pass out to Edwards who carried the ball into the penalty area and fired home with a powerful shot into the top corner.
Trailing by two goals, it was clear that Robertsbridge would throw caution to the wind in a bid to remain in the competition.
Rangers could not find the all important third goal and the visitors pulled a goal back after 75 minutes.
A Sedlescombe defensive error allowed a Robertsbridge player to tap into an empty net five minutes later as they levelled it up at 2-2.
With Sedlescombe certainly having the energy and legs over the opposition, it was clear the chances would arrive in extra-time. Rangers captain Ben Gardner put the home side ahead once again after 96 minutes, rising highest from a corner to head home. Robertsbridge refused to give in though, and made it 3-3 soon after.
But holders Sedlescombe continued to push and found the winner late on.
Rangers forward Josh Pickering made up for missing a second half penalty by firing his side into the semi-finals as they edged it 4-3.