On Tuesday on a freezing night in mid Sussex Steyning Town town continued their sensational run in this year‘s Sussex Senior Cup, as they beat division higher Burgess Hill Town 5-3 on penalties after a 2-2 draw to proceed to the semifinals of this prestigious competition.
There had been a thrilling end to the match after 90 minutes, as Harry Shooman popped up in the box after an almighty scramble to prod home, a last minute equaliser for the Barrowmen. This was the least they deserved for a performance, full of passion and commitment as they went toe to toe with their opponents , and in fact, probably shaded the match on the balance of play.
The final 20 minutes especially, after Town had gone 2-1 down, was one-way traffic and Steyning were knocking very hard at the door until Shooman produced the magical prod in the final moments.
The first half been a pretty, even and slightly cagey affair. Burgess Hill were looking very dangerous on the break with their pacey youthful team, and Steyning spent long periods camped in the Burgess Hill half but found it hard to break down the rearguard. However, on the half-hour they did make the all important breakthrough with the hard-working Goldson, getting on the end of a Cooper freekick on the right and producing a fantastic low cross, which Shooman converted from close range.
Goldson himself missed a decent chance to make it two before half time but shot wide from a decent position.
Half time 0-1
Hill came out for the second half with a much more purposeful approach. Immediately moving the ball around quicker and applying pressure to Steyning. They were more rewarded almost immediately with a goal from Hallard from 20 yards, which dipped beating Lucas, and then off the crossbar and in.
Town reacted well but suddenly found themselves in a real match. The game proceeded to ebb and flow and to end and the hard working Chalaye had a fantastic chance for Steyning with a terrific run from deep inside the hill half beating the last man, but failing to beat Seymour in the Hill goal.
Powell went close for the hosts at the other end but scuffed his shot wide when through on goal.
On 78 minutes Hallard scored a second for the hosts with a low volley from a corner to put Hill in front for the first time.
A lesser team would’ve been down and out, but not Steyning. This team doesn’t lie down and spurred on in the final 15 minutes by the skipper Barnes and the impressive Francis, and and positive impacts of the subs that came on; Remfry, Towning, Clark and Rance it became one way traffic with Hill wasting time and desperate to hear the final whistle. And they got oh so close to that final whistle, but could not see the game out as Rob Clarks deep cross was won by Cooper, sparking a melee in the box and Shooman was there to delightfully prod home from close range; penalties it was.
Full credit to the team as Steyning in fact took five majestic penalties. Skipper Barnes, as normal, set them on their way and Remfry, Chalaye and Towning all converted in style before Ward missed the fourth spot kick for the hosts.
It was left to that man Shooman to calmly slot home to spark the celebrations.
What an evening. What a game. What a result.
The reds are now incredibly just one game from the final at the AMEX Stadium, but standing in their way are the force that is Horsham FC from two divisions above. Yet again, Town will be the underdogs, but as we seen time and time again from this team, they can spark a surprise.
The semi final will be played at the Sussex county FA headquarters at Lancing on the 27th of February at 7:30pm. Don’t miss it.
Town: Lucas Da Costa Fuller Cooper Shooman Barnes Radley-Martin Edwards Francis Chalaye Goldson
Subs used: Rance Clark Towning Remfry Not used: Rondel