There’s a new dawn at Walton Lane following the shock resignation of manager Tony Hancock.
Hancock ended a decade of management with the Robins following his side’s recent 5-0 defeat at West Chiltington, which left Bosham sixth in the West Sussex premier division.
Bosham officials expressed their sincere thanks to Hancock for his tenure, which consisted of so much more than simply being the manager who organised training and picked the team.
A big advocate of youth following his promotion from reserve-team manager, Hancock gave numerous younger players the chance to develop over the years including Kieran Hartley, Graeme Dowden, Bradley Miles and his sons Jack and Joe Hancock - the latter last season’s top goalscorer.
A devoted committee member who washed the kit with as much passion as he laid out tactics on matchday, Hancock also kept vital funds coming into the club through organisation of subs and even playing the jovial bookmaker on club race nights.
Club chairman Alan Price said: “I cannot express how much I appreciate everything Tony has done over the years at the club and will miss seeing him around the place.
“We will certainly look to continue the sterling work he has done and prove the club can progress. We thank Tony for his efforts for the club and wish him all the best in the future.”
Player/coach Andy Probee is the new first-team manager and will joined by fellow long-serving player-coach Neil Redman, who makes the natural progression to become Probee’s assistant.
At 33, Probee becomes one of the youngest appointments in the club’s history, but already boasts previous experience at a similar level, taking charge of both Chichester City’s second-string and Sidlesham in the Sussex League and is a well-respected name in local football circles. Both Probee and Redman have UEFA B coaching licences.
Probee now has the task of taking Bosham back up to the higher echelons of the premier division to be in contention towards the end of the campaign, and the team still have involvement in three cup competitions.
Lancing Utd 2 Bosham 5
A spectacular goal from Ricky Mullen inspired the Reds to a resounding win over a Lancing side who came into the tie in fine form.
Bosham showed their ruthless side to surge into the last 16 of a cup they haven’t won in a long time.
The Greens took a shock early lead through the ever-threatening Dan Measom with the Robins slow to get going. The Robins defence got themselves in a pickle when trying to clear and Measom intercepted a clearance and beat Simon Hasted at his near post.
Even before that, Lancing’s Greg Luke pulling a stunning save from Hasted with the goal gaping.
Bosham were stunned into action. On the quarter-hour, Billy Huntley, in his last game before serving a lengthy ban, headed home from a lovely cross from the dangerous Kieran Hartley.
Bosham were soon in front thanks to the extraordinary right boot of Mullen. Graeme Dowden swung in a corner and Mullen stretched out his right leg to connect with a sumptuous volley into the roof of the net, leaving keeper Ash Hollick helpless.
The Reds added to their lead before the break as both Adam Brett and Dowden got on to the scoresheet, leaving new management duo Andy Probee and Neil Redman delighted.
Brett made it three with a thumping header from a great cross from the returning Dean Ayling and Dowden took his chance to smash home after a lovely ball from Matt Docherty.
On the hour, Lancing made a game of it and set up Andrew Bartlett to score with a scuffed shot after pacy work down the right from Measom. The Greens pressed for more but Bosham held firm.
Callum Fewell, Josh Rehill and Matt Moore came on and it was Moore who ended Lancing’s hopes by latching on to a superbly-flighted ball over the defence by the masterful Docherty and driving the ball home.
A last-16 encounter with Wittering Utd could await Bosham.
BOSHAM: Hasted, Jack Hancock, Dowden, Redman, Blanshard, Docherty, Hartley, Ayling, Huntley, Brett, Mullen. Subs: Rehill, Fewell, Moore.
Hunston 1 Lavant 1
West Sussex premier division
Lavant travelled full of optimism but Hunston started the stronger as Lavant fell back into some bad habits as well as struggling with the surface.
The Hunston pressure got its reward with a high ball into the Lavant penalty area which led to full-back Matt Grace being ajudged to have fouled the Hunston forward.
Keeper Neil Sanson guessed the right way but the penalty was sweetly struck and went in.
This was a wake-up call for Lavant and they started to show some fight as the half drew to a close.
From the restart, Lavant flew out of the blocks and within minutes, they were on level terms. Dave Knight gathered the ball just outside the Hunston area and threaded in captain James Sandford to cheekily clip the ball over the onrushing keeper.
James Brooks, Mike Neville and Sandford all went close to a Lavant winner.
LAVANT: Sanson, Grace, Purgavie, Wright, Lyttle, Knight, Maclean, Brooks, Neville, Holmes, Sandford. Subs: Humphreys, Gabb, Caveney.
Felpham Colts 2 Wheatsheaf 1
Unlucky Wheatsheaf saw their unbeaten run come to an end.
Despite being the underdogs to a team two divisions higher, the Sheaf were confident they could cause an upset - even though they also had five key players attending a wedding.
Midway through the half, a high and reckless challenge left Sheaf player Ragless with a nasty cash to his leg, yet the referee took no action.
A mistake allowed the Felpham wideman a clear run on goal - his shot was saved but the rebound was put away.
The Sheaf continued to push forward and an effort from Russ Jays resulted in a corner. It was whipped in and when Ragless’ volley was saved, it fell to Lee Baldwin, who smashed in from close range.
The Sheaf thought they had taken the lead on 70 minutes when Woolston slotted home but he was unjustly flagged for offside.
Woolston found a yard of space and was put in on goal but he shot wide.
With minutes remaining Felpham broke and scored a carbon copy of their first.
Wheatsheaf threw everything at Felpham in the remaining minutes but they saw out the game.
Slinfold 1 Nyetimber Pirates 5
Nyetimber Pirates extended their winning streak with a 5-1 win at Slinfold.
They were behind when a mix-up gifted the Slinfold striker a tap-in. But the Pirates hit back with three goals in two minutes just before the break. The first came when Phil Turner smashed home. It was 2-1 a minute later when Anders Wyatt raced through and lifted the ball over the keeper.
Turner scored a second after a mistake by the Slinfold defence. In the second half, Pirates subs Andy Cox and Steven Shepherd netted to ensure a place in the next round.
PIRATES: Taylor, Williamson, Gill, Dobbs, P Frangou, Wyatt, Pasterfield, Turner, Dant, Fallick, Peach. Subs: Cox, Shepherd, Bann.
Partridge Green Res 2 Chapel 7
Division five central
It took Chapel just one minute to open the scoring against previously-unbeaten Partridge Green when Carver broke down the right and crossed for Keith to nod home.
The home side fought back and ten minutes later equalised from a corner.
Carver’s pace was always troubling the home side and he took advantage of hesitation between defender and keeper to nip between and score. Mariner, with a tap-in, added a third before Partridge Green got their second from a free-kick.
Carver added his second on the stroke of half-time. The second half was mainly Chapel as their young side proved to fit and fast for the opposition and Bayliss, Carver and Mariner added further goals to make it six games undefeated.