We have news of a big Invitation Cup win for Pagham Rangers and a division-three title nail-biter for Elmer and Butlins in our latest round-up from the Chichester & West Sussex Sunday League.
West Dean 2 Pagham Rangers 4
Pagham Rangers won their second successive game in the Invitation Cup with a hard-fought victory at West Dean.
The visitors took the lead when Charlie Squires chased down a though-ball in a race with the home keeper, whose clearance rebounded off Squires and in.
The lead didn’t last long – West Dean were soon level as Toby Pointing scored a magnificent individual effort after jinking past two Rangers players.
Squires went close again with a first-time effort before the home side snatched the lead just before half-time. Christopher Heller was adjudged to have handled a cross, allowing Gareth Gafney to convert from the spot to give West Dean a slender 2-1 advantage at the break.
Rangers came out the second half a different team and, buoyed by the manager’s tactical change, they completely dominated the second 45 minutes.
The equaliser came when Matthew Robb let fly from 30 yards and found the top corner.
Alexander MacIver, now in central midfield, was superb in his new role and he followed up to score his first Rangers goal after Heller’s header had rebounded off a post.
MacIver and Clarke were bossing the midfield for Rangers and all West Dean had to offer were a couple of long-range efforts as Rangers defended superbly.
The scoring was completed 15 minutes from time, a handball in West Dean’s box allowing Sam Pasterfield to stroke home a penalty.
Rangers now top Invitation Cup group A.
RANGERS: Mclaren, Rich, Gibson, MacIver, Heller, Pasterfield, Clarke, Stock, Squires (M Doran), Robb (Bircham), Tonks. Subs not used: A Dean, C Burns.
Butlins 1 Elmer 1
Chi & W Sussex League div three
This top-of-the-table encounter lived up to expectations with a tough match resulting in stalemate.
Butlins had the first chance when Nicky Tipper was denied by tremendous defending from Andy Cooper and John Wilson.
James Misselbrook was cautioned in the tenth minute for needlessly kicking the ball away after conceding a throw.
Butlins enjoyed the best of the first half and it was no surprise when Tipper put them ahead after 28 minutes with a good finish past Steve Nanson.
Having been under the cosh for the first 45 minutes, Elmer dominated the second period.
A bold move saw leading scorer Nathan Sadler replaced after 58 minutes having run himself out in the lone-striker role.
James Ford was pushed forward and Craig Gardner entered the action – and six minutes later the change paid off as Ford crashed in Elmer’s equaliser following great play from man of the match Martyn Hope.
With the match deadlocked, tempers began to flare and Cooper and Scott Oakley were cautioned.
In the 76th minute Elmer were reduced to ten men when Matt Hope was dismissed, having received two yellow cards in as many minutes. But Butlins failed to make the one-man advantage pay. Elmer finished much the stronger side and were unfortunate not to secure the winner from a number of late corners.
With Butlins having completed their league programme, Elmer must take seven points from their remaining three games to pick up the title.