There was an exciting draw and penalty shootout in the cup between Predators and Worthing Minors, plus wins for Predators Youth, Midhurst & Easebourne and Pagham Colts in this week’s junior football action.
Predators Yth 4 Worthing Minors Ath 4 (Predators win 3-2 on penalties)
Nerves were shredded by the end of this pulsating Invitation Cup tie. From kick-off both teams attacked with abandon and Predators soon took an early lead as Jordon Smith headed home a corner.
Sean Donner volleyed a second, again from a corner, before Ashley Butler lobbed the keeper to give a seemingly-comfortable cushion.
The Worthing keeper kept them in the game with some incredible saves and just before half-time Worthing were given a lifeline when they were awarded a penalty.
In the second half Worthing scored two breakaway goals to equalise before Brandon Williams restored the Predators’ advantage. With time running out Worthing equalised again to force extra-time.
Both teams hit the woodwork but neither could break the deadlock, giving spectators the drama of a penalty shoot-out.
Worthing looked to have a winning lead before man of the match Connor Fellows saved three in a row, forcing the shoot-out into sudden death.
Jacob Hanslip held his nerve to stroke home the winning penalty which took Predators into the semi-final.
PREDATORS: Fellows, Burford, Butler, Donner, Evans, Hanslip, Koszkalo, Hamilton, Smith, Stanton, Williams.
Predators Youth 5 Regis 2000 0
Predators were looking to make it a winning double after beating Regis in their first meeting.
The game was even for most of the first half with neither team keeping possession.
Hillier missed an opportunity to put Predators ahead when his shot went wide, but Irish went on to make it 1-0 at half-time.
Predators manager Paul Harris must have given the boys an inspiring half-time team talk as they came out a different team.
They took control, winning loose balls and making some great passes. Predators were awarded a penalty after Hillier was brought down in the area. Josling stepped up and made it 2-0.
A rebound from the Regis keeper saw Furlong score his first of the season. Irish added his second with his less favoured left foot.
Predators had a goal disallowed but Birch made sure the game was out of reach of Regis with a fifth.
Predators have welcomed Matt Rodway to the team after he joined them from Pagham.
Man of the match was Jake Birch.
PREDATORS: Irish, Josling, Birch, Rodway, Hillier, Furlong, Bosco-Brown, Jukes, Davies, Williams, Blackman, Farndell, Cook.
Worthing Town Youth 0 Midhurst & Easebourne 12
Midhurst dominated the play from the start but were unable to score an early goal. After eight minutes Liam Field-Millard scored his first following a spell of pressure.
Field-Millard doubled the lead and Midhurst settled. Field-Millard wrapped up his hat-trick and Jake Burtoo opened his 2012 account just before half-time.
Aaron Wakeham, back from injury, scored just after the restart.
Jordan Warren scored two in ten minutes either side of a strike from Jake Burtoo.
Worthing never gave up but Field-Millard scored his fourth before being substituted.
Burtoo scored his third and fourth before being replaced and the game finished with a goal for Will Murphy.
MIDHURST: Collins-Powell, Thompson, Largan, S Cain, Wysocki, Murphy, Field-Millard, Mepham, Wakeham, C Cain, Warren, Burtoo, Papaj.
Pagham Colts 4 Pagham Youth 1
This was always going to be a keenly contested game between teams from the same club.
In the first quarter, both sides struggled to put more than two passes together as possession swayed from one to another.
But on 20 minutes Colts’ Dan Gonzalez was put through by Jack Parham and although the keeper saved his first shot, he made no mistake with the rebound.
Five minutes later Jordan Charles’ free-kick from the left evaded everyone, including the keeper, to double the lead.
Colts were in control as their defence of Marland, Shea, Barratt and Carter were all having solid games.
However, 15 minutes into the second half the visitors pulled a goal back through Michael Charman, which lifted the team.
For the next ten minutes they pressed for an equaliser, but the Colts rode the storm and added a third.
Ben Haines delivered an inviting free-kick that Jack Parham headed past the keeper. Two minutes from time Billy Stevens’ tireless running got him on the scoresheet for a deserved fourth to round off a good victory.
COLTS: Tribe, Marland, Shea, Barratt, Carter, Gonzalez, Parham, VanDriel, Charles, Watson, Stevens, Haines, Kitchener.