Midhurst knew only a victory at home to Lingfield would keep them within touching distance of that top-five spot in SCFL division one they set out for at the start of the season – and that’s what they got. Buoyed by midweek success over Oakwood in the division-one cup, the Stags hit the ground running.
Several injuries from the midweek game meant a reshuffle and the opening exchanges were even.
On 15 minutes Lewis Hamilton picked up a loose ball in the opposition half and his first -time ball found Gary Norgate 20 yards out. A left-foot drive low to the keeper’s right was palmed away. Possession was Midhurst’s for the next 20 minutes. On 25 minutes Cowell’s clearance found Norgate, who was bundled to the floor. The resulting free kick was smashed home from 25 yards by Hamilton for his eighth of the season. Lingfield got sight of Cowell in the Stags goal but the back-line of Castelton, Hunt, Grantham and May stayed strong.
A second for the hosts came in the 42nd minute. Chaplin picked up the ball on the halfway line and found Scott Dormer. The skipper beat two Lingfield defenders and played a delightful ball across the six-yard box for Norgate to slot home his fourth of the season.
On 70 minutes Dormer could have made it three when he found himself through on goal only to be thwarted by a last-ditch tackle.
Youngster Elliott Taylor came on and was put through by a perfect ball by Dormer. His left-footed effort was well saved by Lingfield’s No1.
Stevens almost made it three with a powerful header only to be denied by the keeper. With ten minutes to go Midhurst seemed to take their foot of the gas. On 83 minutes, Lingfield’s Null found himself in space and was able to slot home last Cowell. A nervy end to the game included a good save from Cowell and last-ditch tackles from May and Grantham as Midhurst held on.
Midhurst: Cowell, Castleton, Hunt, Grantham, May, Martin, Chaplin, Stevens (Sheldrick 80), Hamilton, Dormer(Taylor 75), Norgate. Subs: Broughton, Sheldrick, Taylor.
Midhurst hosted Hassocks in the third round of the RUR Cup under the new Rotherfield lights on Tuesday night.
The Stags head to Storrington in the league on Saturday.
Midhurst 1 Hassocks 2 (aet)
Hassocks progressed to the quarter-finals of the RUR Charity Cup at the exopense of the Stags.
Things finished scoreless at the end of the 90 minutes and it took until five minutes into extra time for the Robins to break the deadlock through Liam Benson.
Phil Gault added a second for Hassocks five minutes before the midway point in extra-time.
Ben Kemplen pulled one back for Midhurst a couple of minutes after the interval to leave a nervy finish but the Robins held on to avoided the drama of penalties.
* Selsey are out of the Division 1 Cup after going down to a 77th-minute Patrick O’Sullivan goal at Billingshurst. Steve Bailey’s side go to Southwick on Saturday in the league.
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