Wisden Junior Challenge Cup
Bexhill Rovers – 1
South Coast Athletico – 2
This weekend saw the beginning of the Chopbacks defence of the Wisden Junior Challenge Cup against fellow promoted club Bexhill Rovers.
The match started in a very explosive fashion with the opposition’s goalkeeper and Jay Beaumont getting into a tussle within the first five minutes resulting in both of them being cautioned.
This would set the scene for this game as Bexhill Rovers put in some hard tackles, some fair and some not so fair.
The Chopbacks continued to try to play their football and were rewarded in the 22nd minute when a cross was cleared into the path of Harry Jackson who struck from 30 yards and the keeper could only fumble it in to the net.
In true Chopbacks fashion a quick second goal was looked for and came just two minutes later with Brad Owens running through the Rovers’ defence to slot home in what was very much a solo effort on his part.
Hard tackles kept on coming from the opposition, leading to various breaks in play and scuffles but the Chopbacks managed to keep their heads and go in at half time 2-0 up.
The second half started how the first had ended with more hard challenges coming in. Owens was the recipient of the majority of challenges which led to him having to come off within two minutes through injury.
Then, after conceding a free-kick in the 48th minute, the Chopbacks were made to pay as Rover despatched the free-kick past Ben Tate to half the deficit.
Tempers started to spill over as the challenges continued to get harder and Dayle McGurk found himself sin binned for arguing with the official.
Rovers had one of their players carried off the pitch with what was a suspected fractured leg but continued to attack looking for the equaliser.
For the remaining 15 minutes the Chopbacks sat back and defended for their lives inviting the pressure from Rovers and looking to break on the counter attack.
They came close in the 83rd minute needing a Tate save to keep out what would have been a certain equaliser.
With six minutes added on for injury time the Chopbacks rode their luck at times with the constant attacking from Rovers but also showed some resolute defending to finally see out the game as 2-1 winners and progress into the next round.
Next round will see the Chopbacks face against Bexhill A.A.C II as they look to continue their defence of the Wisden Junior Challenge Cup.
Man of the Match was Charley Adams.