Extra time winner fires Rangers into semi final!

Sedlescombe – 4

Robertsbridge – 3

Sedlescombe Rangers first team has this weekend placed themselves into the semi-finals of the East Sussex Challenge Cup (Premier and Div 1).

It took 120 minutes of hard graft to get there, but the team pulled through after a resilient Robertsbridge United tested a very young Sedlescombe XI. 

The game started just as Rangers would have planned, with the home side comfortable in possession and moving the ball well. Pip Hatch put Sedlescombe in front on 14 minutes, latching onto Ryan Edwards’ through ball, calmly rounding the keeper and slotting home from close range. It was 1-0 to Rangers.

With chances being created and no major threat on the Sedlescombe goal from the visitors, Rangers continued to dominate the first half.

In a reverse of  the opening goal, Hatch this time turned creator with a smart pass out left to Edwards who carried the ball into the penalty area and fired home with a powerful shot into the top corner.  It was 40 minutes in and Rangers were 2-0 up. 

With the second half underway, it was clear Robertsbridge would throw caution to the wind in a bid to remain in the competition. With 2-0 always a dangerous scoreline, Rangers kept searching for that all important third goal to put daylight between the sides….however Robertsbridge had different ideas!

On 75 Minutes Robertsbridge pulled one back and just five minutes later they added another after a defensive error led to an open goal.

Five minutes of madness and Rangers now found themselves at 2-2 after having been in control of the game up to that point. The final ten minutes of regular time was edged out by both teams with extra time looming. 

So at the end of 90 Mins it was Sedlescombe – 2 Robertsbridge – 2 

With Sedlescombe certainly having the energy and legs over the opposition, it was clear the chances would come again in the next 30 minutes.

Rangers captain Ben Gardner put the home side in front on 96 minutes rising above everybody else from a corner to head home. Rangers were 3-2 ahead.

With a never say die attitude amongst an experienced Robertsbridge team the visitors pulled themselves level again within minutes to make it 3-3! At this point, many young teams would have thrown in the towel….but not this team!

With the added injection of being the current competition holders and defending their title, Rangers rallied together for one final push.

Hatch was again involved as he delivered a great ball into the box which was met by the towering Rangers forward Josh Pickering, who made up for missing a second half penalty by settling the tie in extra time!

The final scores was – Sedlescombe 4-3 Robertsbridge

The LCS Roofing and Cladding MOTM went to tireless midfielder Harvey Monk

Sedlescombe manager Phil Smith will be delighted with the result as the team continue their fantastic form this season and progress in to the semi-finals. Ultimately it was a game that Rangers made hard for themselves, but showed great character and spirit to pull through.

Sedlescombe XI – Austin, Dean, Gardner ©, Noonan, Lovick, Thomas, Steadman, Monk, Edwards, Hatch, Pickering

SUBS – Pool, Baker. 

Next week the side return to league action, as they welcome the visit of Northiam 75 in the ESFL Premier Division.

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