RINGMER FC 5 – 3 LITTLEHAMPTON FC BRIGHTON CHARITY CUP R1

This Brighton Charity Cup encounter was a good old fashioned cup tie with both sides so intent on attacking that at times it appeared that Ringmer in particular were playing with ten attackers and no defenders. The result was a feast of exciting football to warm the spectators on an increasingly cold evening and a defensive nightmare for the managers and the goalkeepers.

A dramatic start saw Ringmer score three goals inside the first twenty minutes. The first came when a cross from Kieran Patel was headed home by Ryan MacMillan at the far post. Then a poor defensive clearance by the Marigolds fell invitingly to the advancing Patel whose powerful first time strike flew into the net from twenty yards out. Patel then set up the Blues third goal with a cross for Jo Jo Tubon to fire home from near the penalty spot. Just to show it was not going to be one-way traffic for the whole game Matt May was soon called upon to make two reaction saves to block close range shots when the ball bobbed around the Ringmer six yard box following a corner. Moments later George Gaskin jinked his way through the Ringmer defence to send his shot wide of May and into the bottom corner of the net. Then May spilled a long range effort from Richie Hellen and it needed his sharp reactions to stop the ball from crossing the goal line. Not to be out done veteran Mick Phillips in the Marigolds goal displayed his agility to turn aside a sharp shot for Sam Sowter. Then Mohamed Alie Koroma, the smallest player of the field, rose to meet a cross from Patel and was unlucky to see his header strike the cross bar.

The second half began in similar fashion to the first with four goals in the first fifteen minutes. First after Gaskin and Nathan Peacock had seen shots blocked by the Blues defence the ball ran to Joe Charman who was left with a simple tap in at the far post to pull a goal back for the visitors. Ringmer response was immediate as Ryan MacMillan volleyed home a free kick from Matt Percival to restore the Blues two goal advantage. However, Littlehampton responded with another goal from Gaskin before a fine move involving the MacMillan brothers ended with Koroma turning a cross from Aaron MacMillan into the net for the Blues fifth goal. The final thirty minutes saw Littlehampton throw everything into a late onslaught in a bid to take the game into extra time. Ryan MacMillan and Will Broomfield were both required to clear shots off the Ringmer goal line while Marcus Robertshaw, Gaskin and Mark Burgess all went close to scoring in the last few minutes.