In a display of collective mediocrity Ringmer bowed out of the R.U.R. Charity Cup on Saturday against a Rustington side determined to add another Division 1 side to their list of cup conquests.
In the opening exchanges there was little to choose between the two sides but after eighteen minutes James Bennett beat Joe Adams to a through ball and calmly placed the ball into the bottom corner of the net. The goal gave confidence to the home side to launch an all-out assault on the Ringmer goal for the remainder of the half. On twenty five minutes, Adams had to use his feet to keep out a near-post header from Tom Pickford. Then five minutes before half-time, Rustington scored twice in a minute. First Bennett broke through a static defence to chip over Adams and then Steve Kirkham took full advantage of more poor defending to score the third goal for the home side.
Ringmer, who had never threaten to disturb the giant Andy McCarthy in the home goal in the first half, chased the game from the start of the second half but sloppy passing and some resolute defending by the home side meant it was not until the last kick of the game before McCarthy was called upon to make a save. Then a free kick from Joe Dryer seemed destined for the angle between post and cross bar before McCarthy’s hands plucked the ball out of the air. Prior to that Lee Gibbs and Chris Kirkham both forced Adams to make saves in the final two minutes in one of the rare periods in the half when Rustington had opportunities to attack. Ringmer on the other hand had a host of chances but on every occasion the ball finished far nearer the windows of the local village hall than the goal, leaving the travelling fans wondering whether the players were desperately trying to avoid extra-time in order to watch the England match in the bar after the game.