French goals edges Loxwood past Pagham in a cup thriller

Tiago Andrade (blue shirt) returned for Broadbridge Heath on Tuesday night after three months out
Tiago Andrade (blue shirt) returned for Broadbridge Heath on Tuesday night after three months out

Eddie French’s extra-time winner saw Loxwood edge out Pagham 4-3 in a thrilling Sussex Senior Cup clash on Tuesday night.

The Plaistow Road visitors hit a leveller with nine minutes left of normal time through Liam O’Connor to level the scores at 2-2.

Pagham then had a defender sent off in the closing stages as he picked up a second booking. Despite this, substitute Tom Broadbent headed them ahead towards the end of the first half of added time.

The dominant Magpies, however, levelled through Andrea Elkana early in the second period, before captain Eddie French swivelled to turn home after a goalmouth scramble on 114 minutes, despite a Pagham player clearing the ball from behind the line.

Loxwood boss Dave Cocoracchio said: “The character of my team to be 3-2 down at half-time in extra-time and come back to win against that sort of opposition was first class.”

Josh Irish put Pagham ahead before Tom Familton’s bullet header from a corner levelled things on 40 minutes.

After the break, the hosts eventually took the lead as half-time substitute Gary Pritchard side-footed home on 70 minutes after his initial shot hit the post.

Full story in this week’s paper.