Loxwood eased into the first round proper round of the FA Vase this afternoon with a 5-2 victory over ten-man Steyning Town.
The turning point in the game was a straight red card to Town goalkeeper Aaron Jeal seven minutes into the second half after he hauled down Dean Wright, who stole the ball off the stopper after a terrible back pass.
Sixteen-year-old Ollie Gill converted the resulting stonewall spot-kick past Jamie Hollis, who came off the bench to don the gloves for the visitors, to put the Magpies 3-1 ahead.
Loxwood were already in the ascendency at that point having taken the lead three minutes earlier when Michael Woods latched onto a teasing Shaun Findlay cross.
That was after a tame first half where Steyning’s Matt Dodd levelled things up on the half-hour mark after Wright’s 22nd-minute goal had given the hosts the lead.
The Magpies threatened to run riot with the extra-man advantage with a series of fine passing moves, but Town had some Hollis heroics to be thankful for.
Lewis Holvey did add a fourth on 66 minutes with a screaming shot into the nearside top corner, while 17-year-old Mitchell Casselman hit what was the pick of the bunch with 11 minutes left.
He picked a lofted pass out the air, switched the ball onto his right foot and curled home into the far top corner from outside the area with Hollis helpless.
Division-lower Town rallied in the closing stages and pulled a late goal back with virtually the last kick of the game as Jack Boxall latched onto the loose ball after a free kick.
The win sees Loxwood pocket £800 prize money and go into Monday’s draw. Local rivals Broadbridge Heath were not quite so fortunate as they went down 2-1 away to Hassocks.
Loxwood: Smith, Holvey (Elkana 78), Familton, French, Hoyte, Woods (Pritchard 69), Scally (Casselman 62), Gill, Swaine, Findlay, Wright. Unused subs: Martin.
Steyning: Jeal, Hare, Kennett, Parsons, Pickup (Hollis 52), Early (Kilner-Brown 64), Boxall, Dodd (Smith 62), Harding, Towse, Levoi. Unused sub: Finch.
Full report and reaction from both managers in Thursday’s West Sussex County Times.
Other FA Vase results: Bexhill United 2, Rochester United 6; Colliers Wood United 2, Shoreham 1; Hailsham Town 3, Dorking Wanderers 2; Pagham 5, Worthing United 2; Phoenix Sports 1, Lancing 0; Ringmer 3, St Francis Rangers 2; Seaford Town 0, Fisher 4; Southwick 0, Lordswood 3; Wick & Barnham United 3, Arundel 3.