Youth football: Roffey U18s set up semi-final with Steyning

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Another cracking performance saw Roffey Under-18s beat Arundel 5-2 in the quarter-final of the U18 Challenge Cup, earning a semi-final clash with Steyning Town U18s.

Arundel took the lead against the run of play but Dan Whittick’s equaliser within a minute set a new club record, and Roffey pressure resulted in Connor Messinger giving them the half time lead from the penalty spot after an Arundel handball.

Arundel levelled from a free kick, but with the clock running down Roffey stepped it up a gear with a stunning 25 yard screamer from man of the match Alex Holmes, and two more fine finishes from Harrison Page wrapped up a great day’s work. The Roffey defence were excellent and captain Tom Barnes said: “Today we have shown everyone our quality and resilience.”

Loxwood Under-18s maintained their unbeaten start in the Sussex County Youth League when they welcomed Lancing to Plaistow Road on Sunday and were rewarded for a battling display with a 3-1 victory.

The first half saw the majority of play in the Lancing half, but only saw Tom Killner-Brown’s goal from an Ollie Clark corner as reward even though they hit the post and had several chances that should have been put away.

After a stern half time talk, Loxwood increased their lead through the ever impressive Stanley Rice. However, Lancing got back into the game before the hard working Harry Garman scored after a mazy run to see Loxwood comfortable winners. Substitute Luke Polie saw a long-range effort just go over the bar with the keeper beaten. Man of the match went to Tom Frankland, but Callum McHale, Alex Parsons and Nick Warmisley also had impressive games.

A fiery encounter between Horsham Sparrows U18s and Worthing Youth United U18s ended in a 1-1 stalemate. The game never really got going due to a vast number of stoppages.

Sparrows took the lead on the half hour mark through a lovely move resulting in Zac Chinn squaring for Dan Stutchbury to tap home.

Worthing then pushed on in the second half and won a penalty which they coolly tucked home to level the score.

However Sparrows could have snatched the win late on when Stutchbury’s long range free kick crashed against the post. A solid display was capped with relentless performances from keeper Michael Thomas and man of the match Stefan Miedzianowski.

Under-16: A magnificent four goals from Alex Moore eventually secured Horsham Youth Under-16s a quarter-final cup place in a topsy-turvy encounter with Predators Youth.

Horsham had to battle back from 4-2 down with 20 minutes to go to eventually run out 6-4 winners after extra-time with Moore’s goals eventually seeing off a spirited Predators side on a sunny Sunday morning on the south coast.

Visiting Horsham started slowly and Predators went ahead with a shot which beat goalkeeper Ben Legg after only six minutes. The young Hornets got back on level terms soon after when Rueben Selby teed up Moore to stab home, but despite further Horsham chances Predators retook the lead before half time.

Horsham were more positive in the second half, playing the game at a high tempo, and they levelled things up again when Harry Lee played in Callum Nash and he lashed the ball home from the angle for 2-2.

Parity lasted only a minute as a great long-range strike beat Legg, and a Predators penalty then put them 4-2 up with 20 minutes to go. Horsham pulled one back when Moore scored with a looping header from a Walser free kick, and after some further missed chances Will Kerr had a goal disallowed.

It seemed like it wasn’t to be Horsham’s day until, in injury time Nash’s shot was pushed onto the bar and following up Johnson headed home for 4-4.

Into extra-time and with the hosts beginning to tire Moore completed his hat-trick to put Horsham ahead for the first time and then headed in a fourth to dramatically send Horsham through to face Bosham Youth away in the quarters.

Lower Beeding Lions U16s maintained their 100 per cent league record with a 2-1 victory at Copthorne. Lions started quickly, soon creating chances, and it was Joe Wright who broke the deadlock, rounding the last defender in the area and finding the bottom corner with his left foot after good build up.

Lions kept up the pressure and were two up by half time, Andrew Roberts setting Aaron Pyzer through, his shot was parried by the Copthorne keeper and Liam Ruz was on hand to slot the ball home.

The second half saw Copthorne came out fighting, playing good football and deservedly drew one goal back, but in a stretched rest of the half there were no more goals. Alex Moore’s superb performance in the heart of the defence earned him man of the match.

Man of the match Joe Allen bagged himself a hat-trick as Horsham Crusaders U16s ran out 7–1 winners against Horsham Sparrows U16s. Both sides began with confidence and the deadlock was finally broken by a smart finish by Allen for his first. Connor Gulliver soon added a second and Crusaders began to relax and pass the ball around with confidence.

Ross Carter added a third before Allen bagged his second, but he kept the best for later. Connor Little made it 5-0 just before half time but Sparrows came out much stronger for the second half and pulled several smart saves from Ben Legg in the Crusaders goal before Rian Geoghegan got on the score sheet with a smart finish.

Allen completed his hat-trick with a phenomenal 25 yard volley, swivelling and smashing home with his weaker left foot. Sparrows never gave up and their attacking play was rewarded with a penalty late on which was duly converted for a consolation goal.

Under-15: An eight-goal thriller went Horsham Youth’s way as they edged past Rottingdean Village 5-3. Horsham were first to break the deadlock when Harry Bachelor beat several players in a fine run and unselfishly squared to Nick Bristow to score.

Rottingdean hit back immediately to level but from an indirect free kick Bachelor soon restored Horsham’s lead with a great strike. When Liam Clarke was fouled in the area Louis Lewis lashed the penalty low into the net for a 3-1 lead at half time.

Rottingdean came out for the second half with purpose and pulled a goal back, but after some near misses Lewis restored the two goal cushion with a screamer of a free kick. A resilient Rottingdean refused to lie down and again pulled one back, but a nervy finish was avoided with another smashing Bachelor free kick to make it 5-3 and put Horsham into round three.

A determined performance saw Horsham Sparrows Girls U15s take a point with a 0-0 draw against Brighton at the weekend. Two weeks ago, Brighton knocked Sparrows out of the cup 5-1 so to come back from that is a great achievement.

On another day, Sparrows would have gone in at half time 3–0 up, but that is football. It was a pleasing performance that was full of commitment and effort. The team never stopping battling and pushed forward until the final whistle, though a goal was not to come. Captain Amber Sherwood said: “Brighton had the rub of the green . We should have taken all three points today.”

Under-13: Horsham Sparrows secured a well-deserved victory at Maidenbower. Despite goals from Joel Chinn and Will Evans they were 3-2 behind at the break but their superior passing play saw goals from Jacob Tomlin, David Healy and Charlie Stack as Sparrows finish the game 5-3 winners

Under-12: Chesworth Rovers Under-12s consolidated their status as league leaders with a convincing display in a 6-1 win over Roffey Robins United.

Chesworth dominated the first half and led 2-1 after some resolute Roffey defending, but as the visitors pressed in the second half, Chesworth scored another four with quick and effective counter-attacking involving the whole team at one time or another. Elliott Bennett scored one in each half, with Tim Bennett, Benjy Colllins and Jack Frankland completing the scoring.