Roffey shock neighbours Broadbridge Heath in Senior Cup thriller

A local derby in Sussex’s premier cup competition was likely to be a lively affair and so it proved.

Thursday, 28th October 2021, 9:55 am
Updated Thursday, 28th October 2021, 9:56 am
Roffey celebrate netting against Broadbridge Heath in their thrilling Sussex Senior Cup encounter

A large crowd witnessed 120 minutes of football, five goals, two red cards and three penalties - one of which was saved - as Roffey won 3-2 at division-above Broadbridge Heath in the Sussex Senior Cup first round on Tuesday evening.

Roffey started well and inside the first couple of minutes had a penalty after a clumsy challenge on Josh Neathey, who converted the penalty.

Heath took a while to get into their stride but started to push the visitors back with their quick passing game.

But the Bears' equaliser came from a long ball finding Jamie Taylor, who finished with aplomb into the bottom corner.

Roffey keeper Alfie Hadfield had to save with his feet from Charlie Parmiter and then tipped a fierce shot over the bar.

Towards the end of the half, having weathered the storm, Roffey started to move the ball quickly and put pressure on the home rear guard.

Devon Fender had a shot blocked and Bears stopper Dan Laws somehow managed to keep Neathey’s free kick out of the top corner.

The second half started as dramatically as the first. Fender was upended in the box and, again, Neathey obliged from the spot, this time finding the opposite corner.

The game was end to end, but it was Heath who scored next to make it 2-2.

Hadfield had to dive down to his right to keep out a shot from the edge of the box and Laws had to do the same at the other end.

Then, with the game in the last minute. Callum Jardim broke out of defence and put a slide rule pass through to Neathey. The forward took a nudge from the chasing defender and could only find the onrushing Laws with his shot.

The ball went straight up the other end and a Heath striker blazed over from inside the box just as Hayden Neathey put in a challenge.

The referee pointed to the spot and it looked like it was going to be a case of nearly for the SCFL Division One side.

But Hadfield, playing against the team he started the season with, had other ideas and made a brilliant save. The final whistle went almost immediately.

If Roffey took the lead five minutes into the first half of extra time. The ball was whipped into the area and Jamie Wanstall reacted quickest to head his side back into the lead.

Heath now needed a goal, and Roffey set up to see the game out whilst still looking dangerous on the break.

Hayden Neathey made up for the penalty with some great tackling and a tremendous block on the six-yard line.

Roffey were mainly keeping Heath at arms length but still offered a threat through Fender, Tiago Andrade and Dan Pearse, who burst through but shot just over the far corner.

On the stroke of half-time in extra time, Harry Law mistimed a challenge on Kyle Sim and was shown a second yellow card.

With 15 minutes to go, boss Andy Lampard brought on Chris Neatherway and Jake Relleen to give fresh legs to ten-man Roffey.

Roffey won a corner which was taken short to Andrade who then managed to hold off three defenders before winning another corner.

He repeated the trick, clearly frustrating the home defenders, before the Bears' Mark Zydonik was sent off.

Heath threw everything at Roffey in the last couple of minutes but could find no way past Hadfield, Jardim, ex-Heath player Jamie Robinson, 19-year-old Neathey and the experienced Ross Swaine.

The final whistle signified the progress Roffey are making on and off the pitch.

To beat an accomplished Premier side on their own turf was a great performance, and Lampard will be hoping to continue this form in the league.