Miserable journey home after late cup exit
FA County Youth Cup Round Two Sussex U18 1 Huntingdonshire U18 0 THE long trip to the South Coast ended in heartbreak for the Hunts U18 squad as they were beaten by a single goal just three minutes before the end of a disappointing match. Neither side man
FA County Youth Cup Round Two
Sussex U18 1
Huntingdonshire U18 0
THE long trip to the South Coast ended in heartbreak for the Hunts U18 squad as they were beaten by a single goal just three minutes before the end of a disappointing match.
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Neither side managed to dominate with the hosts enjoying the better of possession, but never looking like breaking down the Hunts defence, in which skipper Andrew Ging was outstanding.
Goalkeeper Carl Mackney made a couple of good saves but was never really extended and the match seemed destined for extra-time and penalties when Sussex snatched their winning goal.
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The Hunts attack was rather ineffective and although Ash Smith and Adam Berrill could not be faulted for effort, they lacked the physical support from midfield that could have made all the difference.
The only consolation is that on the evidence of this match neither side looked likely to progress much further in the competition.
In the first half-hour, Mackney was almost a spectator as the home side failed to produce a worthwhile shot, while Huntingdonshire did create a couple of good chances. Adam Berrill sent a shot from 25 yards just the wrong side of a post with home keeper Jack Adams beaten, and then Tom Mills, up for a Tom Coles free-kick, could only direct a header wide of the target.
With the wind behind them, Hunts also had shots from distance by Tim Runnegar and Adam Berrill well saved by Adams.
Sussex did improve towards half-time and the lively James Monk twice shot across the face of goal with no one able to apply a finishing touch. Mackney then did well to save from Mickey Demetriou and produce a point-blank stop to deny Andrew Wilkinson.
The home side clearly decided to shoot on sight after the break with the wind in their favour and Mackney was now more in action.
The goalkeeper saved well from Daniel Hutchings and Matt Ford while, at the other end, Hutchings was well placed to clear off the line from Ash Smith in a Hunts counter-attack.
On the hour, Hunts were unlucky not to go in front when Berrill cleverly anticipated a back pass by Dan Sackman to win the ball in a race with Adams but his shot rebounded from the goalkeeper's legs and was cleared.
There followed a procession of substitutions by both sides as they tried to take the initiative but neither succeeded and extra time looked inevitable. Then, after 87 minutes, the match was won by a brilliant solo run by Andrew Wilkinson.
He picked up the ball in his own half and drifted past three visiting defenders before unselfishly setting up Jack Walder, whose angled shot beat Mackney to deflect in off the far post.
Hunts tried hard to respond but it could have been worse for they were caught short at the back and Terry Dodd's last-minute shot rebounded from the woodwork.