10-man Bexhill spring cup surprise

Bexhill United match-winner Jamie Morgan (right) goes up for a header during the FA Vase tie against Rochester United on Saturday
Bexhill United match-winner Jamie Morgan (right) goes up for a header during the FA Vase tie against Rochester United on Saturday

Bexhill United’s footballers came from behind to defeat higher grade opposition despite finishing the match with 10 men.

A brace of goals from Jamie Morgan in the closing half-an-hour gave Bexhill a very good 2-1 win at home to Hassocks in round one of the Sussex Senior Cup last night (Tuesday).

With the games continuing to come thick and fast, Bexhill manager Marc Munday opted to rotate his squad. Joe Turner, Damien White, Nathan Tudor, Linton Rogers, Morgan and Kevin Barden all came in to the starting line-up, while George and Jack Aston, Scott McDonald and Anthony Cooper were among the substitutes.

Macron Store Sussex County Football League Division One outfit Hassocks had the bulk of the play without causing too many problems until taking a 30th minute lead. Turner couldn’t hold Aaron Czech’s cross from the right and Nathan Miles drove home the loose ball.

Czech then missed a great chance to double the visitors’ lead, shooting just wide with only Turner to beat having been put through by Miles. Munday made an important block from Jake Booth’s goalbound shot and Phil Johnson wasn’t far away with an effort from distance.

After the break, Johnson shot just wide after chesting down a right wing cross, Booth couldn’t hit the target when well-placed and Mark Price headed wide of the far post from Czech’s centre.

Barden fired over from outside the box and was then unable to keep his finish down from McDonald’s cross before Division Two side Bexhill levelled in the 67th minute. Chris Cumming-Bart put Morgan through on goal and he rounded goalkeeper Sam Brock before rolling the ball home.

Czech had the ball in Bexhill’s net a couple of minutes later only to be flagged offside. Munday picked up his second yellow card in the 73rd minute for a firm challenge on Miles and became the fifth Bexhill player to be sent-off this season.

Despite Bexhill’s numerical disadvantage, Barden and McDonald forced Brock into two decent saves with his legs in a matter of seconds, both following good balls by Tudor.

Bexhill then grabbed a winner in the 81st minute. The pacy Morgan raced on to a long ball over the top and poked past a hesistant Brock as he came out for his third goal in two games.

Morgan could well have made it a hat-trick just a couple of minutes later, but this time was denied by Brock having been played in by McDonald. Although Josh Elliott-Noye made an excellent block from a Miles shot, Bexhill saw the game out with few alarms.

Bexhill: Turner, White (G. Aston), Ottley, Elliott-Noye, Munday, Tudor, McMinigal (J. Aston), Cumming-Bart, Rogers (McDonald), Morgan, Barden. Subs not used: Cooper, Clifford.