Cup winners come from behind to clinch extra-time victory
The first of the East Sussex Football League’s 2018/19 cup finals took place on Tuesday night.
South Coast Athletico lifted the Wisdens Sports Challenge Cup at The Pilot Field, home of Hastings United.
Athletico came from 1-0 down at half time to win 3-1 after extra-time against fellow Division Three side Victoria Baptists.
See also: * Battle head to Liverpool for national cup semi-final* Bexhill United ace set to miss rest of season* Hollington United reach second final in a fortnight* Manchester United Legends coming to HastingsAs for Saturday’s action, Sidley United reached the ESFL Premier Travel Chauffeurs Challenge Cup final after coming from behind to win 2-1 away to Robertsbridge United.
Ben Hardy put Robertsbridge ahead in the 80th minute, but fellow Premier Division side Sidley recovered to win via strikes by Arron Scrace and Zack McEniry.
The top three in the Premier Division are again level on points and games played after Bexhill Town came from behind to triumph 2-1 at home to Rye Town.
After Rob Levett gave Rye an early lead, goals from Jay Edwards and Toby Clifford gave Bexhill a victory which moved them up to second.
Fourth-placed Sedlescombe Rangers won 3-1 away to Northiam 75 via the finishing of Harvey Monk, Philip Hatch and Kye Phillips.
Wadhurst United moved up to second in Division One following a 3-2 victory at home to Crowhurst.
Ryan Bateman (2) and Oliver Vidler scored for Wadhurst, who are 10 points behind leaders Punnetts Town with four games in hand. Aaron Jamieson and Jordan Turner netted for the Crows.
Icklesham Casuals dropped to third after drawing 1-1 away to fourth-placed The JC Tackleway. A Kale Williams goal for Tackleway was matched by David Pugh’s strike for Icklesham.
Hollington United II received a walkover away to Bexhill United II, who were unable to field a team.
Battle Baptists II suffered their first Division Two defeat of the season with a 2-0 loss away to Rock-a-Nore.
James Hale and Harry Cawkill scored for fourth-placed Rocks in a game which ended 10-a-side.
Rock-a-Nore are now just five points behind Battle having played two less matches and could yet sneak up on the rails in the title race.
Fifth-placed Hawkhurst United II drew 1-1 at home to third-placed Victoria Baptists in Division Three. Luke Williams netted for the Hawks and Joshua Macdonald for the Baptists.
In Division Four, second-bottom Sedlescombe Rangers III won 8-0 at home to rock-bottom Ticehurst in both teams’ final league fixture of the season.
Reece Mitchell (2), Ricky Lamb, Gary Underhill, Darrel Barsby, Ben Davidson, Dylan Harley and Thomas Ellis were the scorers.
Northiam 75 II nudged up a place to fourth following a 2-2 draw away to sixth-placed West Hill United, for whom Tyler Smith and Alex Southall were on target.
Jamie Bundy plundered a hat-trick as third-placed Welcroft Park Rangers prevailed 5-1 at home to fourth-placed Burwash in Division Five. Michael Green claimed the Burwash consolation.
Five matches were played in the ESFL Supplementary Cup Competition.
Division Five club Hooe won 2-0 at home to Division Four team Sovereign Saints II in group A thanks to strikes by Jay Swain and Grant Wright.
Division Five leaders AFC Hollington lost 3-1 away to Division Four high-flyers Cranbrook Town in group B.
Parkfield, from Division Four, won 4-1 away to Herstmonceux II, of Division Five, in group C.
In group D, Division One side Mountfield United prevailed 5-4 at home to Division Three outfit Orington, for whom Ashley Jamieson, Andy Swindles, James McGrath and Scott Quested found the net.
And Division Five high-flyers Little Common III won 2-0 at home to Battle Baptists III, of Division Four, via the finishing of Daniel Stovell Davies and Sam Slayford.
* THE first of this season’s Hastings & District FA cup finals will take place next Monday night.
East Sussex Football League Division Three champions Bexhill Rovers will take on Division One high-flyers Wadhurst United in the Junior Cup decider.
The other two finals will be held in the second half of next month. The Lower Divisions Cup decider, between Division Five title rivals Little Common III and AFC Hollington, is scheduled for Tuesday April 16.
And the Intermediate Cup final, involving Sedlescombe Rangers and Robertsbridge United, will be played on Tuesday April 23.
All three games will be held at The Pilot Field, home of Hastings United FC, and will kick-off at 7.30pm.
East Sussex League Division One team The JC Tackleway will face Rudgwick in the Sussex Bluefin Junior Challenge Cup final at Lancing FC on Tuesday night.