Last night saw our penultimate Pre-Season match end in a dramatic penalty shootout with us winning our first trophy of the season!

It was the annual John Brown Trophy match against our neighbour’s Upper Beeding FC that never fails to disappoint. Like last season’s match, it kept a 100+ crowd entertained despite the change in the weather (the type of fine rain that gets you wet!!)

Steyning looked the stronger team in the first half with Ben Hands hitting the post and cross bar, Grant Radmore coming close and Liam Benson also making the opposition keeper pull off a wonderful save at close range. On 35 minutes, after a few efforts that were close to troubling the Upper Beeding FC goal, Zach Haulkham finally got his “eye in” and struck a sweet shot from 30 yards which left the Upper Beeding FC keeper with no chance and Steyning were 1 up.

The second half saw changes for both sides and Upper Beeding FC started to move the ball better and on 68 minutes a good piece of play down the right wing ended with a cross-come-shot that eluded JJ in the Steyning Town CFC goal to draw the sides level.

Both sides started to push for the win and created chances but at the sound of the referee’s whistle the John Brown Trophy would be decided by penalties (much to the delight of the crowd)

Steyning were confident going into the shootout with a string of victories in the FA Vase and Peter Bentley Cup last season but were the first to have a spot kick saved. Upper Beeding FC had a chance to win it with the next spot-kick but blazed it over the bar to bring the scores level after 5 takers… so in the sudden death we go. As the next 3 remaining players scored it was Steyning Town CFC who then missed first, giving Upper Beeding FC the upper hand but cruelly they hit the post, so the drama continued until the final 2 players from the starting 11 were left. Alex Gathern calmly stroked home his penalty and JJ saved the Upper Beeding penalty to bring the John Brown Trophy back home for another season.

Credit to Upper Beeding FC for an exciting and competitive game and good luck from all at Steyning Town Community Football Club for the coming season.

Although it’s nice to get the first piece of silverware of the season, the evening was about paying tribute to John Brown who tirelessly works at the club trying to improve the facilities so that we can provide a safe and quality environment for local players of all ages to enjoy their football. We would also like to congratulate Dave Rowland for being honoured recently for his commitment to Upper Beeding FC! Without these two guys neither of the clubs would be where they are today