It’s that time of year again (well perhaps a month late) where we welcome our friends from Upper Beeding to contest the John Brown Trophy and for them to try and wrestle it away from our hands for the year.
On a strange old evening, when we should be well into our league campaign and with storm Laura trying her best to make it feel like October rather than August, we also welcomed 30% of fans to watch what always is competitive match.
Town have been busy with recruitment this pre-season, with 12 new faces joining the majority of last seasons squad and we got to see 6 of those new recruits on Tuesday evening. So, with this being the last game of a mixed pre-season (results wise) it was good to see the new faces in action and how well they have fitted into the club.
The first half saw Town kick off with the wind behind them and for the first 20 minutes completely dominated the play with new faces Tom Bold and Louis Coulsden linking up well and the energy of u18 Ben Spano causing the visitors problems. It was Towns new striker who got us off the mark on the 23rd minute when a neat move down the right found Gathern in the middle who slid in an unmarked Coulsden who coolly slotted home past the visiting keeper.
Breaking the deadlock seem to give Town an extra spring in there step and started to pass the ball with ease which enabled Coulsden, Cousins and other new face Harry Heath to all come close to doubling the lead. The reduced crowd didn’t have to wait much longer though as on the 36th minute Town won a corner down on the right with Bold drilling the ball into the box to find a “salmon like” Matt Boiling to power a header past the despairing keeper to put Town into a 2-0 lead and seemly in cruise control.
However, on the 42th minute the referee decided to get in on the action and produced a sin bin yellow card for new boy Bold which seem to boost the visitors who played a peach of a long ball over the full back which found its way to an old Town No 9, Kris Harding who somehow managed to hook the ball across the box to find other ex Town player Ben Ward who smashed home from 5 yards.
The second half seemed to start as the first finished with Town on top and it was the newly introduced Romain who really should of increased the lead with good work down the left from Heath who found Big Charlie unmarked but he couldn’t sort out his feet quick enough and screwed his shot wide. Town made a few more changes with Ollie Young & Matt Hards coming on but that seem to knock Town out of there stride and the game started to get a little scrappy with a few missed placed passes and missed chances at both ends, it looked like the game would fizzle out a bit like this summer but up step the referee. On the 83rd minute a corner from the visitors seemed to cause a goal mouth scramble with Town captain Gathern clearing to ball only to be caught with a late tackle but somehow seemed to be judge a fair challenge by the officials and when questioned out came that sin bin yellow card again. It was then the proverbial “kitchen sink” came from a Beeding side that was finishing strongly and it was 3 minutes later that we all witnessed what you could call a 40 yard “thunderbolt” from the young midfielder to even up the score-line and send us to a penalty shoot-out.
Steyning won the toss and started the reoccurring shoot-out and it was Bold who smash Town into a 1-0 lead, that was cancelled out by Beeding and then it was Josh Maher who calmly stroked home to gain the lead again. The visitors equalised again it was then Hards who took the lead again and a fine save from ex Town striker Harding from our new man between the sticks this season, Sam Marsden who give the home fans a that feeling of “it’s coming home” but misses from young Toby and new boy George handed the advantage to Upper Beeding who duly took their chance and with it the JB Cup back over the Arun.
Final Score 5-6
Forgetting the result, these evenings are a tribute to the tireless and unbelievable work that John Brown puts into our club and at the ripe old age of 83 we can’t thank him enough for his commitment over the years and we hope he enjoyed the annual battle with now our new tenants. Thanks you to those fans who were there on the night and thank you for your support during these strange times and we hope to see you back at the Birchwood ground soon.
Next fixture: 1st sept, FA Cup Ex Prem Round, away vs K Sports
Next Home Fixture: 8th Sept, League, home vs Saltdean