FOOTBALL: Thrilling fundraising match between Sussex and Brighton & Hove Albion04-Oct-2012
A Sussex CCC XI, made up of current and former players and staff, were edged out by the odd goal in seven lastnight as their match with a Brighton & Hove Albion XI finished 4-3 in a thrilling affair.
The match was being played as part of a fundraising initiative between the two clubs, which will see an Albion side take on Sussex in a t20 match next summer.
With the game played in rainswept conditions at Saltdean United’s Hill Park Ground, it was Sussex who impressed in the early exchanges and almost shocked their hosts by taking an early lead through a diving header from Michael Thornely.
Ollie Rayner also had the chance to break the deadlock as he missed a one-on-one chance with the Brighton custodian, but the Albion made their half-time oranges taste sweeter as Bradley Hatchett put them a goal to the good with four minutes left until the break.
A rejuvenated Sussex side were back in the game straight after the interval and a Tom Smith corner resulted in an own goal to level the scores.
This seemed to give the Seagulls the boost they needed to get back in the game and despite the best efforts of Paul Gunn between the sticks, who had replaced James Potten at half-time, Brighton scored three goals without reply to seemingly put the game out of Sussex’s reach, as the benefit of ex-professionals Paul Rogers and Kerry Mayo bossing the midfield began to tell.
But it was still more evenly matched than the scoreline suggested and Michael Gould’s crossed for Ben Brown to put Sussex back in the game despite calls for offside from the hosts. And when the lively Gould finished in the top corner with a sweeping move a comeback was on the cards, but the Albion defence stood strong to shut the visitors out for the last few minutes which included a late chance from Matt Machan.
Despite the rain a good night was had by all players and spectators and both SCCC and B&HAFC would like to thank the supporters who made the effort and a big thank you to the Albion for putting the match on. It is hoped that both a football and cricket match between the two Clubs will become an annual occurrence.
Image: Sussex CCC line-up for the cameras. Back row from L-R: Steve Feazey, Matt Wood, Jordan Rollings, Ollie Rayner, Michael Gould, Paul Gunn, Michael Thornely, Tom Smith, Will Beer. Front: Grant Wheatley, Dave Wade, Gary Wallis-Tayler, James Potten, Matt Machan, Ben Brown, Adam Matthews.
Brighton and Hove Albion were: Paul Rogers, Kerry Mayo, Charlie Miles, Stuart Christie, Nathan Bowen, James Edmonds, Marcus Khan, Dan Rogan, Alan Davis, Brad Hatchett, Carl Southwell, Lee Ransom, Jamie Bray