Selsey slipped out of the RUR Cup in a home defeat to Langney - but Midhurst had success on the road.
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Selsey 0 Langney Wands 2
RUR Cup round two
Blues boss Steve Bailey predicted a tough test against Langney – and was proved right as the visitors progressed to the next round in a classic game of two halves.
Selsey welcomed back keeper Jordan Smith and Toby Lempriere and started with the wind at their backs.
There were injuries to two Langney defenders in the opening 20 minutes – but one of the replacements, Reece Shaw, would have a decisive effect later on.
After 32 minutes, good link-up play between Lindon Miller, Joe Clarke and Joe Manners saw Miller cross. Keeper Graham Leach parried it to Tom Groom, who shot straight at the only defender on the line and the ball was cleared for a corner.
Had James Kilhams and Jordan Lillywhite got more on headers in front of goal they would have put Selsey ahead.
Langney were content to slow the game down and it was obvious they wanted to go in at half-time without conceding. In fact, they should have scored when during a goalmouth scramble Howard Low cleared off the line for Selsey.
The visitors came out in the second half with more purpose. However, at times their enthusiasm got the better of them and they tried referee Kevin Dawson’s patience.
Five of their players found their names taken. Joe Manners was the only Selsey player to have his name taken.
The half was ten minutes old when the visitors got themselves in front. Good play down the righte saw the ball delivered to the far post where Shaw got in front of the defenders to nod home.
Three minutes later the same thing happened and again Shaw reacted first to put Langney 2-0 up.
Subs Ciaran McGreal, Matt Boulton and Cameron Corell were brought on by Selsey but the hosts tried to force things too much and found passes going out of play.
Langney’s Paul Rogers, in midfield, seemed in control of most things. Selsey kept going until the end but they could not trouble Leach.
Manager Bailey felt too many of his side had not managed to keep their performances at the levels of the previous few weeks.
He said: “We have a bunch of good-quality young players who will get better and better. We would be wrong to expect them to perform at the top level all the time and I will expect there to be one or two dips in form and performance from time to time.
“We may have to change the team around at times so we don’t put too much pressure on the younger players.”
St Francis Rangers 1 Midhurst 5
A comfortable win and progress to the next round of the RUR Cup was achieved by Midhurst.
The home side, following their relegation from the premier division, are in the early stages of rebuilding the club and could only muster 11 players for this game.
This was reflected in a totally dominant first-half performance from the visitors with four goals in a 14-minute spell.
Following some missed chances Midhurst took the lead with a goal on 23 minutes from Lewis Hamilton after good work from George Morris. Hamilton became provider on 30 minutes with a cross that Gary Norgate powerfully headed home.
Two minutes later Hamilton and Scott Dormer combined to set up Morris for the third, then on 37 minutes the same player took advantage of a defensive blunder to score his second and Midhurst’s fourth.
In the second half Midhurst took their foot off the gas and St Francis created two decent opportunities. The first came following a corner when a header was put over the bar and second when a cross from the left should have been converted at the far post.
Midhurst scored again on 80 minutes when, from Luke Sheldrick’s header, Oli Lee’s pace got him to the ball before the keeper and he powered home their fifth.
St Francis scored a consolation when from an innocuous free-kick, keeper Aaron Jeal, a virtual spectator most of the game, allowed the ball to bounce off his shins and Luis McAuliffe bundled home.
MIDHURST: Jeal, Hunt, May, Grantham, Casselton, Hamilton, Hyde (Martin 60), Morris (Sheldrick 60), Lee, Dormer, Norgate (Stevens 70).
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