Sidlesham and Bosham got the better of Nyetimber Pirates and AFC Varndeanians reserves respectively to reach the final four of the Sussex Intermediate Cup.
Read how they did it in the quarter-finals reports below.
Sidlesham 3 Nyetimber Pirates 2
Sidlesham just got the better of Nyetimber Pirates to progress to the Intermediate Cup semi-finals – but the West Sussex League leaders gave their SCFL division-one hosts a scare.
Pirates hadn’t tasted defeat in 21 games and had a number of ex-county league players but they still went into the game as underdogs were without Phil Turner, Andy Cox, Del Chester, Rob Linkhorn and manager Ted Griffin.
Stand-in boss Charlie Welling brought Mike Hamm, Sam Pasterfield and Scott Towers all back in the starting line-up.
Sidlesham had a number of regulars missing through suspension and cup ties.
The first chance fell to the home side as Matt Roberts just failed to get a touch on Callum Dowdell’s free-kick which flashed across the goal and to safety.
The home side took the lead following a long kick from goalkeeper Connor Kelly which caught out the away side and with Tom Bayley competing with the Pirates’ centre-halves, the ball fell to Dowdell, who raced on to the free ball and slotted past keeper Warren Pye with confidence.
Tom Jefkins had the chance to extend their lead when put through by Bayley but the keeper made a great one-on-one save.
The away side slowly got themselves into the game but the Sids defensive pairing of Roberts and Joe Leggatt - voted the home side’s men of the match - made life difficult for the Pirates frontline of Karl Westbrook, Sean Towers and Michael Frangou, who struggled to create many clear-cut chances
The Sids’ second came when a ball found Bayley in the box and he twisted and turned his defender and dispatched his shot wide of the keeper just before the break.
The second half was a different story with the wind in the home side’s faces and the Looters pushing on. With rain beginning to fall, the game became scrappy and with free-kicks being giving, the flow of the game suffered.
The hosts had chances to kill the game off. Bayley missed the first when put through by Jefkins, the keeper making another outstanding stop.
Next Jefkins was in and Pye made another good save, but the home side did get their third when Dowdell volleyed home after Ricardo Faux James sent Jefkins away down the right and his cross was perfect for Dowdell.
The Looters never gave up and brought on James Fallick and Anders Wyatt and switched to three at the back.
They threw everything they had at Sids and when the referee awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box Pirates captain Frangou fired home to pull a goal back to give them a lift going into the last ten minutes.
The home side had to reshuffle as Harrison Birmingham, who had a fine game at the back, and industrious Kelly came off.
Within minutes it was 3-2 when Danny Towers caught Sidlesham cold with a quick free-kick into an empty net.
This caused a nervy final few minutes for the home side, with the Pirates pushing for the equaliser.
Nyetimber almost levelled in the dying seconds when a close-range effort was cleared off the line.
Sidlesham await news of their semi-final opponents but this Saturday visit Rottingdean in the league (2pm).
The Pirates are back in WSFL league action too – they take on Predators at Pirate Park.
Sids: Kelly, Colbourne, Birmingham, Robinson, Leggatt, Roberts, Phillips, Kelly, Bayley, Jefkins, Dowdell. Subs: Bassil, Litterick, faux James.
Pirates: Pye, Pasterfield, Williamson, D Towers, Horn, Hamm, Haga Hammond, Urquart, S Towers, ,Frangou, Westbrook.
Subs: Wyatt, Fallick, Angell.
Bosham 5 AFC Vardinians Reserves 1
Bosham regrouped following their first defeat of the season last time out to surge into the Intermediate Cup semi-finals for the first time in seven years and move a step closer to winning the one trophy the club has never won.
With the pitch looking heavy and testing, the hosts seemed to settle quickest. Ten minutes in Graeme Dowden got through on goal but Vardeanians keeper Ricardo Mendonca made a superb save to deny him.
Louis Bell marked his return to the side following injury by getting the hosts off to the perfect start, netting his 13th of the campaign on 18 minutes.
Graeme Dowden scored his fifth in five in doubling Bosham’s advantage just seven minutes later before Alex Barnes notched a third to put the Reds in a commanding position going into the half-time interval.
Jack Warde and Tom Chambers both looked dangerous for the visitors but nothing seemed to go their way.
The yellow and greens weren’t done and before the interval Huseyin Sayan let fly only to smack the post with keeper Kieran Magee well beaten.
After the break there was a feeling the next goal would be key and it was Vardeanians who got it with just over half an hour left.
Eddie Lyne took advantage of a sloppy moment at the back and fired home at the back post.
Bosham brought on subs Ryan Coombes and Ricky Mullen to install fresh running into the side and it seemed to work as the Reds took the sting out of the game and frustrations started to boil over for the visitors as several players found their way into the referee’s notebook.
Bosham put the icing on the cake with two more goals to seal their place in the semi-finals, both in injury time.
Top scorer Marco Giambelardini slotted home a penalty, his 29th goal of the campaign, after a needless trip in the box; then, a minute later, a cross from Pat Bulbeck was diverted into his own net by the unfortunate Richard Parrett.
Bosham will face Roffey or Newtown Villa in the semis – their match was postponed.
Bosham: Magee, Bulbeck, Colinese, Fewell, Dowden, Wilson, Bell, Barnes, Giambelardini, Miles, Probee. Subs: Redman, Coombes, Mullen.
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