VIDEO: Cup joy for Bosham... again
Bosham FC are cup winners for the second season in a row.
They beat champions AFC Vardndeanians 2-1 at Storrington to lift the Southern Combination League Division Two Cup - a year after beating Sidlesham 3-0 to claim the equivlanet trophy in the Sussex League a year ago.
Club stalwarts Marco Giambelardini and Nick Edgington got the goals as Bosham dug in to resist a late Varndeanians fightback as the Brighton side tried to salvage their hopes of the leage-cup double.
For Bosham it was a fitting, upbeat end to a long, hard season that saw them do well in the league but suffer from a fixture backlog that handed them 11 games to cram in during the final month.
See the scenes at the end of the game in our video, above
There was plenty at stake on a mild spring evening at Storrington’s ground just off the A283.
Bosham went into the game having scored 19 goals in their final three league games and they had some bright early moments, first when Edgington won a free-kick just outside the box down the right that was cleared for a corner, then when Graeme Dowden was challenged in the follow-up from the corner.
He went down in the box but the referee, Wayne Webb, quickly waved away his claims for a spot-kick.
Varndeanians then had a couple of dangerous moments, Charlie Young rattling the angle of post and bar and a right-sided cross needing a sliding intervention from Pat Bulbeck.
Bosham nearly took a freak lead in the ninth minute when keeper Connor Berwick misjudged a long free-kick floated into the box and ended up deflecting it over and only just wide for a Reds corner.
Tariq Richards was booked on 16 minutes for a heavy challenge in the centre-circle that left skipper Matt Docherty writhing in agony and needing treatment.
Matt Waterman had a golden chance to put the Brighton side into the lead on 20 minutes when he took a free-kick in a central position only a couple of yards from the area, but his effort was horribly high and wide.
The game had developed into quite an even affair with neither side particularly bossing things or able to hold on to possession for any length of time.
Ryan Hillier ought to have done better on the half-hour when he was played into space in the box and cut inside to give himself sight of the keeper but his shot was so wide it went out for a throw.
Callum Fewell was the first Bosham man booked for halting a Varndeanians break down their left.
Hillier was gifted a great chance when Berwick miskicked a backpass straight to him but he couldn’t control it and two defenders got back to scramble clear.
Dave Storey started to make his presence felt in the Bosham frontline and a couple of late tackles on their players had the Bosham camp complaining to the officials. Hillier got forward for a 25-yard drive at goal but it was always drifting wide.
When Varndeanians did get in behind the Robins defence, they found Kieran Magee in confident handling mood - although he did drop one free-kick only to speedily grasp it again as a striker lurked.
Right on the stroke of half-time, Giambelardini gave the Reds the lead - running on to a clever through-ball, taking a touch and flicking a shot past the advancing Berwick from 15 yards out. Within seconds of the restart, the whistle had gone for half-time.
It had been a heated first half and the second period began in the same vein when Varndeanians centre-half Jack Phillips was yellow-carded for a foul as Bosham made progress down the left.
Then another Varndeanians player, Leo Day, was booked after a flailing arm appeared to catch Hillier in the face in a tussle.
Berwick kept the score to 1-0 by clawing away a glancing header as a Bosham free-kick was played into a sea of bodies in the box.
Varndeanians were starting to have a little more of the play, but were struggling to create anything you could call a clear-cut chance - even a shot from 40 yards when Magee looked like he might be off his line was way off target.
A double change for Varndeanians was aimed at injecting new life into the Brighton team - but no sooner had their two fresh pairs of legs come on than Edgington doubled Bosham’s lead with a spectacular overhead effort from 20 yards that flew over the keeper and into the top corner after Hillier had worked an opening on the right.
Bosham were fortunate still to have their two-goal lead when Varndeanians went close twice within a minute soon after that Edgington strike. First Magee clawed away a Waterman shot bound for the top corner, then a defender hacked another goalbound effort off the line.
Waterman tried his luck again a minute later but his left-footed strike from long-range was always rising as Magee watched it on its way.
Edgington - later named man of the match - was booked for a tackle that left him worse off than the man he fouled on the Bosham right.
Jake Lafferty, on for Storey, chased one seemingly-lost cause and almost forced a corner.
With 16 minutes left, Varndeanians fired themselves back into the contest as Ellis Hull - who had been a threat down the left all half - got forward to run on to a square ball and send a low shot past Magee’s dive.
Varndeanians had an extra spring in their step after the goal and Jack Langford and Young both tried their luck, to no avail.
They had time for one penalty claim - more in hope than genuine belief it might be given, it seemed - and Bosham used up the nine added minutes sensibly to keep Varndeanians away from the goal.
Finally the whistle went and the cup was presented to the jubilant Reds team. Now their challenge will be to complete the cup treble next season.
Bosham: Magee, Probee, Bulbeck, Docherty, Fewell, Bell, Edgington, Hillier, Storey, Giambelardini, Dowden. Subs: Bryant, Sumnall, Lafferty, Blanshard, Redman.
AFC Varndeanians: Berwick, Bunch, Hull, Day, Pollard, Phillips, Shaker, Richards, Waterman, Langford, Young. Subs: R Gayler, Slowey, C Gayler, Tidey.
Ref: Wayne Webb
Report by STEVE BONE
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