Winners! Midhurst lift SCFL Shield... and now want league success
Midhurst & Easebourne FC have lifted the SCFL Division 1 Supplementary Shield - beating Billingshurst 5-3 on penalties in front of a large crowd at Broadbridge Heath.
The opening 30 minutes was a fiery affair with the Stags picking up three yellow cards and Billinghurst two. Both benches had a member of management team dismissed.
Billinghurst did get into some good attacking areas but failed to really hurt the Stags with some poor quality in the attacking third. Jayobi Maher spotted Stags keeper Josh Bird off his line and his long distance shot went just wide in the 26th minute.
Liam Dreckmann had a free kick that went just over for the Stags. The best chances of the first half fell to the Stags with Lewis Hyde putting Marcus Bedford through on the left his pull back to Jake Slater was saved by James Stallan in the Billinghurst goal.
Minutes before the half-time whistle Lewis Hamilton’s corner was headed wide by Hyde, who had a few header from six yards.
Both keepers made good saves at start of second half with Bird tipping over from Maher. Stallan then saved from Bedford. The deadlock was broken in the 61st minute when Stags backline failed to deal with a long ball, Archie Goddard broke free and his shot took a deflection off Harry Farr as he attempted to stop the forward and his shot looped over Bird in the Stags goal.
Ricardo Fernandez was dismissed in the 80th minute for picking up a second booking, and from the resulting free kick the loose ball fell to Harry Giles who played a good ball into the box and Robbie Tambling headed home giving Stallan no chance. Stags were on the front foot and Giles had a shot from distance that flew just over.
Bird made a smart save in the closing minutes as the tie headed to penalties. Bedford, Page, Cooper and Carter all scored their penalties. Maher fired over for Billinghurst. leaving Chris Wyatt to take Stags' last penalty and he smashed it past Stallan into the bottom corner to spark great scenes for the Stags players and supporters.
Stags assistant manager Dan Trussler said: "We’ve been so unlucky with promotion over the last two years and a cup win was the least the club deserved. With the players we're adding next year, and if we can keep the tight knit squad from this season, I fancy us to challenge for the league next season.
"I'd like to thank the growing support we’ve had this year - the numbers seem to go up every week and as a Midhurst man I’m over the moon for everybody involved with the football club. I’m looking forward to working with Lemmy (manager Andy Ewen) again and achieving more success for the club."