Chopbacks show no mercy after being stripped of challenge cup semi-final victory

East Sussex Football League Div 4

South Coast Athletico 9

Burwash F.C 0

Looking to put a disappointing week behind them, The Chopbacks welcomed Burwash to the academy ground hoping to finish their season strong.

The game almost never took place as Burwash arrived wearing their home strip of red shirts, black shorts and socks to match South Coast’s kit of red and black shirts, black shorts and black socks. After finding some lovely orange bibs the game was allowed to go ahead.

Within two minutes of kick-off the Chopbacks had found the back of the net as a cross looped into the box for Wayne March to poke it in and open the scoring, the confidence looked to visibly drain from the Burwash players as they went behind so early in the game.

Within five minutes the Chopbacks had the ball in the back of the net again as a glancing header from Luke Darvill trickled along the floor to beat the scrambling keeper into the corner for 2-0.

The midfield trio of Harry Jackson, Brad Owens and Mike Hawley grabbed hold of the game and the technical midfield began to pull the strings creating numerous chances before Connor Easton rose at the far post to header in from a Owens’ cross whipped in from out wide for 3-0 and more than likely the game.

Five minutes before half-time Easton got his name on the scoresheet again as he continues his quest to finish top of the goal scoring charts. A through ball allowed Easton to out muscle the defender before spinning and slotting the ball through the ‘keeper for goal number four for the day.

Just before Half-time, Darvill popped up and bagged his second of the day to finish the game as a contest and send the chopbacks in at half time five goals to the good.

As the second half got underway, The Chopback defence showed the sort of football the team have been striving to play all season as they passed and moved the ball around the Burwash attack and midfield, drawing the defence out and launching the team forward for Easton‘s hat trick putting him back on top of the goal scoring charts making it 6-0.

Changes were made with Hawley and Darvill making way for Ryan Fuller and Jack Bloomfield.

Just after the hour mark Owens made it 7-0 with a cool finish before impact sub Fuller weaved his way through the defence to slot the ball past the keeper for goal number 8 and then a minute later Ryan Wright rounded off the scoring to make it 9-0.

The Chopbacks pressed for number ten but there were some outstanding saves from the Burwash ‘keeper.

A 9-0 win, is the biggest league win of the season and a great response from the players after a disappointing week.

It’s Orington and Bexhill Broncos to finish the season and a huge say still to be had in the final resting spots of the promotion chasers.

Man of the Match: Connor Smith

Before Saturday’s match South Coast issued a statement admitting the team management’s responsibility for an oversight that saw them stripped of the win  they scored in last weekend’s Coopers Construction Challenge Cup Final.

The statement read: “South Coast Athletico unreservedly apologise for an administrative error within the club that has seen us disqualified from the Coopers Construction Challenge Cup final.

“After the clubs 5-1 win over Hampden Park in the semi-final last weekend it became clear that four of our players were not actually eligible to have played the challenge cup match. On Friday the club was notified that it had been disqualified from the competition and fined. The rules state that in a semi-final match those playing must have played a minimum of five previous games for their club.

“The ineligible players were: Ryan Wright, Harry Jackson, Mike Hawley and Bradley Owens, all of whom signed for the club at the beginning of the calendar year but didn’t play enough games to be eligible to appear in our Semi Final match.

“We are devastated and we acknowledge the fault was entirely ours. We are a relatively new team and we simply didn’t fully appreciate the finer detail of the rules for this competition. Matters have been further complicated by recent poor weather which has seen matches postponed and rearranged, we simply weren’t fully on top of our administration and we will ensure that never happens again.

“This is a huge blow to the players, our growing band of supporters – indeed for everyone involved with the club. We offer the East Sussex Football League and the other teams in the league our sincerest apologies for this major oversight on our part. All we can do is to assure the teams we compete against that we will pay greater attention to the detail of the rulebook in future.”

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