Birchwood Ford Challenge Cup
Battle Baptists 2 v Ore Athletic 2 (AET)
(Battle Baptists won 3-2 on pens.)
Battle Baptists booked their place in the semi finals of the Birchwood Ford Cup with a hard fought win on a glue pot of a pitch which sapped the strength of many of the players over 120 mins. Ore turned up for the game with a heavily patched up side but had the better of the early exchanges and took the lead on the 30th minute when a good passing moment presented Grant Cornelius with a chance to open the scoring. One nil at half-time and the makeshift Ore side was doing well, although the Ore Management knew that the second half was likely to be more difficult against a big Battle side who looked to have the edge in the fitness stakes.
The game turned on the 50th minute when Sam Hills making a rare appearance for Ore was shown a straight red for kicking out at a Battle player, and this was the cue for Battle to swarm forward in search of an equalizer which was soon in coming. Battle knew the game was theirs for the taking and it was only a matter of time before they would take the lead, which they did half way through the half. A clash with the Ore keeper, which led to the game being delayed for several minutes led to a Battle player being shown a second yellow. It was now Battle's turn to frantically defend a slender lead and they were unable to do this as once again Grant Cornelius popped up with another goal to take the game into extra time.
As if often the case the 30 minutes passed without much of note happening and the penalty shoot out was upon us, Ore then went into England mode and proceeded to have one penalty saved by the keeper, hit the bar and post with two others and despite Harry Cawkill saving one of the Battle penalties they were out.
The Ore Management whilst being pleased with the efforts of the players in getting the game to penalties will know once again that they have been let down by several players who failed to make themselves available for the game or couldn't be bothered to show up,This issue has to be addressed and a big clear out of players at the end of the season is a definite.
Battle deserved to win a well refereed game at the end of the day, and can now look forward to a semi final against Iden who overcame the runaway leaders of the division, Social 2-1. In the other half Rocks won 2-1 at Ninfield, and the Sedlescombe v Hollington game didn't take place.