BY ANTHONY SCOTT
Shoreham: Shaw, Eastman, Clayman, B. Bowra,
Jordan © (Jones 71), Davis, Benn, Pulling, Melia (Callaghan 45), Green, Howell.
Subs Not Used: F.
Bowra, Burt, Cox.
Peacehaven: Adams, Hall ©, Hill, Jones, Gunn
(Burton 71), Swetman, O’Toole, Dunk, Bunch (Millis 71), Tate, Dryer (Rees 77).
Subs Not Used: Mayo,
Shaun Saunders felt his side should have produced a better
performance as he watched his Peacehaven outfit make it through to the John
O’Hara League Cup Final after a 4-2 win over Shoreham at The Caburn, Ringmer
Wes Tate fired Peacehaven ahead early in the first half, before a
frantic eight second half minutes saw five goals scored. Firstly, Carl Dunk
doubled the Tye’s lead, before Dan Jordan’s own goal made it 3-0 with 68 minutes
However, Mark Pulling then pulled a goal back before firing home
from the spot to make it 3-2 and give the Musselmen belief of staging a
comeback. However, the belief was short lived as with 15 minutes to go Rob
O’Toole tapped in from close range to seal the win.
Peacehaven manager Saunders said: “I am delighted with the result.
It gives us a cup final and a day out for the club. However, I am not happy with
the performance tonight, and it will have to improve for the forthcoming
The Tye couldn’t have got off to a better start, as within six
minutes, they took the lead. Tate picked up a through ball on the edge of the
box, and beat a defender well before driving the ball across goal, beyond James
Shaw, and into the far bottom corner.
However, Shoreham looked to respond quickly as Jono Melia’s low
cross found Jamie Howell in the area, but his effort was well saved from close
range by the diving Joe Adams. Pulling then saw an ambitious lob dip narrowly
over the bar from outside the penalty box, before Peacehaven saw an opportunity
to double their lead go to waste after 21 minutes.
Ashley Jones headed a corner from the left back across goal from
the far post and found Craig Bunch, whose low drive was well saved by the diving
Shaw, but only for O’Toole to pounce onto the loose ball, but his strike from 12
yards was brilliantly kept out by the scrambling
Bunch then came close again, but could only head wide after
out-jumping the advancing Shaw to Tate’s cross from the right touchline.
Moments before the break, the striker failed to hit the target once
again after good work from Joe Dryer on the right saw the winger cut the ball
across to Bunch, but from close range he could only direct his effort wide of
the near post.
Shoreham then created the first opening of the second half six
minutes in, after Peacehaven only half cleared a cross from the right and the
ball sat up nicely for Ben Bowra, but he could only drag his shot wide from 20
However, as the half progressed Peacehaven looked more dangerous
going forward and doubled their advantage after 67 minutes. Bunch’s excellent
through ball played in Dunk, who beat the offside trap before lifting the ball
over the advancing Shaw from the edge of the area and into the
Things then got even better for the Division One title contenders,
as moments after the restart it was 3-0. Dryer’s corner from the right looked to
pick out the towering Jones, but Shoreham skipper Jordan out-jumped the former
Crawley Down captain only to head the ball into the far corner of his own net
from ten yards.
Despite that, the Musselmen replied with a goal of their own just a
minute later, as Howell did well to beat one challenge before playing the ball
across to Pulling at the far post who drilled the ball away from Adams and into
the near corner from 12 yards.
And Pulling then reduced Peacehaven’s lead to a single goal with 71
minutes gone from the spot after Howell was bundled over in the area, for
referee Martyn Milligan to point to the spot. Pulling stepped up, and
confidently fired the ball into the bottom left corner, sending the diving Adams
the wrong way.
However, Peacehaven then looked to regain their two goal advantage
as Tate latched onto a long ball and went through one on one with Shaw, but only
to see his effort excellently saved by the advancing
But Shaw could not do anything to prevent the Tye securing their
place in the final as O’Toole netted their fourth with 75 minutes on the clock.
Dryer cut inside from the left wing well and his low ball across the face of
goal found the unmarked O’Toole at the far post who had a simple
Haven had further opportunities to add to their goal tally late on,
with substitutes Tom Burton and Ashley Rees going close, only to force good
saves from Shaw.
Shoreham manager Mark Burt conceded: “I thought the best side won
on the night, but I thought we gave a good account of ourselves. I thought we
used the ball very well and tried to play football. We played to our strengths,
and defended well in numbers, but on reflection of the game I don’t think we
could have done any more.”
Peacehaven will now play either Littlehampton Town or St. Francis
Rangers in the final on Friday May 10.