Match Reports

Albion beat Three Bridges on penalties to progress in Sussex Senior Cup

Shannon Ruth's team win 4-2 in the shootout following 1-1 draw after 90 minutes.

By Matt Bishop • 22 November 2022

By Paul Hazlewood
Albion celebrate their deserved opening goal against Three Bridges.

Albion’s men’s under-21s reached round three of the Sussex Senior Challenge Cup after beating ten-man Three Bridges 4-2 on penalties following a 1-1 draw in normal time.

Shannon Ruth’s side dominated and looked set for victory after Bridges had Callum Donaghey sent off in the 63rd minute and Brannon O’Neill scored an own goal moments later, but were taken to a shootout by the Isthmian South East side when Joe Stone equalised with the final kick.

Albion started brightly and found joy in wide areas, with Billie Clark and Imari Samuels, who were dangerous throughout, getting behind the Bridges defence twice inside the first ten minutes only for their low crosses to fly across the face of goal and to safety.

By Paul Hazlewood
Imari Samuels was a menace with his pace on the left-hand side.

It was one way traffic for almost the entirety of the first 45 minutes, with Killian Cahill called into action just once when he gathered a tame Joe Tennent header following Billy Irving’s long-throw in the 21st minute, and Albion soon created the best opening of the match when Ifill had a powerful shot from 12 yards saved by Bridges goalkeeper Mitch Bromage following Clark's cut-back.

Albion created another big chance a minute before half-time when Ben Wilson’s quick feet earned him a yard of space to cross onto Clark’s head, but Bromage stuck out a strong hand to pull off a remarkable point-blank save and keep things level.

There was still enough time in the first half for Ifill to go close again, but Bromage was equal to his powerful low shot once more, before the second 45 started in a similar manner with a flurry of Albion corners coming to nothing.

By Paul Hazlewood
Matt Everitt looks to turn on the ball in midfield.

Samuels was then within inches of opening the scoring in the 50th minute when he slid Ifill’s cross wide at the back post, but Ruth’s team were all over Bridges now and the task was made even harder for the hosts when Donaghey was sent off in the 63rd minute for a cynical foul on Wilson.

Things went from bad to worse for the ten-men two minutes after Donaghey saw red, as Albion finally got the goal they deserved when the tenacious Everitt reached the byline and crossed into the six-yard box. Clark was lurking but Bridges skipper O’Neill beat him to the ball and inadvertently chested into his own net.

Albion bossed the final stages and looked destined to win in normal time when Stone burst into the box with three minutes remaining, only to be denied by a sprawling Cahill, but the midfielder sent the game to penalties in the 92nd minute by scrambling home another Irving throw.

But Albion got the win their display deserved and it was Cahill who proved to be the hero after all, saving from the unlucky O’Neill after Sam Packham, Everitt, Samuels and Wilson had scored from the spot, before Bromage fired over the decisive penalty to send Albion through.

By Paul Hazlewood
Killian Cahill flies to his right to save from Brannon O'Neill in the shoot-out.

Albion: Cahill, Packham, Jackson (Shann, 71), Penman, Ifill, Everitt, Albarus, Baker-Boaitey, Samuels, Wilson, Clark (Nilsson, 81).

Subs: Beadle, Peupion, Miller.