Eastbourne Rangers 4-0 Cowfold
The Rangers first team put in their best performance of the season and took yet another higher ranked scalp after two goals in each half saw them secure safe passage into the semi final of the Sussex FA Intermediate Cup after knocking out holders Cowfold in blustery conditions on the sports park 3G.
With both teams lining up identically, Rangers felt they could more than match their opponents who play their football in SCFL Divison Two. After finding their feet in the opening minutes, Rangers began to assert themselves, adapting to the blustery conditions far better than the visitors. On 17 minutes, Rangers took the lead when marksman Josh Harris saw his shot from outside the box take a deflection off of a defender which sailed into the back of the net.
With the Rangers back four being more than comfortable against the surprising amount of long balls being thrust upon them, it wasn’t really a surprise when Rangers doubled their lead on the stroke of half time. Ben Barnett superbly broke up play in the middle of the park before releasing the menacing Will Gray down the left. The weight of pass from Barnett tempted the Cowold keeper to come out to the edge of his box, but the spritley Gray nipped in first, rounded the keeper and stroked the ball into an unguarded net.
With the visitors visibly rattled and arguing amongst themselves, Rangers felt they were in the driving seat at the break, but not just due to the scoreline. An excellent first 45 minutes would have to be matched in the second period as it was expected Cowfold would come out hard in the early exchanges.
However, as with the majority of the afternoon, Rangers continued to frustrate their opponents with Ben Jesson, Tony Russell and Barnett resolute in midfield while the back four continued to apply themselves superbly, no more so than Ade Fermin who saw off the dangerous number 11 all game.
Rangers were to have some half chances through Harris and Gray but it was the former who put the game to bed on 79 minutes when his volley from 25 yards sailed over the keeper and into the roof of the net to give the red and blacks a well deserved 3 goal cushion.
Five minutes later, Dylan Nanuck picked up the ball on the left, cut inside and unleashed a fine finish into the far corner to put some proverbial icing on the cake for 4-0.
The result didn’t really flatter rangers who could have had one or two more, while at the other end, keeper Jason Tibble had a relatively quiet afternoon.
This was a superb team performance from front to back, but the Old Dave’s Gourmet Burgers MOM was awarded to Will Gray – hard working, industrious and a constant thorn in Cowfolds side.
The semi final will be played on March 10th on the Sports Park 3G where rangers will face either Forest Row or Jarvis Brook, who play their quarter final on Feb 17th.