Lewis Young hits hat-trick in 6-2 win
Reds eased through to the third round of the Sussex Senior Cup after a comfortable victory over County League St Francis Rangers.
Lewis Young scored a hat-trick and there were goals for Ryan Richefond, Conor Henderson and Gavin Tomlin with the visitors, who were never less than competitive, getting consolation goals through Sam Saunders and James Westlake in front of a crowd of 203.
There were three members of the team that drew 1-1 against Gillingham in John Gregory’s starting XI with Lanre Oyebanjo captaining the side for the first time and Young and Henderson also in action. There was a first senior start for Bradley Isaacs in midfield.
Reds made the perfect start, going ahead after four minutes. Henderson spotted the run of Young in the inside left channel and picked him out with a pass which YOUNG took in his stride before slotting past Rob Gordon.
As expected Reds dominated possession but the visitors had some decent moments too and looked lively on the break. Gordon did come to their rescue again in the 18th minute, keeping out Henderson’s side-foot effort after Sonny Bradley had chipped the ball towards the back post after St Francis partially cleared a corner.
The visitors did equalise on 24 minutes after a bad misjudgement by Brian Jensen who seemed to have Sam SAUNDERS’ shot from 20 yards covered but allowed the ball to creep into the corner of the net.
However, Reds were back in front two minutes later. Young crossed from the left and RICHEFOND made a late run into the box to beat Gordon from close range.
Reds got their third goal three minutes into the second half. YOUNG cut inside from the left and his low, curling shot took a deflection on its way past Gordon into the bottom corner.
St Francis still looked lively when they got men forward and Nathan Milford tested Jensen with a snap shot which the keeper tipped over but Reds got a fourth goal after 65 minutes when HENDERSON broke from midfield and, spotting the keeper off his line, he chipped Gordon into the top corner.
Three minutes later YOUNG completed his hat-trick when he led a rapid counter-attack down the slope before burying a powerful shot into the bottom corner.
St Francis got a second goal on 72 minutes after Sonny Bradley pulled down his opponent on the edge of the box to earn a yellow card. James WESTLAKE stepped up and side-footed the free kick from the edge of the box into the top corner with Jensen having no chance.
The goal rush continued with 13 minutes left when Gavin TOMLIN emulated Richefond by scoring his first goal for the club with a powerful shot into the bottom corner that went through a hole in the net which needed repairing before the game could continue.