Wisden Sports Challenge Cup Final
The Polegrove, Bexhill-on-Sea
Admission and Programme: £3.00
Attendance: 100 (estimate)
Match Rating: 3
Into the second half, and gradually Old Hastonians assumed the ascendancy, forcing a couple of good saves before what, one sensed, would be the game changing moment, when Old Hastonians were awarded a penalty after a deliberate handball by Lee Chapman, for which he was shown a straight red card. Tom Cusden placed his penalty into the bottom right corner, and after Eastbourne Rangers appeared to be coasting towards lifting the cup, suddenly the momentum very much swayed towards Old Hastonians, and they had a couple of chances to take the lead. As the 90 minute mark came and went, extra-time loomed large, but then out of nothing, in the second minute of added on time, Eastbourne Rangers won the cup with an absolute screamer by Luke Barber. Running onto the ball, his shot from 25 yards went over the keeper and into the roof of the net, to cue wild celebrations amongst the players, coaching staff and their vocal fans, as the Old Hastonian players were crestfallen. The referee blew his whistle soon after, and it was the Eastbourne Rangers fans who lifted the cup shortly afterwards. It was hard not to feel some sympathy for Old Hastonians, but credit to Eastbourne Rangers, who overcame going down to ten men and who could easily have caved in in the foul weather conditions as Old Hastonians became increasingly dominant.