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Tracy Dale6 May - 21:34
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Gaffer Glynn Stephens reflects on the semi-final match played on Wednesday 24th April

A valiant effort by Chessington & Hook United but they couldn't defeat the team one league above, Crowborough Athletic.
- Twitter @Sussex_Guide

Crowborough AFC 6-2 CHUFC

Crowborough Athletic (fourth in the SCFL Premier) & CHUFC (sixth in the SCFL Division 1)
in the Peter Bentley Challenge Cup semi-final, played at Broadbridge Heath FC ground in Horsham on Wednesday 24th April 2024.

Overall I was really pleased with the performance against Crowborough and felt that myself, the staff and players would have learn't a lot against a very good step 5 side. It certainly is a benchmark as to where we need to get to if we want to perform at a higher level.

Early on it was a bit chaotic as we scored a very good goal from our first attack after just 4 minutes to find ourselves blown away in the next 5 minutes and finding ourselves 2-1 down. Honestly, I feared the worst, but the lads got to grips with the pace of the game and found better defensive solutions to Crowborough's power pace and ability to stay in the game.
They deserve credit for that alone because we could have been embarrassed had we not dug in as we did. To equalise was perhaps against the run of play but I think we had got a foot hold in the game and whilst we weren’t on the front foot we did start to complete more passing phases and created a couple of openings one of which we took.

I actually thought that from the equaliser on 23 through to half time, we were at our best and whilst we never looked likely to score again we showed a resilience particularly out of possession. Conceding in stoppage time changed the dynamic I thought as if we could have gone in level it may have unnerved Crowborough, but that wasn’t how it panned out.

We started the second half really well and created a couple of chances, but a couple of mistakes in quick succession that you get away with at step 6 but not against a team in the play offs for step 4, and that was the game done.

Again, huge credit to the players for sticking to the game and even making their goalkeeper make a couple of saves to keep them with a 3 goal advantage. In stoppage time I was gutted that we conceded again as, although we didn’t deserve to get that cup final place, I don’t think we deserved to lose by 4.

Many thanks to all the supporters, staff and volunteers that supported us at the match.

Glynn Stephens, First Team Manager.

Photo credit to: Premier Sports The SCFL. Twitter @TheSCFL

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