Bexhill cup hopes saved by Carey
MARK Carey was the hero of the hour as Bexhill United finally shook off the challenge of Rye & Iden Reserves in the third round of the Hastings FA Intermediate Cup.
Bexhill were taken to extra time and penalties by a gutsy home team who played the best part of hour with only 10 men following the sending off of Andy Garman for lashing out at Dickie Anderson.
The match finished 2-2 but Bexhill came through 4-2 in the shoot-out as the in-form goalkeeper saved two of Rye & Iden's penalties, while Darren Witham, Dave Carey, Mark Carey himself and Anderson all converted from 12 yards.
The Division Three leaders suffered a body blow in the very first minute when Chris Storrs came off worse in a strong tackle and had to be replaced by Danny Collins, making his first team debut for the season after being sidelined with a long term knee injury.
Despite the upheaval it was Bexhill who opened the scoring on 20 minutes when Witham tucked away a penalty awarded for a foul on Collins. Soon after the home side were handed a spot-kick for Anderson's foul on Garman and Chris Gould converted.
The Reserve Section East outfit went ahead for the first time soon after half time through a 25-yard free kick by Timmy-Lee Saunters only for Tim Funnell to head home from a corner. The home side were then reduced to 10 men but Bexhill could not find a way through in normal and extra time and the contest had to go to penalties.
"It was a real hard-fought cup tie," said Trivett. "I knew it would be tough. They were very good for a reserve side and would hold their own in the County League."
Bexhill will take on East Sussex Leaguers St Leonards Social in the semi-finals on Saturday February 12.