Hollington United Football Club won its first round tie in the Sussex Intermediate Challenge Cup despite starting the game without a recognised defender.
Alan Foster’s second half strike was enough to give the Mid Sussex League Premier Division leaders a 1-0 victory away to West Hoathly on Saturday.
With injuries mounting up, Hollington lined up with a back three of Danny Andrews, Luke Woodley and Allan McMinigal, all of whom were in very unfamiliar positions.
The Lions dominated in terms of possession and chances, but failed to kill off their opponents. Woodley had a first half penalty saved after Jay Tomlin was cynically brought down by the home goalkeeper, who wasn’t even booked, when clean through.
See also: * Hollington stay top after away draw
* Four-star Hollington march on at the top
* Late show specialists Hollington do it again
This set the tone for a very ‘interesting’ run of decisions from the referee, but the discipline shown by the Lions was exceptional.
The second half followed a similar pattern, with Elliott Stokes mainly a spectator in the away goal. But at 0-0 and the home goalkeeper having a blinder, Hollington feared the worst happening.
With only 10 minutes remaining, Sam White beat a couple of players and then found the unmarked Foster to tap home the winner, setting up a tough second round trip to AFC Ringmer.
Man of the match, sponsored by A&K Clearances, was Andrews.
Hollington manager Scott Price said: “A game which on paper looked tricky and going to the unknown, I thought we controlled the game very well.
“With no Sean Ray, Frazer Fitchett, Ross Southwood, Glenn Woodhurst, Dan Hull and Andy Corrigan (who got there at half time), we literally had no defenders.
“So we set up to play very high and it worked. 1-0 flattered them I thought, but 1-0 away from home is every manager’s perfect result. Good to see another decent following from the fans too.”