Ringmer 0 Selsey 1 aet
After enjoying my trip to Mile Oak last season, I decided to visit another Sussex club, Ringmer were the selected club. As I approached Hayward Heath, it occurred to me that the journey had so far been made without incident, foolish me. I stepped off the train to hear announcements that a replacement bus service would be taking me to Lewes and that was likely to be delayed due to roadworks. Now, earlier in the morning, I'd seen Clinton cards advertising National bosses day on October 16th. I'd like to propose a Saturday for National non replacement bus service day, it would have my full support & I'd even buy a card. As the bus set off, our driver turned on a mic, welcomed us and informed us that due to law changes, we'd have to put on our seat belts. Cue lots of scuffling about and people getting to know their neighbours better, the rather large Irish lady next to me touched me several times in places verging on the inappropriate, totally oblivious as she was focussed solely on her seat-belt. As I tentatively went to fasten mine, it turned out to be about 2 foot too short. I decided to throw caution in the wind and travel un-belted. The threatened roadworks never materialised and we arrived in Lewes in good time. I then did a brief tour of the town in search of the number 28 bus stop. after several wrong turnings, a queue in a chip shop that i gave up on after 2 minutes and a stagger up a well steep hill, I found the bus stop & was delighted when a bus appeared within a minute. The journey to Ringmer took only 10 minutes or so and was livened up by a youth who got on board and bought a ticket with a £10 note. The driver, after requesting some smaller money & been refused, proceeded to give out all the change in 10p coins. The look on the youths face was pricelss and as he sat behind me, I learnt several new swear words. The inevitable happened as the lad stood up and all the coins fell out his tracksuit pocket. I left him grovelling on the floor picking up the coins as I alighted the bus. Ringmer is a lovely little village, I rejected the Anchor pub for lunch as the food seemed a bit too extravagent, I would have happily paid for sauage, chips & beans. I found the local shops, entered the convenience store and enjoyed a sausage, cheese and pickle sandwich in glorious suuny conditions. this really is a delightful spot in good weather. First impressions are so important & I'd like to thank the Ringmer gateman and lady programme seller who greeted me with a big smile and friendly hello, I really did feel welcome. The ground is lined with fir trees behind one goal and along one side with the Sussex downs peaking over the top. there's a little stand that seats about 50 and a covered area which houses the clubhouse, tea bar and changing rooms. The pitch has quite an end to end slope but this didn't ssem to seriously affect play. A frenetic start arguably saw Seley on top, but they lost their impetus when forward Ridley went off after 15 mins with a hamstring strain. After that, it was all Ringmer. They had hlf a dozen good chances, 3 of them unmissible which were all...missed! The second half was again mostly Ringmer, the closest they came, a great 25 yard effort from Evans that rattled the post. Selsey defended gamely and created a few half chances, you just couldn't see them winning. With England kicking off at 5pm, extra time was somewhat inevitible. Where the first 90 mins were entertaining & interesting, extra time was pulsating, total commitment from both sides. Ringmer create so much down the left side through Evans and McLaughlin and it would have been fitting if McLaughlin had scored a minute into the extra period, however, again the chance went begging. As I thought a goal would never be scored, Selsey scored on 110 mins. A long ball from defense was flicked on to Rishman who burst into the area and drilled a low 16 yard shot past the keeeprs right hand side. Ringmer threw in the kitchen sink and 5 mins from the end seemed to have secured a penalty as substitute MacMillan was scythed down in the box. A dreadful challenge that resulted in him being stretchered off. Unbelievably, the referee who until then had enjoyed a really good game, claimed the ball had been won and no foul was given. The entire crowd and in truth, players from both sides were astonished. Despite their best efforts, Ringmer couldn't break through and at 5:30pm Selsey secured their victory. There's a saying that all goalkeepers are slightly mad, it was good to see Selsey keeper Hoare who played the game in exactly the right way with humour and banter throughout the afternoon.
A thoroughly enjoyable game but Ringmer will still be shaking their heads wondering how they let this one get away.