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DIVISION TWO: Spong wonder goals help Wanderers beat Benger
3:30pm Monday 2nd April 2012 in Sport
IN WHAT was Sutton Benger’s final game of the season, they missed out on the chance to return to the top of the Division Two table after they lost out in a nine-goal thriller at Stanley Park.
Southwick Wanderers claimed an amazing 5-4 win in what was a thoroughly enthralling 90 minutes of football that was a credit to both teams and the league.
Sutton Benger broke the deadlock on 20 minutes when a long clearance from keeper Dan Young found Luke Todd whose looping head made it 1-0.
Wanderers restored parity through Jack Parker who diverted Pete Spong’s shot beyond keeper Young. Southwick took the lead before half time when another slice of luck went their way. Carl Mackness saw his volley hit Paul Gittins and fly past a bemused Young who was unable to prevent it hitting the back of the net.
Benger came out for the second half with all guns blazing and drew level courtesy of Marc Edwards and move in front shortly after when Louis Bishop made it 3-2. Wanderers squared things up through Pete Spong who scored the first of three amazing goals when he beat two players and rifled home into the bottom corner from 20 yards out.
Spong put Wanderers 4-3 up with another stunning goal. This time he drilled home a spectacular free kick from 25 yards.
Benger clawed their way back into the game and thought they had earned a point when Matt White netted one of his many chances to tie it at four-each.
With time running out Wanderers were awarded another free kick and like his earlier effort Spong stepped up to fire another excellent strike into the net to hand Wanderers the lead once again.
There was still time left for Benger to mount one more push for an equaliser and with almost the last chance of the game, Chris Miles saw his effort hit the bar.
With it went Benger’s hopes of claiming what would have been their ninth draw of the season.
Miller Sports 1 Steeple Ashton Rangers 2
STEEPLE Ashton Rangers, who had failed to win any of their previous three matches, travelled to The Beeches looking to get back to winning ways.
Ashton prevailed 2-1 to move into third spot giving their title challenge a massive boost thanks to other results going their way.
It was a game that Ashton largely dominated throughout, limiting Miller to just two opportunities all game.
Ashton's top goal scorer Jake Sainsbury looked lively all game giving the Miller defence problems and it was Sainsbury that opened the scoring.
Mark Hunt played a delightful cross field pass over the Miller left back, Adam Potter drove down the right before picking out Sainsbury in the box who converted from six yards.
Miller managed to grab an equaliser rather against the run of play. A long punt forward by Alex Coombs was misjudged by Marc Sheppard in the Ashton midfield and ball fell to Steve Shipway.
But as he was about to strike the ball he was pushed by Potter who conceded a penalty on the stroke of half time.
Robert Biggs stepped up and coolly converted down the middle to tie the scores at 1-1.
In the second half Ashton grabbed their much-deserved winner after neat play between Potter and Mark Hunt resulted in them finding Lee Mounty on the right.
He cut inside and beat three defenders before placing the ball in to the net off the upright with his left foot.
Miller looked lively on the counter in the latter stages, but were unable to create any notable chances on goal as Ashton were able to see out the game and grab a very important win.
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