Icklesham Casuals 1st team maintained their lead at the top of Division Two of the East Sussex League with a hard fought victory over Battle Baptists II at Battle Recreation Ground on Saturday with the sides meeting again having played each other in a cup fixture the previous week.
Icklesham started slowly and it was Battle Baptists who were the better side, creating some promising positions. They deservedly took the lead in the 20th minute, although the goal had a touch of fortune about it. With Icklesham in possession, a forward pass was blocked and the ball fell kindly, putting Frazer Discala clean through on goal and he finished very neatly.
The Casuals gradually got themselves into the game and started to create chances, with Charlie Cornford hitting the post in the 25th minute and the Battle keeper making a very good save from the same player. Battle also had chances of their own to increase the lead but there were no further goals in the first half and Icklesham trailed 1-0 at the break.
After sorting out a few things at half-time, a much improved second half Casual’s display saw Jack Hobden level the scores in the opening minute, when he converted from close range following a cross from Steffan Davies. Two further goals from Cornford and a Sean Baker penalty gave the Casuals a 4-1 win.
The 2nd team were involved in a remarkable match at home to Wittersham II, where they managed to surrender a 5-1 lead with only 15 minutes to go to draw 5-5. The team played well for the opening 75 minutes of the game and two first half goals from Solly Cooke and one from Michael Beaumont, plus strikes in the second half from Ricky Baldwin and Cooke, who completed his hat-trick, appeared to guarantee the Casuals the points. Wittersham had other ideas and scored four goals in a crazy finish to the match, with the equaliser coming in the final minute. Credit to them for keeping going to the end, but Icklesham were left kicking themselves for throwing away two points.
Both teams have difficult games this Saturday with the 1st team making the long journey to Preston Park in Brighton, to take on Diversity United in the 3rd round of the Sussex Junior Cup, while the 2nd team meet unbeaten Division Five leaders Sedlescombe Rangers III at the Recreation Ground.
Photos: Icklesham Casuals