Rye Town Football Club was pegged back two goals to draw in a game which brought a championship-winning season to a close.
Rye created the first chance of the game when a shot was blazed over, but Rye was then denied by the Bexhill goalkeeper following a corner. The deadlock was finally broken in the 25th minute when a forward pass found Weller who lifted the ball over the keeper into the net.
Ten minutes later Rye was two-up when the Bexhill keeper misjudged a low cross and Weller tucked the ball away. Bexhill nearly pulled one back just before the break after a clever free kick.
Bexhill came out after the break with nothing to lose and in the 60th minute pulled a goal back after a good ball was played over Rye’s defence, which found Smith who lifted the ball over Adam Hurley in the Rye goal. Rye was still looking pretty comfortable despite the goal and was still creating chances.
Bexhill went for broke by sending centre back Rhys Whyborne to play upfront and in the 90th minute the gamble paid off when he headed into the far corner following a cross from the right. Bexhill nearly grabbed a winner in the final minute of extra time after a header crept just wide of the post.
Final score: Rye 2, Bexhill 2
Rye’s man of the match sponsored by Pikes Cleaning was Barnaby Osborne.
Rye Town’s successful team then celebrated after being presented with the East Sussex Football League Division One trophy.
The team’s attention now turns to the first of two cup finals, which is against Sedlescombe Rangers II in the Hastings FA Junior Cup final, which takes place on Monday April 24 at The Pilot Field home of Hastings United, kick off at 7:30pm.
The Robertsbridge Charity Cup Final against Bexhill AAC at The Pilot Field is currently scheduled for Saturday April 29, but it could be changed to Monday May 1 (subject to Hastings United being in a play off match).
Rye’s Team: Hurley, Wilson, Willis, Cruttenden, Henham, Sarkies, Osborne (Earl), Fraser (Kipps), Weller, Gould (Stevens), Ball. Subs not used: Ridgers, Wall.
Photos: Janet Tiltman