Jarvis Brook Football Club have won the Sussex Intermediate Cup for the first time in the Club’s history, as well as the Southern Combination Football League Division Two title.
The Club plays at Limekiln Playing Fields. The pitches, adjacent to Palesgate Lane, are used by around 400 children and adults players.
The Club has recently been granted planning permission allowing them to carryout the necessary upgrade to the facilities that are required for promotion, including two stands and floodlights.
Thanks to Chairman Carl Berwick for providing the following match reports.
The team faced a mega week of action with four games taking place in short succession.
It started on 8th April with a huge test against the league’s in-form team Southwater FC who were coming off the back of ten straight victories. The Brook managed to dig deep with some excellent defending and then on the 75 minute, a moment of magic from talisman Steve Smith saw the Blues take the lead. A free kick was whipped-in from Liam Edwards, Smith then cushioned the ball on his chest before an incredible acrobatic effort cannoned into the post and over the line leaving the Southwater keeper routed to the spot and this was enough for all three points.
Just 41 hours later the Brook kicked off their second fixture of the four. This time at home against Rottingdean FC. With the Sussex Cup final just two days later it was a fantastic chance to give everyone some much needed minutes and for Manager Jacob Baldwin to rotate the side. From the first whistle there was only one side in this one, with young Finley Chapman taking the game by the scruff of the neck, his quick fire double putting Brook well in the drivers seat by half-time. Chapman completed his excellent hat trick early in the second half putting the game to bed. Liam Edwards then decided to get in on the action also grabbing himself an excellent hat trick, all goals coming from outside of the area, as the helpless Rottingdean goal keeper watched on. There was even time for skipper George Holman to get on the score sheet with a delicate flick from a free kick to see the game finish 7-0. The news then soon filtered-in at full-time that Copthorne had failed to win their fixture and the title race was over. There were muted celebrations amongst the Jarvis Brook players, as they knew the biggest game of the season was only two days later.
Cup Final day arrived and the players and travelling Blue army headed down the A26 towards Lancing. Unfortunately the weather was atrocious, with the wind and rain playing havoc for both sides. Hollington United were the opponents. The Mid-Sussex champions boasted a lot of ex-County Premier players as well as a defence who had only conceded four goals in the seasons. However it was the Brook who came-out the traps the quickest, producing a few early chances and using the conditions to there own advantage. Finley Chapman and Scott Taylor took up excellent positions and the driving runs from Chapman were a joy to watch. Hollington’s back line did not know how to deal with him apart from hack him down, which saw three of their players booked in the first half and one still lucky to be on the pitch. Hollington were limited to scraps in the first half, only getting close once, but the veteran Dan Lawrence saw the danger and excellently cleared the ball on the line. It was 0-0 at half-time.
The second half began with Hollington on the front foot with Jarvis Brook’s back four of Holman, Penfold, Lawrence and keeper Matt Harman having to dig deep to keep the Lions at bay they looked determined to keep a clean sheet no matter what. Jarvis Brook still played their excellent passing football, despite the conditions and they were rewarded on the 70th minute. Some excellent play, which started when the keeper saw Charlie Bastin release Steve Smith on the right hand side, the forward drove to the byline before putting in a low cross which was half cleared by Hollington. But it was Bastin who was jogging on the spot, reacting to this with the wing-back gliding into the box past two defenders before squaring the ball to Finley Chapman who powered his shot in the left had corner sending the Brook fans into pandemonium. Matt Harman then became the star of the show keeping-out all of the Hollington attacks, with some excellent diving saves and incredible distribution despite the conditions.
Then in the 90th minute absolute chaos! A foul in the middle of the Brook half gave Hollington a chance to put the ball in the box. It also saw some unsavoury scenes from Hollington with Danny Ellis being sent off for the Lions. The ball was smashed at the Brook goal with Harman parrying back into the six-yard box, the onrushing Hollington player looked certain to score and take the tie to penalties but his goal bound header was astonishingly cleared off the line by Victor Penfold. A huge shout for handball by the Hollington players was turned-away by the referee and the Blues counter-attacked down the other end with Sam Sales racing through on goal and certain to score, when the linesman raised his flag for offside. The highlights afterwards proved this was the wrong decision, but it didn’t matter the full-time whistle blew sending everyone associated with Jarvis Brook into raptures. The celebrations went long into the night as the players and staff celebrated winning the Sussex Intermediate Cup for the first time in the clubs long history as well as the SCFL Division 2 title.
The fourth and final game was the coronation at Palesgate Lane with a mass of Jarvis Brook fans and youth players in attendance. A routine performance, despite some feeling a bit stiff and hungover from the Wednesday, saw Jarvis Brook run out 5-0 winners against a spirited Charlwood side. Charlwood turned-up looking to spoil the party and looked dangerous at times in the first half, but goals from Steve Smith and Charlie Bastin saw the Brook 2-0 up at half time. The second half almost became the Steve Smith show, with the forward grabbing a second half hat trick to make it four for the game and take him above the 40 mark across all competitions this season.
The players then lifted both the Sussex Cup and League title in front of all supporters, committee and youth members in a day that will live long in the Club’s history.
The Sussex Intermediate Challenge Cup is open to all Saturday Clubs that affiliate to the Association at Intermediate level, and is played in memory of Matthew Grimstone and Jacob Schilt – two Sussex footballers tragically killed in the Shoreham Air Disaster in August 2015.
Click to see the results table: Southern Combination Football League (thefa.com).
To find out more about the Club, see their website: Jarvis Brook Football Club.