Tunbridge Wells’ Pilbeam makes difference in derby thriller with Rusthall

Tunbridge Wells' Pilbeam makes difference in derby thriller with Rusthall

TUNBRIDGE WELLS claimed the local bragging rights over Rusthall after extra time in a highly entertaining  Challenge Cup second round match.

The Rustics had come to mow the Culverden pitch in midweek but it started very wet in front of an excellent crowd of 369.

Wells striker Jack Harris was shown a yellow card after only six minutes for simulation.

But it was the young forward who broke the deadlock on 29 minutes.

A corner from the left was allowed to bounce and the big striker found himself in space at the far post to hammer the ball home.

Rustics showed their character with an equaliser four minutes later. Calum Gallie made a run down the left and his driven cross was half-blocked so Steff Harper was on hand to finish in style.

The rivals went in at half-time all square at 1-1 with both defences looking solid.

On 58 minutes Rusthall took the lead through Harper, who found the net from close range but this merely seemed to encourage the home side.

It was no surprise when they made it 2-2 on 71 minutes, former Rustic Ian Parsons drilling home from inside the area.

The sides went into extra-time knowing that one goal would probably seal the victory.

It was Wells who found the net on 108 minutes when Jon Pilbeam crowned a great performance with a well-taken goal.

Rusthall can now focus on survival in the Southern Counties East Premier League.

They have a home game against Chatham, who were relegated from the Ryman League last season, on Saturday [November 18, kick-off 3pm].

Tunbridge Wells face another cup tie against local rivals Sevenoaks in the Kent Senior Trophy on November 25. First they play Erith Town in the league this Saturday [November 18, kick-off 3pm].

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