Mitch Bromage, Harrison Parker, Will Berry, Liam Hendy (Capt.), James Waters, Finn Daniels -Yeoman, Josh Gould, Darius Goldsmith, Matt Daniel, Mo Juwara, Ebou Jallow.
Ben Connolly, Mitch Hewens, Dave Sharman, Michael McEnery, Joe Kennard.
A bumper 300 crowd (according to official record, but did not seem to be that many) were in attendance at the Saffrons for the fixture between two well placed sides. Skipper Liam Hendy did not allow unhappy memories of last season’ s abandoned cup tie, when he suffered a painful dislocation to his elbow, which ended his season, to affect his approach to this game. He led by example as always.
Harrison Parker had recovered from his injury and was in at right back. Josh Gould lined up in midfield and Ebou Jallow lead the forward line.
Eastbourne showed their attacking intent from the start and within 3 minutes were firing in a cross from the left which cleared the head of James Waters. The ball was collected by Brad Pritchard, who cut inside and aimed for the near post but good defending blocked the effort. Within a few minutes Lancing were ahead. James Waters advancing unchallenged let fly from several yards outside the penalty area. Home keeper, Chris Winterton seemed to have been caught by surprise and, although he managed to get a hand to the ball, the power in James’ shot was too much for him. A couple of minutes later, Josh Gould tried to reproduce James’ effort, but although his left foot drive was well struck from distance, it nestled safely in Winterton’s arms. Play was end to end and Will Berry had to act to thwart a dangerous attack down the right, diverting the ball behind. From the resultant corner, a goal bound header was kept out by Harrison Parker.
Play quickly switched to the other end with Ebou threading a through ball for Matt Daniel to head towards goal only to be flagged offside. Both sides were playing entertaining football with defences in control and keeping possession well. Bright Temba looked lively for Town and was constantly trying to get in behind in wide positions. On the 20-minute mark he tested Mitch Bromage who responded with a fine save.
Both sides were committed in the tackle but nothing to cause the referee any concern until the 28th minute when Josh Gould was on the wrong end of an over the top tackle, which earned the offender the first yellow card of the game. By the end of the game, yellows had been dished out to four Town players, Bolwell, Johnson, Temba and Crabb. James Waters was Lancing’s sole offender. Eastbourne were getting forward more as the half entered the final 15 minutes, and got their reward when, on 36 minutes Sam Cole rose above everyone to head home from a corner.
Lancing hit back with Ebou Jallow bursting through, with only the keeper to beat, but he was unable to get a good connection and his shot ended up being hit straight at Winterton. Josh Gould found Harrison Parker whose shot was deflected upwards before being gathered by Winterton. Town came close from a free kick as the half came to an end. Sam Cole met the ball on the far post but was unable to turn it in.
No team changes were made at half time. Temba continued to be Town’s most dangerous forward using his pace to get beyond Lancing’s defence, forcing another good save from Mitch Bromage. Lancing were generally sound defensively with Will Berry winning a number of important duels.
Unfortunately for Town, they lost the services of Temba, who limped off with the half barely 20 minutes old. Nathan Crabb was his replacement.
Lancing produced the move of the match with Mo Juwara using his pace and strength to good effect. He found Ebou in what appeared to be a good scoring position, but Ebou chose to touch the ball on to Matt Daniel in close support, but this extra touch allowed defender Dan Hull to close Matt down and put the ball behind for a corner. Hull was hurt in the process and needed treatment. From the resultant corner, Matt met the cross at the near post with a glancing header which finished narrowly wide of the far upright. Another superb cross field ball from Josh Gould found Matt wide on the left. He fed Ebou who went to ground under pressure and was adjudged to have handled as he fell.
On the 73rd minute Town got in front. Mitch had advanced well off his goal line to collect a through ball but was unable to reach it before a Town player. Mitch desperately tried to get back in position but could only palm the ball across the face of his goal. Substitute Nathan Crabb had the easiest of tasks to nod the ball into an empty net.
With just over 10 minutes to go, Mitch Hewens and Ben Connolly came on for Josh Gould and Mo Juwara. Both were doing their best to put pressure on the home defence but Town were defending well. Last throw of the dice was to bring on Michael McEnery for Matt Daniel but it was Town who had the last laugh as a determined run into the box resulted in a well-placed shot. Mitch was able to keep it out but the ball fell kindly to Nathan Crabb and for the second time he had the easiest of finishes lashing the ball into the net from a couple of yards.
Two sides, fairly evenly matched, played a similar game. Defences were well organised and disciplined in possession but Town seemed to have that little extra when breaking forward to latch on to passes down the flanks. A touch of good fortune about their two late goals but Lancing did not quite do enough to maintain their early lead.
This win sees Eastbourne Town occupy 5th spot, while Lancing slide down to 8th.
On a day which saw defences on top for most of the game, MOM selection by both management and supporter and committee member Brian Cork went to central defender Will Berry.
View the match album courtesy of Joe Knight from Seaside Photography here.
Report by: Dave Wilmott
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