Eastbourne go into this game looking to keep up the pace at the top of the table as they start the day in 4th place while Alfold are looking to make ground over the leading sides and climb up the table as they sit in 10th at this stage of the season. Both sides already have a decent goal scoring record this season, with Eastbourne being the 3rd highest goalscorers in the league and Alfold being the 5th highest. Whatever happens, this game isn’t going to be boring.
1.Chris Winterton 2.Matty Astle 3.Sam Cole 4.Dan Bolwell 5.Dan Rogers 6.Dan Hull 7.Tom Vikers 8.Simon Johnson 9.Zac Atwood 10.Nathan Crabb 11.George Taggart.
Subs – 12. Sam Scott 14.Matthew Barbosa 15.Joshua Mailey 16.Tom McDonald 17.Ethan Strevett
1.Luis Correia 2.Conor Wilford 3.Jamie Chilsworth 4.Jamie Wanstall 5.Clyde Jacques 20. Dan Mobsby 7.Kevin Lucas 8.Jordan Mase 9.Ash Mutongerwa 10.Renato Carvalho 11.Sam Leaton
Subs – 12.Kieron Joseph 14.Ayo Oke 15.Ryan Harris 13.James Stallan 17.Tiago Andrade
1′- Alfold get the game started but lose possession quickly as Zac Atwood presses Clyde Jacques, forcing him into conceding a throw-in early on. Eastbourne starting brightly without even touching the ball.
2′- Eastbourne aren’t wasting their possession as Simon Johnson fires a long ball searching for the straight run of Nathan Crabb but Correia is quick out of the box to prevent an early goal before Eastbourne’s attacking press forces another error as Crabb presses Correia into passing the ball out of play for another throw-in.
6′- Alfold’s first attack leads to the first free kick of the match, just outside of the Eastbourne box, as Kelvin Lucas is tripped by Dan Hull. After winning the free kick, it’s Lucas who takes and curls the ball over the bar. Winterton didn’t even have to dive for that one.
6′- The first big chance of the presents itself to Eastbourne Town as Nathan Crabb manages to get a shot away in the box which goes straight at Correia, but he can only parry the ball straight to Zac Atwood who takes too long to put in the rebound as Correia is quick to save again. That should be one nil.
8′- Eastbourne Town carve out another early chance as Matty Astle makes a darting run down the right wing and drills the ball in the box to Nathan Crabb who fails to get strong contact on the ball as he forces it wide with a tame finish. Eastbourne need to take advantage of the chances they’re getting.
12′- A couple of attacks from Alfold are cut out by the Eastbourne defence as Sam Cole wins the physical battle with Ash Mutongerwa to prevent him going through on goal, before Mutongerwa makes another run behind the Eastbourne backline on the right wing which is once again halted by a perfectly-timed last-ditch sliding tackle from Dan Hull. Eastbourne have dealt well with Alfold’s attacking threat so far.
14′- Another Alfold attack finds Mutongerwa in the box who is crowded by Eastbourne defenders before he lays the ball off to Sam Leaton who tries to drive the ball into the bottom left corner but Dan Hull is there to perform an impressive backheel clearance off the line. Alfold are suddenly in the ascendancy here.
20′- Alfold get the ball to the left wing where Jamie Chilsworth whips in enticing cross which Sam Leaton throws himself at but to no avail as the ball goes across the goal and out for a goal kick. All that cross needed was a touch.
22′- Clyde Jacques is down for Alfold and receiving treatment. This could be a big blow for Alfold as Eastbourne have failed to get past him so far with most of their attacks going down the right-hand side.
26′- Roars from the crowd as Eastbourne get back into their early attacking mindset with George Taggart nearly taking himself through on goal before Jamie Chilsworth manages to stop Taggart in his tracks and reclaim possession for Alfold. Eastbourne are getting back into the swing of things.
27′- Alfold win another free kick in a decent shooting position after Dan Hull and Ash Mutongera have a clash on the ground, just outside the box. It’s Conor Wilford who takes it, but he can’t get the ball to dip enough as it sails well over the keeper’s upright.
29′- Jordan Mase becomes the second Alfold player to go down for treatment but this time the player goes off with Tiago Andrade coming on for the player. Mase didn’t seem to be in too much bother there so it’s probably a precautionary move from Alfold.
34′- Mutongerwa once again shows his skill to keep the ball in the Eastbourne box as he finds Leaton just outside the six-yard box who tries to take the lead from a tight angle but Winterton was always ready for it as he gets his body in the way, conceding a corner which is wasted as Eastbourne win a free kick due to pushing in the box.
35′- Another Eastbourne chance goes begging as Zac Atwood gets played through on goal but fails again to snatch the lead as Correia is quick out and saves from Atwood who seemed to lack conviction there with his finish.
36′- Simon Johnson receives the ball in the middle of the park and immediately pumps the ball long for Nathan Crabb who ghosts past the Alfold defence but fails to control the ball, giving Alfold the chance to clear. Eastbourne keep creating chances, but keep wasting them.
39′- Alfold get inches away from scoring after Chilsworth puts in a teasing cross which Dan Hull feels the need to stick a leg out to prevent Leaton from finishing at the back post, however, his touch chips the ball over the diving Winterton, with Dan Hull happy to see the ball go just past the post and out for an Alfold corner.
42′- Alfold win another free kick, a bit further out this time, but that won’t worry Conor Wilford who smashes the ball with power only for it to striker the wall and bounce out for a throw-in. He should be capable of doing better there.
44′- Nice interplay between Mutongerwa and Andrade sees Mutongerwa get past the Eastbourne defence before he tries to find Leaton at the back post with a driven through ball, which fails to get past Dan Rogers who smashes the ball back into Alfold’s half.
HT Eastbourne Town 0-0 Alfold
The first half ends with Eastbourne getting the closest to breaking the deadlock after having numerous opportunities to get in front but failing to get in front, with the best chance falling to Zac Atwood who went through on goal but proved to be indecisive after showing a lack of composure by shooting straight at the oncoming Correia. Hopefully there are goals in the second half as that’s all that’s been missing so far in the game.
Alfold appear to have made a change with Clyde Jacques going off for Kieron Joseph, after Clyde Jacques had some trouble getting through the first half.
46′- Eastbourne get the half under way and quickly trying a long ball towards the left wing before Jamie Wanstall takes no risks by thumping the ball out and onto the Cricket pitch for 6.
49′- Eastbourne are passing the ball around well but are failing to probe the Alfold defence with this decent spell of possession. Eastbourne are keeping up the tempo from the first half but need take their chances now.
53′- Mutongerwa receives the first booking of the game after Alfold win a free kick just inside the Eastbourne half but the number nine wants an Eastbourne booking but his complaints to the referee earn him a yellow card.
55′- Tom Vikers gets into a scuffle for the ball with Tiago Andrade and gives away a free kick, in a good crossing position for Alfold. It’s Conor Wilford again who takes the free kick but the ball is too close to Winterton who jumps high and catches well.
59′- Zac Atwood gets the ball in the box and tricks his way past a few defenders before taking a difficult shot from an extremely tight angle which gets blocked for a corner.
59′- Eastbourne get close with the following corner as the ball is swung in towards the goal but Correia misses his punch and is fortunate there is no Eastbourne men ready to pounce as the ball flies past the goal line and out for an Alfold goal kick.
62′- Sam Cole is looking a bit fatigued here as he plays a lazy long ball down the left wing to no one which is easily collected by Correia. The game is losing its tempo at a time when Eastbourne need to keep attacking Alfold.
65′- Nathan Crabb Sprints down the right wing and gets to the by-line before swinging a cross over Correia, who nearly palms the ball towards Atwood before he collects the ball at the second opportunity.
68′- Mutongerwa finds Leaton in the box again before the number eleven gets the ball onto his left foot and shoots across goal with the only thing stopping the goal is Sam Cole, well-positioned to clear.
72′- Substitutions for Eastbourne here as Nathan Crabb and Tom Vikers go off and are replaced by Matt Rodrigues-Barbosa and Tom Mcdonald. Will these changes make the difference for Eastbourne? Only time will tell.
76′- The floodlights have turned on and off over the course of the last few minutes, similar to the pace of the second half so far. Is their goals still in this game?
80′- Great chance for from a quick throw-in on the right wing which leads to the ball falling to Taggart who gets a powerful shot away at the near post but Correia dives well to save the ball before his defence clears.
85′- Taggart overlaps well with Cole who puts a pacey cross into the box but it hits Atwood in the back and goes out for a goal kick. The clock is ticking and it’s looking less likely that either side has enough time left to find a goal.
88′- GOAL – Eastbourne Town 1-0 Alfold.
McDonald finds a way through the Alfold defence and is able to hold the ball up before threading a pass to Atwood in the box, who takes a touch past a defender and calmly slots the ball into the bottom left corner of Correia’s net. The deadlock has finally been broken and it looks to be the winner for Eastbourne.
90+1′- Atwood is trying to run down the clock by keeping the ball in the corner for Eastbourne. Pure gamesmanship from Eastbourne there as Alfold have little time to respond to Atwood’s finish.
90+2′- Alfold win a free kick, half way into the Eastbourne half. This is surely the last chance for Alfold here. Wilford crosses the ball in but it falls to Simon Johnson who clears as the referee puts the whistle to his lips.
FT Eastbourne Town 1-0 Alfold
Eastbourne finish the game with all 3 points after a tight affair between two well-matched sides. Despite the nature of the win, Eastbourne will feel it was fully deserved after many chances falling their way before their last-gasp winner from Zac Atwood, who will leave the pitch feeling fortunate he had the late chance to score after missing numerous chances in the first half. Both sides defended well on the whole but in the end its attacking football which wins you games and that is why Eastbourne are ending as victors.