This Saturday brings us another SCFL (Southern Combination Football League) match as Eastbourne Town go head to head with Alford at The Saffrons. Ashley Adamson-Edwards takes you through the action as it happened live from the game.
Manager John Lambert will look to build on Eastbourne towns previous 2 – 1 win against Langney Wanderers. Meanwhile, Alford will hopefully continue to thrive since recently beating Crawley Down Gatwick 5 – 1 in an impressive showing.
Established in 1881, the home side are the oldest side in Sussex and certainly have a rich history in the game. Although they may not have ever reached the heights of the premier league or even become professional, you will do well to find a club that have been around as long as Eastbourne Town. Whereas, Alford came along forty-one years later, they’ve also marked their place in English football history with a famous domestic treble winning team in the 1953-54 season.
No matter the outcome, this non-league clash is without a doubt, drenched in footballing history.
Currently, Eastbourne Town sit in 4th place, with a chance today to move up to third with three points. However, despite the thrashing they caused in their last game, Alford are still sat in 13th. An exciting start for one team and a demotivating one for the other, but with not even a third of the season being played out yet, everything is to be played for in the SCFL.
Starting Line Ups
Kick Off: First Half
0′ Alford FC get us underway here at The Saffrons after number 9 Ash Mutongerwa has the first kick of the game. Meanwhile, fans continue to flood the stadium despite the dull weather.
5′ Alford number 7, Kelvin Lucas fires wide with a shot from long range, although it wasn’t the most menacing of strikes it was directed well and certainly worried Eastbourne Town keeper Chris Winterton.
7′ After a surging run from right wing, Eastbourne Town number 10 Nathan Craso takes an underwhelming shot on goal.
Nevertheless, its enough to make Luis Correia parry the shot into the path of Zac Attwood for a tap in opportunity. But, a fine recovery from Correia means that the Eastbourne Town number 9 wastes the biggest chance of the game so far. Still 0-0.
9′ A clever passage of play from Eastbourne Town results in right-back Matt Astle making a fine overlap to fizz the ball into Craso. Unfortunately for the now dominating Town, his shot roles wide, just pass the far post.
15′ Fan favourite Dan Hull keeps the scores level for The Town as he somehow manages to clear a shot off the line, despite deflecting it at such an awkward angle. A superb piece of defending to express the CB’s strong reputation around the club. Possibly a match winning moment.
The shot came after a slaloming run from Alfords Sam Leaton to manoeuvre away from The Towns left-back, an impressive move but in the end the fast-paced number 11 was denied.
20′ A cross from Alford’s Jamie Chilsworth creates a strong chance as their number 10, Renato Carualmo, is able to make contact for a header. Unfortunately for The Folds, Carualmo’s Ronaldo esc leap doesn’t also replicate the famous Portuguese when it comes to finishing, as the ball passes by the goal for a goal-kick.
22′ Clyde Jaqcues is forced to take a break after suffering from being winded. The number 5 has had a solid game so far for his team, winning every aerial challenge and showing composure in the tackle. A true shame for Alfold if he’s brought off later on.
29′ Alford make their first substitution of the match with Tiago Andrade (17) replacing Jordan Mase (8).
So far the away side have had some decent opportunities and its still all to play for here at The Saffrons.
32′ Winterton shows his class for Eastbourne Town by making a crucial save from close range following a powerful strike from Alford’s Leaton.
The chance had actually been created by Alford’s Mutongerwa using his hold-up play to eventually lay the ball off for Leaton. If it wasn’t for a terrific reactionary save, Alford would have put themselves ahead before the break.
34′ Attwood goes through on goal for Eastbourne town to send the surrounding fans into suspense, but the number 9 simply wasn’t composed enough and allowed Correia to come out on top.
If Eastbourne Town want to take advantage of their current league position, they will have to start showing their class not just in creating chances, but putting them away.
37′ In familiar fashion to Eastbourne Towns previous lacklustre finishing, another strong chance is wasted after Craso fails to direct his shot away from the goalkeeper. Although the winger only had the man between the sticks to worry about, the lack of composure in Towns attack so far is once again shown.
39′ Eastbourne’s Hull comes extremely close from scoring an own goal as he tries to block a cross from opposition winger Carualmo. Luckily for the home side, the deflection just about chips past the far post. A huge sigh of relief for not only The Towns centre back but also the fans.
45+2′ Half-time is called here at the Saffrons as both teams go into the dressing rooms without a goal. Hopefully for the large crowd present, an exciting second half is yet to come.
Kick Off: Second Half
45′ Eastbourne Town get us under way once more here to kick off the second half.
To start this half, Alford look to replace centre-back Jacques after earlier fears of an injury. Therefore, number 12, Kieron Joseph comes in to bring what looks like a bit more pace to their back-line.
53′ Throughout the game, Mutongerwa has been constantly involved with all kinds of illegality from Alford, consequently, getting himself booked for an accumulation of fouls.
55′ After a free-kick is given to Alford by the referee, frequent set-piece taker Conor Wilford lines up to swing one into the box just on the right side of the opposition’s half.
However, despite the surprisingly good ball in from the full-back, Winterton rises high and collects comfortably.
68′ As Alford look to break, Chilsworth lifts a ball through to Lucas who charges down the left-wing. After more combining between the two the ball falls to Leaton once more who can once again expose the lack of agility in The Town’s back line.
Despite Leaton’s constant efforts, Hull is there to block the shot.
80′ Correia is forced to make possibly the save of the game to deny a crucial chance for George Tagcart (11).
The close effort from Tagcart was set up by some strong hold-up play from Atwood, and despite the power struck behind the ball, the shot coudln’t be converted.
From Alford’s perspective, Correia is able to build on a strong performance throughout the match and this save only confirms him as on of the top performers today. A sweeper keeper who has stayed on his toes every time The Town step into his half.
Zac Attwood is able to finally show calmness on the ball as he tucks home what seems to be the match winner.
The break started with substitutes Sam Scott (14) and Tom McDonald (16) combining though the centre of the park, with Scott neatly controlling the ball and slotting through Mcdonald who is forced to run the ball to the far side of the oppositions box.
However, Mcdonald does well to stay calm and recover the attack, by passing to Attwood who after a slight moment to compose himself, slides the ball into the bottom left-hand corner.
Finally a breakthrough that the match has been dying to see. 1-0.
92′ Full time
To round off a strong performance for his team, Town captain Simon Johnson clears the ball up the pitch to end what has been a tough match. The referee’s whistle will surely lift a weight off the shoulders of The Towns deep lying play-maker.