Hello everyone, Lee Jackson here on a rainy evening in Eastbourne at The Saffrons Ground ahead of an intriguing prospect between Eastbourne Town FC who sit 9th in the Southern Combinations Football League Premier going head to head with high flyers Midhurst & Easebourne FC who are currently the league leaders in the Southern Combinations Football League Division One.
Both teams coming into this match in mediocre form as Eastbourne have picked up six points from a possible 12 whereas Midhurst has managed seven points out of a possible 15 available. It was the 140th birthday of Eastbourne Town FC recently, can they celebrate that incredible milestone with progression into the next round or will Midhurst spoil the party and progress?
Both teams recently being eliminated from the Peter Bentley League Cup could provide extra motivation and put the onus on the importance of this game for either side. Aaron Hopkinson of Eastbourne and Marcus Bedford of Midhurst could be the difference this evening as they both come into this match in good form looking to be the catalyst for their team this evening. Let’s have a look at the lineups for each team.
KICK OFF! ’01 – Midhurst wins the coin toss and gets the game started.
’09 – Early free-kick given away by Eastbourne on the right flank as Kian Moynes catches and brings down Marcus Bedford. Free kick curled in but dealt with easily.
’10 – High pressing Jurgen Klopp would be proud of here as the attackers of Eastbourne really closing the space and squeezing to try and win the ball.
⚽ GOAL! (EASTBOURNE 1 – 0 MIDHURST) ’11 – Eastbourne make the breakthrough early doors as a short free-kick from the left is taken, captain Simon Johnson leading by example with some silky footwork and a hint of luck manages to squeeze through and beat two defenders to burst into the box and deliver a sumptuous cross into full-back Dan Rogers who gets onto the end of it and makes it 1-0 to The Townies.
⚽ GOAL! (EASTBOURNE 2 – 0 MIDHURST) ’15 – Quickfire goals for Eastbourne as who else but top scorer Aaron Hopkinson manages to get himself on the scoresheet with an elegant lobbed finish from 30 yards catching Josh Bird off his line.
’19 – A real high intensity to the match in the opening stages as both teams really battling to gain proper control of the match. Despite being 2-0 up, Eastbourne aren’t having everything their own way here.
CHANCE! ’22 – Louis Vaneti forces a good save after a scramble in the Midhurst box results in a curled effort and save from Bird.
’30 – “The referee’s a lizard!” Some unusual chants from the Eastbourne fans here as the referee is given a decision to make. The ball breaks for Aaron Capon on the edge of the box but a well-timed sliding challenge from Duncan Brown of Midhurst stops him in his tracks. Eastbourne feeling hard done by but a seemingly good call from the ref.
⚽ GOAL! (EASTBOURNE 3 – 0 MIDHURST) ’33 – A pattern of the first thirty minutes really proving to be successful here for Eastbourne as another ball over the top leads to Capon making it 3-0. A nice touch to bring it under control and an ice-cold finish slotted through the legs of Bird. Questions of the defence here as they are playing such a high line and scenarios like this have been frequent so far.
CHANCE! ’36 – A monstrous, but accurate kick up the pitch by Chris Winterton to Capon on the left-wing. Capon doing really well and not giving up manages to keep the ball in play and drives inside forcing a corner for Eastbourne after a right-footed effort.
🕑 HALF TIME! (EASTBOURNE 3 – 0 MIDHURST)
SUBSTITUTION ’45 – Change during the break for Eastbourne as highly sought after prospect Leke Ademola gets his chance replacing Vaneti.
CHANCE! ’46 – Capon on the right flank beating Harry Tremlett with a low cross drilled into the Midhurst near post with substitute Ademola getting onto the end of it with a glancing touch but missing the target. Should really be doing better and getting himself on the scoresheet there as a chance goes begging.
⚽ GOAL! (EASTBOURNE 4 – 0 MIDHURST) ’49 – A classic ‘curse of the commentator’ moment here as Ademola latches onto another ball over the top and with blistering pace fires at goal with a good initial save from Bird who tips the effort onto the post but with a hint of fortune manages to get the rebound to rub salt into the wounds.
CHANCE! ’51 – It really seems like men against boys here as complete domination from Eastbourne continues with some lovely link-up play as Moynes caresses the ball into the path of Jack Samways who in turn delicately curls the ball towards goal only to be denied with cat-like reflexes from Bird. Corner for Eastbourne after a cracking save stops another goal.
SUBSTITUTION ’52 – Changes for both sides here as Charlie Cooper is replaced by Ollie Herring for Midhurst and Fletcher Holman replaces Hopkinson for Eastbourne. Like for like changes but who will prove to be the difference-maker?
CHANCE! ’55 – Straight into the thick of the action for Holman as a delicious through ball by Samways finds Holman. Through on goal Bird denies yet again keeping the scoreline at 4-0 with a save tipped onto the bar from a powerful strike.
SUBSTITUTION ’56 – Midhurst talisman Bedford is brought off for Luke Brockhurst. Limited service to the frontman has hampered his performance this evening as he makes way.
SUBSTITUTION ’60 – Another substitution for Midhurst as they look for a consolation goal here with Will Essai being replaced by Nathan Casselton.
⚽ GOAL! (EASTBOURNE 5 – 0 MIDHURST) ’60 – WHAT A GOAL! A scrambled clearance from a nervous Laurie Smith of Midhurst presents a golden opportunity on a silver platter for Samways as he smashes home a volley from 40 yards again lobbing the keeper.
⚽ GOAL! (EASTBOURNE 6 – 0 MIDHURST) ’68 – It’s Ademola again latching onto a defence-splitting pass from full-back Matthew Rodrigues-Barbosa with a Thierry Henry style curling effort to hit the post and quick on his feet, Capon capitalises on the sleeping defence and slots home on the rebound.
’74 – Early signs from Midhurst suggested that the game would be close but as the game has progressed those signs have been proven wrong. The overall performance hasn’t been a great spectacle for the travelling support to watch but in the final third they’ve not been penetrating enough. ‘If you don’t buy a ticket, you won’t win the raffle’ has been the story of the game so far in the attacking department as Midhurst really haven’t troubled Winterton at all.
’80 – A really professional performance by Eastbourne this evening controlling all aspects of the game. From back to front every player has contributed and it has been a great performance individually but as a unit too.
CHANCE! ’88 – How has Ademola missed there!? A dangerous driven cross from Moynes on the right flank into the path of Ademola who fails to convert from five yards somehow lifting the ball over the bar. Ademola was looking for a bobble in the pitch but he will know he should’ve scored there.
🕑 FULL TIME! (EASTBOURNE 6 – 0 MIDHURST)
Reflecting on the Match
A fair result from the game tonight as Eastbourne put on a masterclass in every aspect of the game. Early pressure from Midhurst wasn’t capitalised on as quickfire goals shifted the momentum of the game rapidly. By 2-0, the game looked finished with Midhurst lacking fight to want to get back into the game. All throughout the Eastbourne side were top draw performances but substitute Ademola shone brightest registering goals and assists to top of an incredible night for Eastbourne.