Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Eastbourne Borough 5 v 1 Eastbourne United Association

Monday 3rd April 2015
Pre-season Friendly
Priory Lane, Eastbourne
Admission: £5.00
Team Sheet: Free
Attendance: 150 (estimate)
Match Rating: 3

This evening I was tempted to take in one more preseason friendly, by a relatively attractive looking Eastbourne derby, and with the National League South outfit planning to field a first team this evening before their league campaign starts on Saturday.

Indeed, if Eastbourne Borough were to field a first team, this would be a tough proposition for United, who ply their trade three tiers lower, in the Southern Combination Football League Premier (formerly Sussex League Division One). Although Eastbourne Borough had planned to install a plastic pitch at Priory Lane over the summer, the grass remains and the ground is unchanged since my visits last season.

On a very cloudy evening with intermittent heavy drizzle, as expected following a scan of the teamsheet showing that the home side were indeed playing pretty much their first team this evening, the home side were on top throughout most of the first half. They took the lead on the half hour, when a free kick curled into the box by newly signed Portuguese midfielder Miguel Baptista and Darren Lok headed the ball into the net despite the keeper getting quite firm hands onto the ball. With their first meaningful attack of the game, the visitors equalised on 36 minutes when the ball was dribbled to the byline by Dave Smart before passing to Peter Cooper who knocked the ball home. Eastbourne Borough restored their lead on 38 minutes when a low cross from the left by Craig Stone couldn’t quite be stopped by a couple of stretching defenders, and the ball fell to Elliott Domain, who took a touch before drilling the ball low into the net.

So the home side held a narrow half time lead, which remained unchanged for 25 minutes into the second half despite their total dominance of the game. They finally scored their third goal on 70 minutes, when Gavin McCallum whipped in a cross from the right and Lok glanced the ball into the far corner of the net with his head. Lok completed his hat-trick on 80 minutes when he headed in Kane Haysman's cross at the far post , and three minutes from time, the home side were awarded a penalty when Lok was fouled. Ryan Worrall struck the ball down the middle to score the home side's fifth goal.

So, a thoroughly convincing win for Eastbourne Borough, which reflected a game they dominated from start to finish. United still gave a good account of themselves, but struggled to live with opposition far superior to what they will encounter during their upcoming league campaign.

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