Crawley Down Gatwick brought back down to earth as Town win

Crawley Down Gatwick went into this game absolutely flying at the top of the Southern Combination Premier Division with 11 wins in 11 games. Town on the other hand was looking to bounce back from a 2-0 defeat, and the ending of our unbeaten run on the road to Crowborough last week.

It was Town who were dealt the first blow after receiving news that superstar right back Freddie Legg had been recalled by his parent club Hastings United in order to be utilised in their fixture against Margate. Leon Greig filled in at right back with Anesu Sisimayi making the starting lineup for the first time in 2023. 

Eastbourne Town observes a minute’s silence in memory of David Lockyer.

The game kicked off after a minute’s silence for former long-standing chairman of The Saffrons, David Lockyer. The first 15 minutes were uneventful with Chris Winterton parrying away an early cross from the Crawley Down attack, a set piece rebound being blazed way over the top of the crossbar ( and indeed the stand) and a Town cross caught safely by Crawley Down keeper Alex Bellingham.

20 minutes into the first half, the Crawley Down bench erupted appealing for handball. The referee however saw things differently. Crawley Down blazed another one over the bar before Oliver Davies charged on an Eastbourne counterattack and took a shot before the flag eventually went up. After more wasted chances at either end of the pitch, this time it was Town’s bench’s turn to erupt calling for handball. Once again, referee David Spain was uninterested.

Jude Macdonald, Ben Davies, and Matt Elphick are up in arms appealing for handball against Crawley Down Gatwick’s goalkeeper outside of his box.

After a header from a set play was glanced over the bar by Harvey Enticknap and a 37th-minute booking for Sisimayi for a brutal challenge on a Crawley Down man, Town picked up a free kick in a potentially lethal position. The cross was sent in low and there was yet another handball appeal. Yet again, the referee was uninterested.

It was looking increasingly likely the sides were going to go in at halftime drawing 0-0 until a moment of magic occurred in the 44th minute when Leon Greig sent a corner into the box. The ball curled magnificently into the far corner not touching anyone en route and leaving Crawley Down defenders bewildered. Eastbourne Town lead one goal to nil at the break. 

Town players celebrate as Leon Greig sends the ball into the net direct from a corner.

Crawley Down Gatwick came out at the second half looking desperate to right their wrongs firing in a set piece early on which ultimately was headed behind. They repeated the tick with a corner a while later yet again going wide. Harvey Enticknap then came off for Charlie Pitcher for Crawley Down and James Waters came on for Tyler Capon with both sides hoping these fresh legs early in the second half would be enough to get them their much needed points.

James Hull (Left) and James Waters (Right) driving Eastbourne Town forward in search of a second goal.

After the 60th minute, Town began to show what their attack can do. Newly acquired James Hull beat 3 defenders before crossing it towards Davies however Bellingham was there to pluck the ball out of the sky to prevent Eastbourne from doubling their lead. Crawley Down then had an attack of their own launching a Rory Delap style throw into the mixer however Winterton was able to deal with it.

Eastbourne charged forwards again with seemingly omnipresent Davies rounding the keeper, passing it to James Hull who couldn’t shoot with enough power and the keeper got back in time to stop the ball from crossing the line. Eastbourne then had a dangerous free kick however it was dragged over the wall but just wide by James waters. James hull then charged forwards with an attempt of his own but was beaten to it by Bellingham.

Ollie Davies doing what he does best, driving at his opponents with pace.

In the 75th minute yet another Eastbourne break. The Crawley Down defender failed to clear it however the cross into the box was scuffed and it resulted in a goal kick. Oliver Davies rounded Bellingham again however the ball was snatched from his feet as Bellingham scrambled. Oliver Davies came forwards again and tried to chip Bellingham – who seemed to have an obsession with coming off his line- however, the ball sailed over and landed on top of the net.

Chris Winterton was then worked for the first time in a while as Crawley Down sent in 2 crosses in as many minutes as they desperately searched for a goal. The game then became stop-start with fouls, substitutions and some tactical time-wasting. Town Under 23s graduate Callum Barlow came on to show what he can offer to the senior team, who by the manager Jude Macdonald’s own admission, do not score enough. Callum almost rounded the keeper and then skilfully outmuscled two players as he went to the corner flag to try and see the game off. 

Callum Barlow takes the ball to the corner flag in the final minutes of the game.

After a controversially large amount of added time, the game finished Eastbourne town 1-0 Crawley Down Gatwick.

Eastbourne Town Manager Jude Macdonald gives a post-match talk and celebrates with his players.

Eastbourne town travel to Little Common on Tuesday.

Match officials: David Spain, Peter Coleman and Gary Lucas.

Attendance: 143 

Written by, Mackenzie Whitehouse – Eastbourne Town Media Team

Join Our Media Team

The club is seeking to expand its media team

This is an exciting opportunity for someone who is interested in photography, videography, and sports journalism.

The role involves creating content by capturing photography using professional camera equipment, capturing video of our home matches, supporting the running of our social media, live-tweeting updates on matchdays (Saturdays and some Tuesdays), and writing match reports to be published online and in the paper. You will be joining a team of three who all share the workload before, during, and after the match.

Eastbourne Town FC is an ambitious club looking to secure promotion to the Isthmian League South, and we want to provide the best and most professional media output in the league.

You will get to use professional equipment and gain free entry to all matches with food provided. Travel expenses will be covered but unfortunately, as a community club, this position cannot offer any pay.

If you are interested in applying, please send an email to or drop us a message via our social media channels.

Presentation Night 2022/23

We are now taking bookings for our Presentation evening which will consist of an awards ceremony and a 3-course meal.

Date: Saturday 6th May 2023

Location: The Cumberland Hotel, 34-36 Grand Parade, Eastbourne, BN21 3YT

Costs: £25 Per person (3-Course Meal)

Contact: | Please send an e-mail with your full name to book now!



Duck Liver Parfait With Cherry Compote & Sourdough


Creamed Paprika Chicken Served With Seasonal Vegetable



Tea, Coffee & Mints

*Vegetarian Option Available

*Any Dietary Requirements, Please Let Us Know

We look forward to celebrating another season with you all!

Eastbourne Town appoints Shaun Lee as U23s Manager

Eastbourne Town is delighted to announce that Shaun Lee has been appointed to the role of U23s Manager.

Shaun brings a wealth of experience into the role of U23s Manager, having played at Eastbourne Town, Eastbourne United, Langney Wanderers, Ringmer and recently moving into coaching at Seaford U18s/23s.

Shaun Lee takes charge of his first training session as U23s Manager.

Shaun said of his appointment: “I’m delighted to be offered the opportunity to take over the u23s and for it to be where it all first started for me when playing is even more special.

I am looking forward to working with Jude and the first team and working with Grimbo (Graeme Mintrim) in the u18s to help progress players through to the first team.” 

First Team Assistant Manager, Ben Davis, said: “We are really pleased to have Shaun working with us, he’s got a real enthusiasm to create a strong working relationship between the 18/23s and the First Team, and he’s really well respected having been part of our squad this season – it was a very straightforward decision for us.”

Dave Shearing, Chairman, said: “I am thrilled at the appointment of Shaun as our U23s Manager. Promoting from within aligns with our long-term plan and we all look forward to seeing his and the 23s development.”

Shaun’s U23s head to Bexhill United on Thursday in the U23s League Cup. 7.30pm Kick-off at The Polegrove.

Fixture news: Home v Eastbourne United

Tomorrow see’s the Town back at home for the 97th Town v United Eastbourne Derby.

Who will rise up and be the point of difference in a unique fixture which pays no heed to form nor league position? A duel that has gripped the town for over 100 years resumes tomorrow morning at The Saffrons from 11am.

Adults: £7
Concessions: £4
Under 16’s: Free
Programmes: £1.50

Statement From Eastbourne Town FC

The following statement has just been published…

We have reluctantly had to review our admission policy. With immediate effect under 16’s will only be admitted to the ground if accompanied by an adult.

We can also reaffirm the clear policy that no alcohol can be brought into the ground other than that bought from The Saffrons bar.

We remain committed to making Eastbourne Town Football Club a friendly and safe environment for all.

Eastbourne Town v Egham Town Preview: Good form, suspensions, and a key player returns.

We look ahead to the all-important FA Vase Third Round clash at The Saffrons this Saturday.

The Town are unbeaten in their last five with four wins, including the brilliant away performance against Bexhill United to get us into the third round. However, we will be put to the test to make it five wins this weekend.

Jude Macdonald runs a training session in preparation for the FA Vase Third Round match this Saturday 3rd December 2022.

Heading into the match, First Team Manager, Jude Macdonald, will be without last weekend’s man of the match, James Waters, as he serves a suspension for accumulating one too many yellow cards. Another selection headache is the loss of Jack Samways who is sadly cup-tied. With these two following on from the departure of Louis Veneti this week, we are sure to see Jude shuffle the pack.

Jude had this to say: “We are really excited about the game this weekend and the challenge it presents. We are at home, but Egham haven’t lost away from home all year and there is no doubt that they are favourites going into the game.

We are hoping for a big crowd, especially with Borough kicking off early and fingers crossed the Town Ultras can have the impact they did against Bexhill in the last round.

For a young side, many of whom are aspiring to play higher, we know how big a game this is. We are really looking forward to the test.”

James Waters is at training on Thursday evening but is unavailable for selection due to suspension.

Some good news for our coaching staff, Freddie Legg is back in after missing last weekend’s victory against Alfold due to suspension. The energetic right-back has had a great season so far at The Saffrons since coming in from Hastings United and is fast becoming a favourite amongst the supporters.

Freddie Legg returns for selection after missing out on Alfold victory due to suspension.

Our opponents come into this fixture in seriously good form having won their last seven matches in all competitions. They currently sit third in the Cherry Red Records Combined Counties Football League, with Daniel Campion and Excellence Muhemba leading the scoring with 9 goals a piece.

Having already had great success in the one FA competition this season, reaching the First Qualifying Round of the FA Cup, all at the club are extremely excited for what is set to be another brilliant knockout tie at The Saffrons. Gates Open from 2pm, programme is available, and with local National League South’s Eastbourne Borough kicking off at 12:30, we expect a bumper crowd to be joining us.

Veneti moves to Eastbourne United

We bid farewell to Louis Veneti as he departs The Saffrons.

The striker made only 5 appearances this season but had a much longer spell at the club in the 2021/22 season, making 31 appearances and scoring 18 goals.

Eastbourne Town’s management team said: “Louis had only been back for a very short period but all things considered it’s the right move for all parties”

Eastbourne Town Football Club wishes Louis well for the future.

Fixture news: AFC Varndeanians

Town are back on the road on Monday to the Withdean Stadium in the re-arranged match with AFC Varndeanians which was postponed on the 3rd November due to waterlogged pitch.

Kick off is at 8:00pm

Adults: £6
Concessions: £3
Under 16’s: Free

Please note: If your driving, please use the lower car park.

Fixture news: AFC Varndeanians away

Town are back on the road with the first of four back to back away fixtures. This Saturday we travel to Brighton to the biggest stadium in the Southern Combination Premier. The Withdean.

Kick off is at 3:00pm

Adults: £6
Concessions: £3
Under 16’s: Free

Please note, there are no Rail services from Eastbourne due to the Railway Struck. Only public transport available is the Number 12 Bus from Eastbourne to Brighton and changing on to the Number 27 to the Withdean Sports Complex.

If your driving, please use the lower car park.