Town Win The 100th Eastbourne Derby

It’s always the biggest game on the calendar for both Eastbourne Town and Eastbourne United but this one had that extra level of importance. 104 years on from their first competitive fixture in May 1920, It was the 100th game between both clubs. That mixed in with a stellar ongoing race for the playoffs between Hassocks, Town, Haywards Heath and United, gave this game that extra edge.
Before kick-off, both clubs and supporters came together for a minute of applause in remembrance of Eddie Woods and Terry Crabb.Two local legends of the Eastbourne Footballing community who sadly passed away recently.
Town started the brightest with an early chance for James Hull after some quick passing between Freddie Warren and Ollie Davies found the number nine but Hull’s deflected shot only found the side netting. The yellow and blue of Eastbourne kept pushing forward, setting the pace and were the first to test the goalkeeper, Anesu Sisimayi, with a controlled effort using the inside of his right foot but Phil Hawkins was equal to it and parried away.
With five minutes gone on the clock, Town strike first. Leon Greig with a cross-come shot from 20 yards out loops from right to left and sails into the far corner of the United net. One-nil Town.
After the opening goal, Town lost their momentum and United started to take control. Rhyle Ovenden’s fizzed-in free kick is almost put into the net by Town’s Delwin Duah but the young defender managed to get enough on his clearance up and over the bar. Callum Barlow was next. United’s striker is the current top goal scorer with a mammoth 35 goals this season but his downward header was kept out by the diving Chris Winterton. The score would remain one-nil up to the interval.
United came out looking to emulate their opponents with an early goal but Chris Winterton was again equal to Callum Barlow’s glancing header. Town looked to their bench to freshen things up with deadline day signing James Waters who joined James Hull and Ollie Davies in attack. The front three started to cause problems as Ollie Davies’s pace in behind would see him latch onto a long ball from Leon Greig but the winger was cleaned out in the box by Phil Hawkins resulting in a penalty for Town. James Hull made no mistake, sending the goalkeeper the wrong way and putting Town two-nil up.
Town sealed the win with some brilliant link-up play down the left wing between Jack Murphy and Harry Simmons. Simmons’s low-driven cross wasn’t cleared by Alfie Headland and the incoming Ollie Davies tucked home Town’s third to secure all three points and massive step towards playoffs.
Town travel to Midhurst & Easebourne on Saturday with their final home league match of the season next Saturday 13th April at home to Horsham YMCA.
Attendance: 687