Saltdean is the former home to what is believed to be the world’s spiciest pizza, however, Saltdean’s form in the Southern Combination Premier Division is far from sizzling, recording just 2 points in their last 10 fixtures.

The Eastbourne Town starting eleven breaking from a huddle just before kick-off.

Town were looking to bounce back from a midweek defeat at home to Hassocks. An early setback as Town were dealt a blow with James Hull being recalled by Hastings United, leaving attacking options short upfront. Jude Macdonald listed a much-changed side for this fixture with Delwin Duah and Fletcher Holman both starting. Saltdean on the other hand, made a rather rare last minute change putting their goalkeeper Josh James in an attacking role and calling on substitute Sypridon Kokas to go between the sticks. 

10 minutes in, a fast start. Tyler Capon made a skillful run forward before smashing the ball into the side netting.  Town then dominated possession but offered very little going forwards other than a long distance shot from Nathan Hover forcing a save from Kokas. Ollie Davies looked dangerous once again and a few minutes later as he attempts to flick it over Kokas, who had come charging off his line, however, the ball falls just wide of the far post.

Tyler Capon powers into the Saltdean United penalty area.

The half then seemed to fall apart for Town as they struggled to keep possession or go forwards with any threat. The Tigers began to roar forwards more often with a few good linkups in the midfield, however, no team had a shot until Yolo Mafu attempted a bicycle kick which falls safely into the hands of Chris Winterton. Saltdean continued to be a threat with Mafu firing one into the car park at the end of the first half. Josh James had a good shot as well prompting murmurs of surprise at his competence in an attacking role. However, both teams went in at the break nil-nil. 

Leon Greig celebrates his goal with his teammates.

Both teams came out for the second half looking up for the challenge with newly subbed Anesu Sisimayi setting up a shot for Holman before Saltdean’s keeper, playing as a striker, went on a run forcing a save from Winterton. Town then began asserting themselves going forwards, however, the chances came to nothing until the 55th minute when Ollie Davies charged forwards. He sent it wide to Jack Murphy who passed it sweetly into the feet of Leon Greig who sets the ball out and smashes it into the top left corner, making it 3 goals in 5 for him in the league.

Leon Greig’s Goal vs Saltdean United

The game then started to resemble Monday morning’s Super Bowl, becoming incredibly stop-start. Anesu Sisimayi, went down injured before the entire Saltdean squad seemed to get cramp simultaneously. The game remained wholly uneventful until Capon was fouled in the box and the referee pointed to the spot. Capon stepped up to take the penalty, and in the face of a vocal Goalkeeper, placed it beautifully into the bottom left corner making it 2-0 to Town.

Tyler Capon moments before striking his penalty kick into the bottom left corner.

The game from there was done and dusted as Saltdean looked dejected and Town continued to create plenty of chances courtesy of Holman and Davies but neither could find that third goal for Town. As the rain began to fall down on the Saffrons, the referee blew his whistle for full time with the game ending Eastbourne Town 2-0 Saltdean United.

Post-match interview with Assistant Manager, Ben Davies.

Town travel to Alfold on Saturday as they look to push on for that top six finish and keep the top three in sight.  

Attendance: 151

Written by: Mackenzie Whitehouse

Photography: David Tungate and Josh Claxton