Eastbourne Town took two different teams to Shoreham on Saturday, as their pre-season programme opened with a 3-2 reverse.
The Town group contained most of last year’s squad, mixed with new signings and a number of triallists who were trying to impress watching Town boss, Danny Bloor and his staff.
It was a first outing for many years in Town’s yellow and blue colours for Eastbourne favourites, Ben Austin and Matt Crabb.
Both performed well in a first half team that included another new face in Ross Sutton, who was with Lewes and Hastings last year.
Having conceded an early goal, a sharp Danny Curd finish restored parity before putting ‘his’ XI in front with two clinical finishes.
A bubbly Shoreham side equalised and then got their noses in front on the stroke of half time with headed goals that gave triallist ‘keeper James Shaw no possible chance.
New 6’ 5’’ ‘keeper, Sam Reed took his place between the sticks for the second half as Town continued to experiment with their playing options.
Youngsters, Max Hollobone and Joe Summerbell looked particularly sharp after a summer’s rest.
The versatile Sonny Cobbs also had 45 minutes in a Town shirt again after finishing last season with promoted Bognor Regis Town.
Danny Bloor expressed himself satisfied with the afternoon’s work, adding “It has been a gentle opening today and that was what we wanted.
“The boys have trained hard with Goughie and Ady Colwell and today would have blown away a few cobwebs.
“Things will get a little harder as we work through our pre-season schedule, obviously Whitehawk will prove decent opposition on Tuesday but, they, like us, will be gearing things to the opening round of league games on August 18.”
Bloor was pleased with most of what he watched, especially with the exciting youngsters, Hollobone and Summerbell.
Bloor explained, “ Both Max and Joe, and the other promising youngsters we have here have much to learn, both physically and mentally but I’m really excited at their potential.”