A second long trip to Kent in four days ended with the same result, as 10 man Eastbourne Town suffered another 1-0 reverse, this time from their visit to Sittingbourne FC
In a game littered with mistakes and bookings, Town’s Matt Crabb was shown a red card on 81 minutes for what seemed a two footed tackle although the Sittingbourne manager, Jim Ward, felt Crabb had won the ball. It was one of many challenges throughout the game that incurred the wrath of the match official, as he racked up eight other cautions.
Whilst the game wasn’t dirty, it was competitive and the conditions contributed to misplaced passes and mistimed tackles throughout.
Town’s promising left back, Dan Rogers, in for the injured Ross Sutton, was the worst culprit, as a couple of badly timed challenges saw him booked and replaced before half time, as Town’s boss, Danny Bloor looked to ensure parity of numbers.
With Town playing with a more adventurous 4-4-2 system, it was the host side that made the early running, often penning the visitors deep in their own half.
The usually excellent Josh Pelling struggled with his handling, as he and his defenders looked somewhat nervy and indecisive.
Once Town got a foothold in the game, chances were made for the tireless Evan Archibald, Richard Greenfield, Danny Curd and Matt Crabb but the hosts dealt easily with these.
Sittingbourne missed be best chance of the first half on 38 minutes when, after good work down their left side, the ball was delivered into Town’s 6 yard box but, to their horror, it evaded the three waiting attackers as it flew past them all to safety.
As the rains fell and conditions worsened, the best piece of play in the game was rewarded with a goal on 57 minutes.
The dangerous Tom Loynes turned inside Sam Crabb before delivering a super pass into Town’s box. The lively Joe Taylor got first run across Town’s central defenders, before burying an unstoppable volley past Pelling, much to the delight of the home fans.
Archibald had a good opportunity to equalise but Town’s woes in front of goal continued, as he shot tamely wide. The introduction of Dan Smith along with Aaron Hopkinson brightened Town’s play for a while but as Matt Crabb left the game, so did Town’s chances of salvaging something.
TOWN: Pelling 6, S.Crabb 6, Rogers 5 (Bowell 6), Elliott 7, Austin (c) 7, Lansdale 6, Greenfield 6 (Hopkinson 6), Treleaven 6, Archibald 7*, Curd 6 (Smith 7), M.Crabb 6.
MOM: Even Archibald - worked tirelessly for his team