In a six-goal thriller, a 92nd minute strike from Faversham substitute, Tony Gonnella, broke Eastbourne Town hearts, as they had to settle for a point in their opening Ryman League game of this new season.
In blistering heat, Town paraded six new signings in their starting line up and, after just three minutes, Matt Crabb opened his and Town’s account with a beautifully crafted goal.
Danny Curd fed the ball wide for Ryan Storrie to burst past the defending full back and, from a delicious cross, Matt Crabb volleyed high into the net.
Faversham opened the second half with much more purpose and had Town on the back foot immediately. On 53 minutes, the host’s equalising goal was controversial, as with the assistant referee flagging for offside, the match official overruled, to give a free kick on the edge of the Eastbourne Town box. Ignoring the Town requests to consult with his assistant, the referee watched as Dave Botterill fired the free kick directly into the bottom left hand corner of Reed’s goal.
The second Faversham goal, on 71 minutes, came from their best passage of play, as a flowing move on their left saw a good cross smashed home by Dan Lawrence.
Bloor immediately replaced the exhausted Storrie with the speedy Richard Greenfield. Town produced an instant response, as Greenfield flew past his marker to deliver yet another delicious cross, that this time was swept home by last season’s top scorer, Danny Curd. Town repeated the trick a minute later. This time the tireless John Lansdale made the surging run, but the cross was as good as those before it and a super finish from Curd restored the visitors lead.
With just seconds remaining, the home side lifted themselves off the floor to deliver a hammer blow, as from the right wing, yet another super cross was met by former Bognor Regis player, Tony Gonnella. His swivelled shot found the extreme corner of Reed’s goal and left the sides even after a very entertaining afternoon.
Eastbourne Town will be hoping to push on next Tuesday when Horsham FC visit The Saffrons.
Town: Reed, Lansdale, Sutton, Austin, Fogden, Elliott, Storrie, May, Curd, Billings, M.Crabb,
Subs: S.Crabb (7) for Billings 55 mins, Greenfield (7) for Storrie 72 mins, Howell for Curd 90 mins