DANNY Bloor believes his Eastbourne Town side are heading in the right direction after an encouraging performance in their defeat to high-flyers Whitehawk.
Only a 67th minute header separated the two sides on Tuesday night and Bloor thinks the rallying display his men put in shows just how far they’ve progressed this season.
“I’m incredibly proud of my players. We went into the match with a game plan and it very nearly worked. It looked as if it would be 0-0 and it was just a moment of quality for their goal that decided it.
“We deserved a point but the fact we put in a good performance against one of the best sides in the league shows just how far we’ve come this season.”
Both sides cancelled each other out for the opening 45 minutes of the match as title-chasing Whitehawk failed to break down a resolute Town defence.
The second half started in much the same vein. Town’s Sam Crabb linked up well with Matt Geard and Danny Curd to cause the Whitehawk defence a handful of problems but they just couldn’t find a way through.
Despite being an entertaining contest, it seemed to be heading for a goalless draw until a needlessly conceded free kick saw Whitehawk captain Paul Armstrong deliver a pinpoint cross onto the head of Sam Gargan, who nodded past Town ‘keeper Kieron Thorp to give the visitors the lead.
Whitehawk almost doubled their lead minutes later as Town tried to regroup following the goal, but thankfully Ben Godfrey shot just wide. A
n equaliser would be no more than Town deserved but, despite a handful of substitutions to revitalise the squad, it just eluded them.
That performance, along with Town’s win over then league leaders Bognor Regis Town in March, shows that Bloor’s men are more than capable of mixing it with the top-of-the-table teams.
“I have got an absolutely fantastic group of players here, they’re all brilliant. With the addition of one or two more I think we can be up there.”
This weekend, Town host Walton and Hersham, who sit just one place below them in the Ryman Division One South table.
Bloor said, “You’d hope it will be an entertaining contest. I’m happy with where we are at the moment but now we’re just trying to finish the season as high up the table as possible and go into every game trying our best to win.”
Youngster Max Hollebone was set to make his first team debut this weekend but Bloor is having to wait and see if a slight injury will keep him sidelined.
Both Steve Elliot and Steve May will not be featuring this Saturday as they prepare to run the Brighton Marathon on Sunday.
Eastbourne Town: Thorp 7, Denton 7, Storrie 7, Elliott 7 (Brooks 76), Fogden 8, May 7, Davidson 8* (Watts 85), Kirkwood 7, Curd 7, Crabb 7, Geard 7 (Ferdinando 81).
MoM: Adam DAVIDSON - excellent in the heart of midfield
Bookings: Davidson, Crabb, Watts, Fogden