Deflected effort denies Town at Burgess Hill

Eastbourne Town were knocked out of the FA Cup on Saturday at Ryman League side Burgess Hill but not without giving the higher league hosts a few scares on the way.

Town started brightly as Peter Cooper, making his first start of the season, replacing the departed Kenny Pogue set Matt McLean in but he saw his shot blocked by former Town player Neil Watts.

Burgess Hill Town v Eastbourne Town

Burgess Hill Town v Eastbourne Town

Shortly afterwards Matt Darby set up Cooper who shot just wide.

Play moved swiftly to the other end and saw Greg Luer pass for Joe Keehan who shot just wide.

Cooper was a lively figure and another effort from the striker was tipped around the post by Josh James in the Burgess Hill goal.

Further chances at each end followed as Pat Harding set up Luer his shot was saved by Nessling before the lively Luer set up Rob O’Toole who should have done better with an overhead kick.

Town had several chances as Cooper and McLean saw shots saved by James to leave the half time score level.

After the break Burgess Hill stepped up the pressure without really creating a clear cut chance.

The crucial strike came in the 78th minute. Hill won a corner and substitute Lee Harding saw his shot deflected beyond the stranded Nessling to win the tie.

Liam Upton replaced Copper and Shaun Loft replaced Max Hollobone as Manager John Lambert pushed everyone forward but an equaliser was not to come.

Town can however take comfort from their performance which earned praise from Ian Chapman the Burgess Hill manager who said they came here and gave it a

real go restricting us to fewer chances then we’ve had in a game all season.

Town take on St Francis Rangers tonight in the Peter Bentley League Cup (kick off 7:45pm at the Saffrons).

Eastbourne Town: Nessling, Turner, Sutton (Henson 23) Hollobone (Loft 81) Elliott, Kelly, Ellis, Darby, Cooper (Upton 77) McLean ,Dryer

Unused Subs: Summerbell, Snashall, Billings

Booked: Turner (foul) Elliott (foul)

ATT 204

Referee Simon Finnigan (Maidstone)

Town: MOM Danny Ellis