Local derbies are always played with passion, but sometimes the desire to beat bitter rivals can lead to events more memorable than the outcome of the match (writes MaxJones).
In the six-goal thriller between Eastbourne Town and Eastbourne Borough in the Ryman Youth League South, it’s fair to say that this was the case. Town ended with seven players thanks to two dismissals and two injuries.
There were mass brawls between the two rivals, controversial goals and even a streaker to liven up a cold January evening.
It all began so well for the home side as Town, three places below their opponents in the league, took a two-goal lead through Pierpaolo Del-Gaudio and Joel Shannon.
But the passion soon overcame the Town players and, after a clattering tackle, Andrew Ashton was sent off in the 30th minute for an alleged headbutt, resulting in a 22-man push and shove contest.
Just two minutes later another brawl followed as Clayton Halford was dismissed for the home side for a second bookable offence.
Corey Wheeler’s hat-trick and another strike from George Carroll completed the Borough comeback against a depleted Town side who finished the match with seven men after two limped off injured.
But the most extraordinary incident was still to come.
With 30 minutes left, and players preparing for a throw-in, fans’ heads turned to see a young streaker, Samson Odubade, the younger brother of former Borough player Yemi Odubade, hop onto the pitch and sprint towards referee Mr A. Canavan, heel-clicking to the crowd’s amusement.
Once he was caught and re-clothed, club officials ordered him out of the Saffrons before confiscating the £30 he raised from the dare and donated it to charity.
Odubade later joked on Twitter, “I want to thank everyone for their support tonight, I hope you had fun. I’m still buzzing.”
Eastbourne Town club secretary Mark Potter didn’t see they funny side.
He added, “It’s a bit of a nuisance all round to be honest and the lad will be banned from the Saffrons for life.
“We are not going to put up with things like that.”