Eastbourne United miss out on Wembley final

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There will be no dream date at Wembley for Eastbourne United after they were knocked out of the FA Vase by Sholing in a six-goal semi-final second leg.

The damage was done in the first 45 minutes as Sholing stormed into a 3-0 lead, leaving an under-fire United reeling come half time.

While the home side pulled two goals back to set up a slightly more exciting second half, a late Sholing strike sealed the match and the visitors’ ticket to the final.

The tie was perfectly poised after a 2-2 draw in the semi-final first leg away at Sholing last week and, just as they did at The Silverlake Arena seven days ago, United fell behind to an own goal - this time, the culprit was Wes Tate as he headed into his own net from a Sholing corner.

On 26 minutes, Mike Carter doubled Sholing’s advantage and by 40 minutes, the visitors were 3-0 up courtesy of Barry Mason.

The scoreline didn’t flatter the Premier Wessex League outfit, who had completely dominated the opening 45 minutes, while United were clearly missing the suspended Ryan McBride.

As should be expected, United came out with a renewed vigour in the second half and pulled one goal back early on through Matt Maclean.

On 67 minutes, and just moments after Sholing had a goal ruled out for offside, Jamie Crellin bagged United’s second of the afternoon to make any hopes of a remarkable comeback that little bit more realistic.

However, as Simon Rowland’s men were pushing for that crucial equaliser, they were caught short at the back and Sholing slotted a fourth goal home on the counter attack to seal the victory with just minutes to go.

Full time: Eastbourne United 2-4 Sholing (4-6 aggregate).

Eastbourne United line-up: Young, Divall, Dartnall, Loft, Ray, Franklin, Tate, Crellin, Robinson, Maclean, Dryer

Attendance: 1,426