‘Street wise’ Town pass the physical challenge

Eastbourne Town returned from the Belmont with all three points following an impressive display against a rough Whitstable side on Saturday.

Town started brightly forcing several corners early on with Danny Curd, Greg Manton and Nick Fogden all just heading over the home goal.

After only seven minutes, Whitstable made their intentions clear when James Morrish flattened Matt Geard in an off the ball challenge that went unpunished by referee Fissenden.

Town’s early pressure was soon rewarded however, as in the ninth minute Lyall cleared an Eastbourne corner to the half way line only for Nick Fogden to lob the ball back in the box for Greg Manton to shoot past Scott Chalmer-Stevens in the home goal.

Whitstable’s frustrations continued to get the better of them and Antony Bodle was cautioned for a very late tackle on Fogden.

Town were pushing forward with both Crabb brothers Nathan and Sam causing the home defence all sorts of problems.

From one of their crosses Danny Curd headed narrowly wide of the goal and Matt Geard and Steve May also went close following good approach play by Adam Davidson.

Whitstable were now losing their heads and their discipline and Rob Lyall was shown a yellow card for a late studs up challenge which left Fogden crashing into the advertising hoardings.

Not content with that, Lyall was then warned for kicking the ball away before yet another late x-rated challenge on the half way line, right under the nose of referee Fissenden, saw him given his marching orders.

Three more Whitstable players were also cautioned in a fiery first half and, with Town dominating the proceedings, the visitor’s efforts were rewarded just before half time as Sam Crabb played Steve May in and he gleefully accepted the invitation to shoot past Chalmer-Stevens to double Town’s lead.

The second half started as the first had ended with Town dominating and bossing the game.

Curd had a shot cleared off the line by Steven Lloyd, Matt Geard then saw his shot well saved by Chalmer-Stevens and the same player then saw his shot cleared by Garry Sayer, again from the goal line, as the visitors searched for a third goal.

Normal service was continuing from the hosts, as a rough Whitstable side had yet three more players shown yellow cards, following late challenges.

With 10 minutes left, Callum Christie, Town’s debutant goalkeeper, was called upon to make his first save in an Eastbourne shirt as he saved with his feet from the prolific Stuart Vahild.

Whitstable now pushed forward in numbers and Christie was called upon to collect a few crosses however, in the 93rd minute he was seemingly pushed in the back to leave Stuart Vahild the chance to head into an empty net.

This was the last action of the game as the referee blew for full time almost immediately. Eastbourne Town had secured a second away league victory with a mature, impressive and well disciplined performance that pleased the team’s management and visiting fans.

TOWN: Christie 6, Davidson 6,

Kessack 7, G Manton 7, Fogden 7, May 8 (B Manton), Kirkwood 6, S Crabb 7, Curd 6 (Freeman 6), N Crabb 7 (Greenfield 6), Geard 8 Referee: Ian Fissenden 5

Booked: Fogden

MOM: Matt Geard - another influential performance

Att: 136