A rampant Eastbourne Town finally look as though they have got their season underway, if tonight’s offering is anything to go by.
Town’s boss, John Lambert, saw his side secure three valuable Ryman League points after they destroyed Crawley Down Gatwick and record their biggest win for seven years and their best result in their time in the Ryman Isthmian League.
Lambert named the returning Ashley Robinson in a new look Town side and while 27-goal man, Billy Medlock, was unavailable, his usual strike partner, Andrew Mensah, had to be content with a place on the Town bench.
The notoriously slow starting Town were on the front foot from the start and it took them just 180 seconds to open the scoring.
Richard Greenfield fired home from 15 yards after good approach play from the Town left side. The home team that took the initiative, as they scored twice more in four minutes to open a three goal lead by the half-time break. On 35 minutes, the hard working Dom Clarke played Schaaf in and his tantalising cross was turned into his own net by Jamie Hills.
Town then scored a brilliant third goal on 39 minutes, as Dom Clarke’s well placed bullet header, after superb work from Ashley Robinson, left Luke Badiall rooted to the spot in the Crawley Down goal.
On 56 minutes Leyton Schaaf was replaced by Andrew Mensah and his introduction had an immediate effect as his electric pace caused all manner of problems for the visitors.
On 58 minutes, Mensah’s strong burst through into the Crawley Down box was ended as he was hauled down by Martin Dynan.
The match referee pointed to the spot and then showed Dynan a straight red card. Robinson’s penalty kick was a sight to behold as he walked up to the ball, waited for Badiall to commit, he then gently rolled the ball across the line to increase his side’s lead.
Two minutes later Town went nap, as Mensah collected a superb pass from the impressive Tom Bold before executing a delightful dink over Badial.
A sixth goal followed just after the hour mark as, once again, a pin point cross from Bold found its target when Dom Clarke rose highest to head powerfully home, to notch his second goal of a good evening.
Town duly avenged a 6-1 mauling in the reverse fixture, and did so without leading sharpshooter, Billy Medlock.
There were some eye catching performances against Crawley Down Gatwick, notably from Bold, Greenfield, Clarke and Robinson but, for as delighted as he would be, Lambert and his coaches would have been as thrilled from securing a third home Ryman League shutout of the season.
There is still much to do to extricate themselves from the mess of a season that they are having but, it seems, that journey is most definitely now underway.
TOWN: Christie 7, Joseph 7, Pacheco 6, Battie 7, Elliott 7 (Hollobone 74mins), Cooper 7, Greenfield 8, Bold 8, Clarke 8 (Del-Gaudio 69), Schaaf 7 (Mensah 56), Robinson 8*.
MOM: Ashley Robinson