Eastbourne Town’s dream of a Sussex Senior Cup final at The AMEX Stadium turned into a nightmare on Wednesday as they were dumped from the competition by County Division one side East Preston,
John Lansdale had given the home side the lead early in the second half, but goals from Fred Foreman and Richard Hudson gave the visitors the win, and a place in the semi-final.
Manager Danny Bloor made several changes to his regular eleven, but was struggling early on when he was forced into making a double substitution.
Dominic Weston and Richard Greenfield both picked up injuries, and had to be taken off.
“I’ve never seen two players pick up injuries in the first six minutes, it’s unheard of. That put us out of kilter, and it’s hard to recover from that,” Bloor commented.
In a physical first half, neither side managed to create any clear-cut chances until the 39th minute. This, a header from Eastbourne’s Matt Crabb, was saved brilliantly by East Preston ‘keeper Ben Rose to send the teams in level at the break.
The second half was a far cry from the drab affair of the first 45. Just four minutes in, and Town took the lead. Lansdale stepped up to curl in a free-kick from 20 yards, Rose rooted to the spot.
It didn’t take long for East Preston to find a reply, with Foreman levelling the scores 10 minutes later. A corner from Max Axwell was swung into the far post, and thanks to some slack defending the ball was bundled home.
Town came close to regaining their lead with a quarter of an hour to go, but Ethan Strevett’s excellent long range effort cannoned back off the bar to ensure extra-time.
With 104 minutes on the clock, the visitors missed