A round-up of the action as the youth football season kicked-off last weekend.
Eastbourne Town U11s 7,
West Hove Dynamo’s U11s 6
Eastbourne Town started off their Division One League campaign by edging a victory over West Hove Dynamos in an explosive 13-goal game. After finding themselves 3-0 down to their well-organised opponents after only 10 minutes, tactical altercations on the pitch gave Town a lifeline and brought them back into the match. It was the four finished by James Sampson, along with single goals from Brad Santos, Felix Wood and Declan Caffrey that completed a miraculous comeback to round-off a well-deserved 7-6 victory.
Eastbourne Borough U11s 3,
Patcham United U11s 2
A last-gasp goal from Luke Edwards meant Eastbourne Borough U11s started their season’s first competitive match with a win over their tough opponents from Brighton. Patcham captured the advantage with a goal after Borough failed to clear a corner, but a tactical reshuffle at half time saw Borough wingers Liam Hansen and Alfie Webb heap the pressure on the visitors. Borough grabbed an equaliser after a mix up in the Patcham defence gave Ben Akehurst a simple tap in for 1-1. After a back-and-fourth game, a solid performance from man of the match Alex Power allowed Borough to stay strong before Edwards rifled in the winner with only three minutes remaining.
Oakwood U12s 1,
Eastbourne Town U12s 6
Visitors Eastbourne Town showed their quality when they overwhelmed Oakwood Youth, bettering them in a 6-1 mauling. After putting early pressure on the home side, it was Leone Gravata who pounced first to open his account. Man of the match Gravata then went on to convert a spot kick, as well as two more before the final whistle. Harry Lambird and Archie Hanman also buried their chances to contribute to the emphatic final score.
Cuckfield Cosmos U12s 0,
Eastbourne Girls U12s 1
Eastbourne Girls started their season with a well-earned win in a tough encounter with Cuckfield Cosmos.
Eastbourne started the brighter, only for Cuckfield to come back into the match, enjoying positive spells and forcing the travellers’ watertight defence to cope with numerous corners. As the game moved forward, Eastbourne produced more chances but were denied by the opposition’s goalkeeper, who also managed to save a penalty.
It was Natasha Dean who managed to finally break through Eastbourne’s defence to cement the win 1-0.
Eastbourne Borough Red U12s 6, Ringmer U12s 3
An attacking master-class from Jake Hicks helped Borough Reds U12s earn a sparkling 6-3 victory over Ringmer Rovers Jaguars.
Borough were two goals to the good after only eight minutes, both expertly finished by Borough striker Jake Hicks.
Ringmer then pulled one back before Hicks turned provider for Borough captain Joe Tivey after Hicks had turned the travelling defence inside out.
The visitors arrived more determined in the second half, pulling another goal back. However, Hicks completed his hat-trick, before the goal-machine went on to further increase the gap with his fourth.
Lewes Bridge View U12s 1,
Eastbourne Town U12s 2
The Eastern and Southern league champions came head-to-head on the opening day of the Division One campaign with town emerging on top. Lewes looked the better side early on, taking the lead after just 10 minutes. Notable efforts from Jevan Cousins and Keddie Croft helped Eastbourne get back into the game and a clinical strike from Callum Knight made it 1-1 before the break. With Town looking the side who could cope better in the heat, sustained pressure in the Lewes goalmouth led Charly Kendall to slot home from eight yards to make it 2-1 to town. With neither side able to control the game towards the end, the visitors ended up claiming three points.
Hawks Youth White U13s 0,
Eastbourne Town Blue U13s 2
Following promotion to Division One, Eastbourne Town Blue got off to a well-deserved opening-day win over last season’s County Champions Hawks Youth White. Pre-season training was about to show its worth against a Hawks side that started strongly. Town found themselves on the back-foot for the first 10 minutes, but the new centre-back pairing of Captain Jason Tibble and Harry Pearson weathered the intense pressure. After fighting back, the deadlock was broken when a flowing move saw George McCarthy produce a defence-splitting pass, allowing man of the match Harry Colbran to finish. Town weren’t guaranteed the victory until a solo effort from Vella-Andrade secured the three points for the visitors.
Eastbourne Borough Reds U14s 4,
Hove Park Colts U14s 1
Eastbourne Borough Reds U14s kicked off their Division One season in style with a comfortable 4-1 win over Hove Park Colts.
Borough took a well-deserved lead when Victor Guy netted with a superb 25-yard free-kick. The lead soon doubled with a neat finish from débutante Billy Crittenden, before Nathan Hover pushed the home side further ahead before the break.
Hove were able to get back into the game, pulling one back through a penalty which keeper Josh Langley-Fineing was unlucky not to reach. Borough subsequently stepped up their game and netted a deserved fourth when Jordan Kurfuriji powered through the Hove defence to finish.
Hailsham United U15 Colts 2,
THE Colts enjoyed a home win after shaking off Rusthall’s first-half lead. It was Rusthall who struck first, taking the lead when their winger weaved past three of the Colts before calmly slotting into the net. Hailsham’s Jake Packham then took his turn to produce a fine solo effort, breaking Rusthall’s stranglehold and netting the equaliser. One again, it was Packham who drove forward, supplying the textbook cross for Robin Garnett to snatch the winner.
Hailsham United U15s Juniors 4, Rotherfield 3
Harvey Sanderson’s last-ditch distance shot gave Hailsham United U15s Juniors a victory over Rotherfield. Hailsham were forced to chase the game as they tried to extinguish an early two-goal deficit, before two Adam Pye’s strikes ignited the path for skipper Oli Taylor to bring the hosts back into the game. With only five minutes remaining, left-back Sanderson hit the unstoppable winner that finally got the better of the resolute visitors.
Eastbourne Borough U16 Black 8,
Seaford Town FC 4
Hat-tricks from Tom Cyprien and Clemence Sakala sent Eastbourne Borough U16s towards an opening-day win over Seaford Town. The Division Three home side soon settled into their stride, producing flowing football which resulted in the 8-4 victory. The six goals from Cyprien and Sakala followed two earlier goals from Sam Smith, which included a fantastic shot from distance. After the sharp-shooting attacking display, Borough’s lead was maintained with the help of man of the match Zac Fuller, who put in a solid defensive performance.
Polegate Grasshoppers U16s 4, Eastbourne Borough Red U16s 1
New signings Tyler Capon, John Reeves and Harry Rogers made an immediate impact as Polegate U16s – newly sponsored by Advance Mouldings Ltd - kicked off their campaign with an emphatic 4-1 win.
Polegate took an early lead courtesy of last season’s top scorer Caylan Parfitt, and Capon promptly doubled the score with a long-range strike before Borough pulled one back. Polegate reasserted themselves strongly and Parfitt had to overcome some tenacious goalkeeping to make it three. The hosts continued to press in the second-half, capturing their fourth after Matt Bosly’s shot ricocheted off the post and Capon reacted swiftly to convert the loose ball.