Striker Danny Curd’s predatory instincts sealed all three points for Eastbourne Town at the Saffrons on Saturday.
Town rode their luck at times in this match but the all important winner arrived in the 80th minute after Curd pounced onto a loose ball following Luke Denton’s long free kick into the box.
Town just about did enough to deserve all three points in a game against a decent Whitstable side.
It also provided a chance for youngsters Joe Summerbell and Matt Ferdinando to taste some first team action.
Boss Danny Bloor has stressed his commitment to giving his talented youngsters a chance at this stage of the campaign and he would have been delighted with the contribution from his young substitutes. Indeed the pair so very nearly combined to add a second when Ferdinando latched on to Summerbell’s delightful throughball but his thunderous first time volley was superbly turned over the bar by Dave King. The match began in good spirits, the crowd were busy munching on their free Easter eggs provided by the club as the players walked out accompanied by local school children who attended the Football4Peace soccer school held at the Saffrons during the Easter Holidays.
Dean Brooks was deployed as front runner to provide the muscle alongside Curd’s guile. There was also a starting place for Sam Crabb who showed some silky skills and manufactured Tow’s first real effort with a smart turn and stinging long range effort that whistled just wide of the upright.
After 30 minutes the ball fell kindly for Brooks in the box but the defender and part-time striker leant back on his shot and comfortably cleared the stand behind the goal endangering the hockey players on the field behind.
Kieran Thorp has once again been superb for Bloor in the Town goal and he was at his very best on 40 minutes.
The Town stopper was down sharply to keep out James Pinnock’s close range effort and then, just before halftime, he gratefully watched on as Pinnock’s downward header hit the foot of the post.
Whitstable’s best period of the match came after the break.
Jake Beecroft was the visitors’ most creative player on the day and it was his pinpoint cross that found the head of the unmarked Steve Lloyd who should have scored from six yards out.
Beecroft’s freekick then teed-up defender Marc Cumberbatch whose header flashed across the goal and shaved the far post.
Curd’s crucial strike duly arrived as he was the first to react when Brooks’ effort was charged down from Denton’s punt into in the box and Town, with the help of Summerbell and Ferdinando, looked the most likely to increase their lead.
Ferdinando had his big chance well saved and Crabb almost grabbed a goal when his low shot was palmed away from King.
Referee Constantine Natzidakis found six additional minutes from somewhere and with the Town bench screaming in his ear to blow the full-time whistle Whitstable’s Stuart Vahid almost snatched a draw when his effort smacked the cross bar.
TOWN: Thorp 8, Denton 7, Storrie 8, Elliott 7, Fogden 7, May 7, Watts 6, Kirkwood 6 (Summerbell 7), Curd 7 (Ferdinando 7), Crabb 7, Brooks 6
MOM: Storrie - composed left back performance Referee: Constantine Natzidakis