Eastbourne Town were masters of their own demise as their Ryman League season ended with a 4-2 loss at Godalming Town, on Saturday.
Having survived two pitch inspections, the game was finally given the green light
The match started in driving rain as the hosts looked to make certain of a place in this season’s play offs.
Godalming, with the wind at their backs, were proving to be very lively, attacking quickly from all angles and with plenty of numbers getting forward.
An error from the normally reliable Steve Elliott gifted Godalming their opener on 11 minutes with Dan Read converting. It was no surprise when the home lead doubled on 23 minutes, again after hesitant defending by the visitors. Dan Read was once more on hand to notch his, and his side’s, second of the afternoon.
Two minutes later and a super, last gasp tackle from Elliott denied Read his hat-trick. Thorp then pulled off a terrific double save to keep out the rampant Godalming forwards as his defence appealed, in vain, for offside.
The rain started to ease just before the break and Eastbourne Town started to improve. Good approach play allowed striker Danny Curd a chance but his header went wide. With the last kick of the first period the hosts scored a third goal. Once again, having failed to cut out the danger early enough, the Town defence allowed Jamie McClurg to get in behind them and he finished well to give the home side a considerable cushion, going in to the break.
On 53 minutes, a dreadfully poor clearance from Thorp landed at the feet of Scott Harris who ran unchallenged to lob over the visitor’s ‘keeper for a fourth goal of the afternoon, sending most in the 268 crowd wild with joy.
Town boss, Danny Bloor responded by sending on 17 year old prospect, Joe Summerbell, with 30 minutes remaining.
His enthusiasm and confidence resulted in Town picking up the tempo and, finally, putting the home side under some pressure.
On 70 minutes, following good work by Matt Ferdinando, the endeavours of Danny Curd were rewarded, when he pulled a goal back for the visitors. Just two minutes later and, from a delicious Summerbell cross, Curd nearly bagged a second but Merson, in the home goal, saved well.
On 77 minutes, midfield enforcer, Adam Davidson, found himself in the Godalming box but his headed effort was cleared to Joe Summerbell who fired narrowly over the crossbar. However, the young man didn’t have long to wait to open his Ryman League account for the first team as, within a minute, he ducked inside his marker and let fly from the edge of the penalty box. Summerbell’s crisp shot fizzed past Merson into the corner of the net to reduce the deficit to two.
Ryan Storrie then played a superb pass to put Curd in, but his shot was again well saved by Kyle Merson, as Town took the remainder of the game to a nervy Godalming. Good play from Curd allowed him to twist and turn before crossing for Ferdinando to power a header towards goal. The keeper took the pace off the goal bound effort and was relieved to see it stick in the mud rather than roll on, into the net.
TOWN Thorp 6, Watts 6, Kessack 6, Elliott 6, Fogden 6 (Brooks 46’ 6), Storrie 6, Davidson 6, Kirkwood 6, Curd 7, Crabb 6 (Summerbell 60’ 8*), Ferdinando 6. Unused subs: Hollobone, Simmonds, Godfrey
Bookings: Summerbell (foul)
MoM: Joe Summerbell.....a great little cameo performance from this promising prospect.