Managing the occasion and the conditions of a rainy opening night of the 2019-20 Sussex Senior Cup, AFC Uckfield Town secured an impressive 2-1 win to eliminate hosts Eastbourne Town in one of the shocks of the First Round.
At a damp Saffrons, Uckfield took the initiative from kick-off and capitalised on a slow home start to go ahead in just the 5th minute when Ellis Cormack won a free kick on the edge of the box before Bailo Camara struck the set piece into the bottom right corner.
Aside from a chance for the unmarked Dan Perry when he headed over from Aaron Capon’s right-wing cross, the half would go on to be dominated by the Uckers in an incisive performance.
A flurry of chances followed, with Camara denied by Dan Rogers’ goal-line clearance after rounding Michael Platt, Tayler Maddock’s header scrambled off the line and Cormack blazing over from a good position.
The crucial second goal for Uckfield finally came in the 42nd minute, as Maclean broke the offside trap with a pass to Camara, and the winger poked through Platt’s legs.
A more familiar Town performance followed the break, but the Uckers were still able to pin the hosts back on the counter, and the half proved to go exactly to plan for Anthony Storey’s team.
With Capon denied on three separate occasions, and Perry and Brad Pritchard also frustrated, the Uckers had their chances to wrap the game up through Camara, who was crowded out on the counter, and Sam Cooper, who was inches away from meeting Camara’s cross in the goalmouth late on.
Harry Colbran got one back for the hosts in the 93rd minute with a finish into the bottom right corner, but with the final whistle blown seconds later, the Uckers’ progress was confirmed.
AFC Uckfield Town: Hawkins, Rodrigues-Barbosa (Alexander, 90’), Cooper, Ryan Welch, Maddock, Richie Welch (C), Okojie, Maclean, Scott (Tomlin, 79’), Cormack, Camara
Unused: Storey, Loft, Baitup