Crawley Down Gatwick 0, Eastbourne Borough 9: Sports bounce back from FA Cup dejection in style
Borough closed the door firmly on Saturday's FA Cup dejection when they trounced Crawley Down Gatwick in the Sussex Senior Cup on Tuesday night - Nat Pinney scoring five goals in a 9-0 victory.
It took just two minutes for Josh Hare to rifle the Sports ahead from Alex Smith’s cross, and a further eight for Nat Pinney to double the lead from Jamie Taylor’s inspired through pass.
In between those two strikes, Taylor himself saw another goal disallowed for offside - indeed, a zealous linesman’s flag was to be raised nine times during the match, nearly all of them marginal and one or two plainly wrong.
But Borough were sweeping forward with such purpose that a white flag of surrender might have been more useful for a gallant Crawley Down side, who seldom kept pace with their visitors’ fluid movement. Just after the half-hour Pinney popped in a third and Miguel Baptista made it 4-0 with the goal of the night, a breathtaking 25-yarder that swerved into the top far corner.
Baptista and midfield partner Ryan Worrall seized the starting chance handed to them by Tommy Widdrington and both responded with strong performances. With Hughes, Dutton and keeper Lewis Carey rested in favour of a highly competent Charlie Horlock, the squad depth was there for all to see.
Crawley Down played neatly enough and contributed some good passing moves to an entertaining and sporting contest, but they found no way past the central trio of Simpemba, Khinda-John and Stone.
Hare hit the post just before the interval, and with victory parcelled up by half-time at 4-0, the Sports might have been forgiven for easing off - but if anything they raised the tempo.
Smith had been raining in dangerous crosses from the left, and he himself extended the lead on 66 minutes, latching on to a perfect through ball and cutting in to hit a deflected shot past keeper Hopkins.
And in a merciless final 15 minutes Borough claimed four more goals. Pinney bundled in his own third from a close-range cut-back, and then he converted a penalty after substitute striker Josh Street was brought down.
Then Pinney drilled in a low shot for 8-0 after yet another Alex Smith dazzle on the left, and Josh Street’s header finished off a right wing attack to complete the nine-goal and five-star performance.
Borough: Horlock; Hare, Simpemba, Khinda-John (O’Reilly 57), Stone, Smith; Worrall, Oxlade-Chamberlain (Tate 64), Baptista; Taylor (Street 67), Pinney.
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