Eastbourne Town upbeat after Whitehawk and Saltdean victories

Dan Perry celebrates against Whitehawk
Dan Perry celebrates against Whitehawk

A remarkable week for Eastbourne Town saw them beat Saltdean United 3-1 in the league this past Saturday before stunning Bostik Premier outfit, Whitehawk, 0-3, to advance in the Sussex Senior Cup.

Ethan Strevett gave Town the lead against Saltdean four minutes into the second half and an Aaron Capon brace secured all three points at the Saffrons despite Marcus Allen’s equaliser for the visitors.

Town then showed absolutely no fear playing against a Whitehawk side who play their football two divisions above, defending from the front as they kept a high intensity throughout. Three unanswered goals from Daniel Perry, Zac Attwood and Daniel Bolwell secured Town’s passage to the third-round.

One sour note for Town was an injury to Strevett midway through the first half who will likely be out for a number of weeks with a ruptured Achilles.

“If it had been five or six against Whitehawk, they couldn’t have argued because we actually missed a few chances too,” explained Town manager, John Lambert.

“We were the better side by far and deserved the win. We are getting players back from injury now which is helping but the injury to Ethan Strevett is a real blow. There wasn’t anything in it to be honest, but he just crumpled.”

Next up for Town is a trip to Crowborough Athletic in the FA Challenge Vase. The fixture has an added dimension due to a number of Town’s players and backroom staff having joined the club from their opponents in recent months.

“Everybody involved with both clubs is really looking forward to it,” said Lambert.

“I think we have got an entire coach load making the trip, so it should make for another great atmosphere.”

Lambert also confirmed the departure of ex-captain Dan Rogers for neighbours Eastbourne United and expressed his view on both sides current situation.

“It is a tough one because Dan is a Town lad,” said Lambert.

“He has been here for a few years and he’s a good lad. But, he hasn’t been in the team recently and he wants to play football. He went with our best wishes and I had a good chat with him before he left, and he knows that he is always welcome back.

“He’s gone to try and help Eastbourne United and see if he can help keep them up and we have acquired Tom Vickers, so it is a case of one in and one out for us. There has been a lot of changes this year and I think that has contributed to our shaky start but hopefully now we can go on a big run. We’ve had a tough month playing a lot of the sides at the top like Saltdean, Chichester and Horsham then the cup game against Whitehawk and this Saturday at Crowborough but then after that we have a run of fixtures that we would hope to pick up a chunk of points so that is what we’re looking to do.

“To be fair, their previous manager didn’t do them any favours leaving more or less on the eve of the season and it is really tough for Ryan Cooper because it is his first job and when we first went to Eastbourne Town they were bottom of the Ryman League and nobody really wants to come and play for a side at the bottom of the league. But, they seem to be picking up a few players and I have always said that we don’t want them to drop out of the Premier because that is our big derby game. Christmas and Easter are always fantastic events with hundreds of supporters at both games.

“We want them to stay up and don’t want to see them struggling down there and with two ex-players of mine at the helm I’m hoping they can turn it around and I wish them the best of luck. They know how tough it will be, they’re not stupid but there is still plenty of time to pick up the points and bridge that gap a bit. I’m pretty sure they will and hopefully if they can get that first league win they can kick on. They got a win on Tuesday night, albeit in the cup, but a win is a win and they can see where it takes them.”