Eastbourne United continue winning streak with late comeback over Alfold

Eastbourne United players celebrate a goal during Saturday's 3-1 win over Alfold. Picture courtesy of Jon Rigby.
Eastbourne United players celebrate a goal during Saturday's 3-1 win over Alfold. Picture courtesy of Jon Rigby.

Eastbourne United manager Matt Crabb demands his players to maintain their ‘really good standards’ after they secured a fifth consecutive win in all competitions, coming from behind to beat Alfold last Saturday.

Alfold looked lively from the off with Jordan Hawkins making a good reaction save in the fourth minute, tipping the ball over the bar.

The visitors took the lead from the penalty spot after Dale Penn brought down Johden De Meyer and Kelvin Lucas duly converted.

A crazy final ten minutes began with a United equaliser when Sam Schaaf latched on to a loose ball, slotting past the ‘keeper. Nathan Crabb’s cross-come-shot was then spilled by the Alfold no.1 to give the Whites the lead three minutes later.

And Crabb made sure of all three points after he collected a misplaced bass, before beating the ‘keeper with a lofted a shot from just past the halfway line.

Crabb said: “It was a very good win against a good side, I’d be surprised if they don’t finish in the top six this season.

“The first 45 minutes was probably our worst since I’ve been in charge. I thought we gave them too much respect. The boys came good in the last ten minutes of the game and were superb.”

The result lifts Eastbourne up to ninth, continuing their glittering run ever since Crabb took over as manager little over a month ago.

The United manager continued: “I expected a reaction and that’s exactly what I got in the second half. The lads are setting really good standards, we just need to maintain them now.

“For whatever reason, there has been a massive change in the players. They are doing the right things at the right times on the pitch and the results are showing that.

"We are in a really good place at the moment and if it continues then who knows where we could finish. We all know in football, from one week to another, it can dramatically change, so we’re not going to get too far ahead of ourselves but we are going to enjoy this moment as it is a good one.

“It’s all about good habits and there is no better habit than winning games so we will be taking Saturday like any other game and I’ve think I’ve said already that if any silverware comes along at the end of the season then happy days.”

Eastbourne United host lowly Pagham in the Peter Bentley Challenge Cup this Saturday (October 12). Crabb added: “Pagham haven’t had the best of starts to the season but looked to have picked up recently. We never go into a game thinking one is easier than another, we have to perform whoever we are up against, I’m expecting it to be a battle Saturday and hopefully we will come out on top.”

Eastbourne United: Hawkins, Ducatel, Murphy, O’Callaghan, Lodge, D.Penn, N.Crabb, Ball (Merrick 60’), Rogers, K.Penn (S.Crabb 54’), Weatherby (Schaaf 71’). Unused: Headland, Edwards.