Eastbourne Town 2
Eastbourne Town advanced in the FA Cup thanks to a superb away performance and second half goals from Wes tate and Kenny Pogue (pictured) at the Maidstone Road Sports Ground.
John Lambert’s Town side arrived at Chatham still unbeaten in all competitions this season. The hosts however had not won in the the league since mid August and a potential upset was on the cards.
Lambert was still missing Andy Henson and Luke Woodley so Alan Foster moved across to right back and Dan Rogers retained his place at left back having impressed midweek following his return from holiday. Dan Bolwell was preferred to Matt Darby in midfield. Town started very tentatively and even a little nervous as Chatham had the bulk of possession in the early stages.
The hosts were very slow in their build up though and that suited Town, as they were able to get back and organised behind the ball - despite having the majority of the possession the hosts rarely threatened Greg Nessling in the Town goal.
Just when Town had started to settle into the game a little better, Chatham made the breakthrough. In the 32nd minute the powerful Andrew Dalhouse capitalised on a poor uncharacteristic defensive mistake to fire the home side ahead.
The goal appeared to wake Town from there slumbers and for the remainder of the half traded blows with Chatham and looked a far more attacking threat, which was a sign to come for the second half.
No doubt an ear-bashing from Lambert was given at half time as Town continued as they had left off in the first half, on the front foot and pushing the hosts deeper and deeper. There were three corners for Town in the first few minutes of the second half.
Jason Taylor and Wes Tate were starting to become a growing influence in the game, and Taylor had a strong penalty appeal turned down when he appeared to be pulled back when bearing down on goal.
On 67 minutes Taylor was involved again, and this time a penalty was awarded following exquisite play from Tate and Taylor with the latter brought down. Tate took the spot kick and fired home to send the Town supporters in raptures.
Town now clearly had the momentum and looked like the side who were going to go onto win it, and what proved to be the winner came on 78 minutes when Rogers’ left wing cross was met by the head of the excellent captain Kenny Pogue who headed down and past the helpless Chatham keeper.
The expected onslaught from the hosts did not really materialise, and anything Chatham through at the visitors was dealt with superbly by Nessling and the back four in front of him.
It was Town who had the best chance to seal the victory in the final minute when Pogue and Taylor were two on one but Pogue’s ball across to Taylor was intercepted.
Joyous scenes at the final whistle for the large travelling support from Eastbourne, Town showed fantastic character to put in the second half performance they did, following what was possibly the worst 45 minutes performance of the season in the first. Town now take there place in third qualifying draw for the first time in 47 years.
Town: Nessling, Foster, Rogers, Bolwell (Darby), Turner, Sheriff, Taylor, Patton, Tate (Cuddlington), Pogue, Billings
Subs not used: Young, Smith, Paul, Robinson