Firepower a priority for Daubeney after stalemate

United manager Paul Daubeney confirmed he was actively searching for more fire-power upfront as Eastbourne United failed to convert their chances against a well-organised Selsey side.

“There are a couple of players I have been speaking to who have expressed an interest in playing for this football club and one of them came down to watch the first-half with his family.”

The unknown player will have seen United, the lowest scorers in the league with just 19 goals in 26 games, fail to find the target for a third consecutive league game.

Selsey, who came into the game in fine-form having won four of their previous six games failed to get going as the hosts dominated the ball in the early stages.

Both Marcus Whiteman and Jamie Buckett looked dangerous with the ball at their feet and United looked to have a golden opportunity in the 10th minute as Siao Blackwood raced through but was denied by the linesman’s flag.

With United looking the more threatening it was Selsey who had the first real chance of the game, against the run of play.

Lively striker Graham Bush did well to get his cross in from the byline and tall centre-half Dan Hegarty climbed above a static United defence only to see his header crash against the crossbar with United keeper Grant Fitzgerald beaten.

United responded well to the scare and minutes later had fashioned the move of the game.

Full back David Smart set the pacey Blackwood free down the left and after showing quick feet to beat his man, Blackwood fired in a low cross that was inexplicably missed by Buckett who contrived to fire straight at the Selsey keeper when it looked easier to score.

Deprived of the ball for long periods of the second half, Eastbourne’s defence had to be well-organised to cope with the continuous Selsey attacks.

In a largely uneventful half United manager Daubeney rang the changes bringing on Craig Barrett, Charlie Sweetman and Jamie Bunn but it was the visitors who had the best chance.

Centre back Dan Hegarty was struck with deja vu as he again saw his header hit the crossbar and bounce away to safety as the woodwork once again to United’s rescue.

There looked to be late drama in the game when with 10 minutes to go Eastbourne Keeper Grant Fitzgerald buckled under a clearance and Eastbourne who had made all of their changes contemplated putting an outfield player in goal.

Fitzgerald epitomised the commitment on display from United as he vowed to play on through the pain and was rewarded with his second clean sheet of the season as United settled for a point but remained marooned at the bottom of the table.

A despondent Daubeney, summed up the feelings in the dressing room

“The lads are disappointed in there, they feel they should have won that game but its the same story every week – we play well but don’t take our chances.”

UNITED: Fitzgerald 7, Wilson 6, Smart 6, Russell 7, Newby 6, Stracey 6, Robson 6, (Sweetman), John-Baptiste 7, (Bunn), Whiteman 6, (Barrett), Buckett 8, Blackwood 6. Subs not used: Reeves, Sargent. MOM: Jamie Buckett. Referee: Mr N Baker. Att: 39