Heavy rain brings premature end to physical Sussex derby

football e/b town v horsham ymca
football e/b town v horsham ymca

EASTBOURNE Town boss Danny Bloor believed the scoreline was paramount to the decision to abandon Saturday’s Sussex derby with Horsham YMCA after an hour’s play.

Town were being held 1-1 by Ryman League Division One South’s bottom club as heavy rain lashed down at the Saffrons. Dean Brooks’s 16th minute goal was cancelled out by former Town striker Ashley Robinson, whose shot was spilled messily over the line by an embarrassed Kieron Thorp.

A very watchable first half gave way to a fairly soggy second and with both goalmouths and the centre circle beginning to resemble the shallow end of the Sovereign Centre, referee Mr O’Keefe called a halt.

Bloor said afterwards, “I felt sorry for the referee to be honest. We all want to play a game of football and we’re all disappointed but we’ll come here and do it again. I think the result was paramount in the referee’s decision - at 1-1 it’s easy to abandon it.”

Volunteers had worked hard all morning and right up until kick-off to make the Saffrons pitch playable, after the home game with Corinthian-Casuals on Wednesday fell victim to the weather.

Town adapted better to the conditions in the early stages with YMCA’s defence looking hesistant and unsure of the inconsistent bounce. On six minutes, visiting defender Moshood Olafunmishe was challenged inside his own area by Brooks, but Ryan James fired the loose ball into the side netting.

Brooks, a centre-back by trade who has been employed as a target man by Bloor in the last couple of games, relished the physical challenge and it was his fine finish which broke the deadlock on 16 minutes. Matt Ferdinando sent in a dangerous low cross from the right which Brooks swept confidently past YMCA ‘keeper Mark Fox.

The lead lasted just seven minutes however as Robinson, who had brief spells with Lewes and Hastings since leaving Town, marked his YMCA debut with a rather fortunate goal.

His shot appeared to lack any venom but, in echoes of Robert Green’s World Cup fumble, the wet ball somehow squirmed out of Thorp’s gloves and trickled over the line.

James and Ferdinando drew saves from Fox before the break but the second half was a more scrappy affair - and was terminated early with the pitch getting dangerous.

Bloor admitted Thorp would have been disappointed with the error that gifted YMCA their goal but added, “To be fair, Thorpy’s been fantastic all season for us.”

TOWN: Thorp 5, Davidson 6, Kessack 6, G. Manton 7, Elliott 7, Patton 6, Ferdinando 7, Janneh 6, Brooks 7 (Crabb), B. Manton 6, James 7*.

Subs not used: Farrell, Goldsmith, Del Gaudio, Rivers.

MoM: Ryan James (always looking to get involved in Town’s attacks).

Referee: Mr M. O’Keefe (Sundridge, Kent).

Att: 156