Eastbourne Town finally had something to smile about by picking up a valuable point in their Ryman League clash at Ramsgate.
Following torrential, heavy overnight rain, the pitch only just passed a late morning inspection before the match was allowed to go ahead.
After Town’s much improved performance on Wednesday, when only a late equaliser denied them all three points against Sittingbourne, Town boss, Danny Bloor, brought Ben Austin back into the team after missing the last two games.
Town started the game very brightly and with a good tempo. Early in to the game, a low Danny Curd shot was well saved by the Rams goalkeeper, Darren Hawkes, who is on loan from League 2 club, Gillingham. Just three minutes later and Hawkes again foiled the visitor’s leading marksman, Curd who was one on one with the keeper.
Eastbourne Town started to dominate proceedings and a fierce John Lansdale shot flew just over the bar. At the other end, the experienced Ian Pulman found himself advancing on Josh Pelling in the Town goal who blocked Pulman’s effort at full stretch.
With 30 minutes on the clock, Curtis Robinson drove into the Town box and fell spectacularly. The referee was unimpressed with this action, waving play on.
The last action of the half saw Hawkes in action again, this time tipping a Matt Crabb shot over his crossbar.
Ramsgate opened the second period much the brighter and attacked on the front foot from the start. Josh Pelling was called into action, making a super double save from Pulman.
As Town went in search of a winning goal and in an effort to maintain some tempo, Luke Denton replaced the tiring Matt Geard, as the pitch began to take its toll.
Ramsgate’s Sam Gore was stretchered off with a nasty knee injury.
The hosts tried to push forward but were unable to break down a very determined Town back line.
The heavy pitch had turned the game into a slog, with goal chances at a premium.
With just minutes remaining, the best chance of the game fell to Luke Denton, who found himself free in the Ramsgate six yard box but the opportunity was lost as Denton blasted the ball high over the bar.
A dreadfully under hit back pass saw Kenny Pogue just beaten to the ball on the edge of the Rams area by the alert Hawkes. In making the challenge, Hawkes injured himself and he became the second home player to leave the field on a stretcher.
Having ended their horrible run of losses in midweek, this second successive draw breathed fresh confidence into Bloor’s troops as they look forward to another trip to Kent’s Herne Bay next Saturday and the home Christmas fixtures against Burgess Hill Town and Folkestone Invicta that follow.
The Boxing Day derby with Burgess Hill Town has a 12 noon kick off.
Eastbourne Townn: Pelling, May, Rogers, Cobbs, Austin, Pulling, Greenfield (sub: Sutton ), Lansdale, Curd (sub: Pogue ), Geard (sub: Denton), Crabb. Subs (not used): Summerbell, Lockyer.