Lambert left hoping for a last minute Ryman reprieve

John Lambert
John Lambert

Eastbourne Town are hoping for a last minute repreive after defeat on Saturday confirmed a bottom three finish for John Lambert’s side.

The 2-2 draw against Chipstead means Town will finish in the relegation places in the Ryman League division one south.

However, if a rumoured league re-shuffle takes place Town could remain in the Ryman if the can finish second from bottom.

Town are currently bottom on 28 points from 41 games with Crawley Down Gatwick second bottom on 33 points from 42 games.

Against Chipstead, Town raced into an early two goal lead but were pegged back by the hosts as they scored a late goal in each half to earn a share of the spoils.

Town went ahead with the first real chance of the match as top scorer, Billy Medlock, easily beat Chipstead’s centre-back, Ben Dynett, to the ball in midfield, he then raced into the penalty area only for Dynett to trip him as he was about to fire on goal.

In conceding a penalty, Dynett was lucky to escape with no further action from the match referee, John Pike. Medlock picked himself up, dusted himself down and fired the spot kick high into the top left corner of the net past Chipstead ‘keeper, Milan Stosjavjevc.

Town then enjoyed their best spell of the match, dominating possession and territorial advantage. Gregg Berry raced through the host’s rearguard and should have done better than hit the side netting with both Medlock and strike partner, Jamie Crone, looking on, waiting in the middle. Minutes later Berry again sped clear of the home defenders but his effort ended, like his previous one, the wrong side of the goalpost.

Just after the twenty minute mark, a long clearance out of defence found Crone who pushed the ball past Dynett before he coolly slid the ball past the advancing Stosiavievc to double the Town lead.

Moments later, however, the hosts fired a warning shot over Town’s bough as Dan Moody hit the post with a spectacular long range effort.

As thoughts were turning towards the half time break, Town’s concentration levels dropped and Chipstead worked themselves back into the game. Steff Joseph found himself unmarked at the back post and he easily side footed his chance past Joe Taylor in the Town goal.

The second period saw Town pinned back in their own half for long periods as Chipstead mounted attack after attack.

On the front foot, the hosts peppered the Town goal although a combination of poor finishing and resolute and courageous defending by the returning Steve Elliott and Ryan Cooper prevented any more goals. As the hosts became increasingly frustrated, a couple of their players ended in the referee’s book for late tackles. Crone followed as he earned himself a yellow card when he was caught shirt pulling.

Then, as has happened so often throughout the season, when it looked likely that Town might hold on for a welcome and priceless victory, Joe Gallagher hit a twenty yard screamer past Taylor to earn Chipstead a point.

Eastbourne Town now have a busy schedule with three home games in 6 days, starting last night at home to Burgess Hill Town then they entertain Three Bridges on Wednesday evening before welcoming Walton Casuals to the Saffrons on Saturday. As the games run down, Town boss, John Lambert and his staff and players will still be targeting Crawley Down Gatwick who sit just one place above Town in the Ryman League table.

TOWN:Taylor 7, Smith 6, Hales 6, Cooper 7, Elliott 7, Hollobone 6, Crone 6, Bold 7, Berry 6, Medlock 7 (Clifford 72), Upton 6 (Del-Guardio 89)

Unused subs: Nxumalo, Nogaro, Dann

MOM: Tom Bold - another solid performance from the youngster.