By Jack Towers
It promised to be a fiery and hotly contested game in Boxing Day’s traditional derby day at the Saffrons; however it would not be an exaggeration to say that Eastbourne Town barely moved out of second gear and were still superior to their neighbours Eastbourne United.
United did not get off to an awful start and seemed to be controlling possession well and were gifted with the game’s first opportunity when Tyler O’Callaghan found space from range but failed to test Greg Nessling in the Town net.
As we entered the second third of the half however United’s momentum was immediately lost when their goalkeeper Phil Hawkins clumsily brought down Liam Baitup in the box and the Eastbourne Town number nine coolly tucked away the resulting penalty.
For the rest of the half, Town coasted it and Tyler Capon came lose to doubling the lead only five minutes later when he bullied his way through the United defence and forced a good save out of Hawkins.
Callum Hart was trying to make things happen for the away side but there was no one to mirror his work rate for United.
On the 34th minute United came apart when a long throw from Luke Denton bounced its way through everyone and somehow eventually slipped in to the far corner in off United’s Jaydon Thorbourne to double the lead.
Only two minutes later Tyler Capon just strolled his way through United’s defence when he had no right and powered the ball towards goal and, on a plate for Baitup, he tapped in for his second.
It could have been better for United going into half-time when Max Howell was played clean through on goal with only the ‘keeper to beat but the striker lashed it straight at Nessling.
I am not sure what United manager, Tobi Hutchinson, would have said to his players at half-time but he must have realised it was just not to be their day when, almost straight from the second-half whistle, Evan Archibald latched on to an Aaron Capon cross to tap in for a fourth for Town.
You could see the frustration amongst the United players who just could not going, and we had the game’s first yellow card when Michael Ginno went in behind on Capon.
From this point onwards, Town took complete control of possession and were putting together a classy performance and were then rewarded with a fifth as Baitup completed his hat-trick finding himself with only a tap in past Hawkins.
United managed to bring back a consolation goal when Howell found space off the back of a corner and, unmarked, slotted the ball round Nessling.
A substitution for Town introducing Aaron Hopkinson was the worst thing that could have happened for United at this stage with the winger providing all sorts of energy and trickery that they could have really done without and he even got himself on the scoresheet with only two minutes to play latching on to a rebounded shot and rubbing further salt in to the wounds.
6-1 the score and United must have really wondered what they had done this Christmas to deserve this beating and with heads firmly dropped they confirmed their own fates with a further two goals from Archibald in stoppage time.
8-1 the final score in a result which furthers Town’s promotion hopes and a Boxing Day truly to forget for Eastbourne United as they sit further down the bottom.
Town starting XI: Nessling, Foster, Tucker, Willett, Rogers, Davidson, Capon, Denton, Baitup, Archibald, Capon
United starting XI: Hawkins, Simpson, Thorbourne, Black, Ali, O’Callaghan, Kieran, Ginno, Howell, Penn, Hart.