Eastbourne United AFC caused an FA Cup upset as they knocked out Lordswood in the Extra Preliminary Round with a 4-1 victory at Martyn Grove.
Lordswood, who play in the Southern Counties East Football League, the equivalent to Sussex County Division One, came into the contest as favourites but were quickly on the back foot as Jason Taylor hit an effort just over the crossbar in the first 90 seconds.
The home side were forced into an early substitution when ‘keeper Dan Ellis collided with one his own teammates when trying to clear the ball and subsequently suffered a broken ankle.
Replacement ‘keeper Matt Byott soon found himself in the thick of the action, but for all the wrong reasons.
A breathtaking defence-splitting pass from Ben Dartnall was met by a perfectly timed run from Taylor, who rounded the ‘keeper only to be fouled in the area.
Byott received a yellow card for his troubles and was faced with the task of denying Wes Tate a goal on his United debut but Tate confidently despatched his penalty past the ‘keeper to give United the lead.
Taylor nearly doubled United’s lead as half time approached, but his looped effort was tipped onto the crossbar by Byott and cleared.
The second half saw Lordswood come out looking more threatening and it paid dividends when a floated free kick was looped over a stranded Young by Neil Perkins to draw the hosts level.
United responded nearly immediately after the Lordswood goal as Jack Franklin hit a volley from the edge of the 18 yard box past a despairing dive from Byott to restore United’s lead. United weren’t content to sit on their lead and it was 3-1 on 62 minutes after a corner was cleared to Jason Taylor, who hit the ball on the up from 35 yards and it whistled into the top corner to the jubilation of the travelling United supporters.
The victory was sealed on 76 minutes as Tate, who had been a consistent threat all afternoon, broke through the middle of the home defence and placed a left foot effort past Byott to secure a first FA Cup victory since 2009 and set up a tie against Herne Bay from the Ryman South at The Oval on Saturday, August 31.
United: Young, Featherstone, Harrison, Loft (c), B.Dartnall, Kneller, Divall (Walder), Agutter (S.Dartnall), Tate, Franklin, Taylor (Ham)