Sussex Senior Cup/ 10-man Eastbourne Town upset Worthing and advance to quarter-finals

Eastbourne town fans celebrate victory against Worthing at the Saffrons
Eastbourne town fans celebrate victory against Worthing at the Saffrons

Eastbourne Town manager John Lambert was full of praise for his players as they bravely advanced to the quarter finals of the Sussex Senior Cup against Worthing on a memorable night at the Saffrons.

Goals from George Taggart and Aaron Capon saw Town power into a two-goal lead against their opponents, who operate two divisions higher in the Ryman Premier.

Town were dominant and almost made it three but were denied as Sam Cole missed from the penalty spot.

Any thoughts of coasting to a comfortable victory were scuppered just after the break when Sonny Dullaway was sent-off for a second bookable offence.

Worthing pulled one back through Jesse Starkey with 10 to go and pressed hard for the equaliser but 10-man Town held firm. Defenders Tom Vickers and Dan Tear were superb, as was goalkeeper Jason Tibble.

“We really got at them from the start said Lambert, “I think we took them by surprise. They may have expected us to sit back and let them have possession but we pressed and pressed and pressed. We went two up and had chances for more, especially the penalty, and we could have been out of sight.

“But blow me down, after the break we go down to 10-men and then we are under severe pressure.

“It’s hard to keep that intense press going against a team two divisions higher with 11-men but with 10, it was difficult.

“But credit the lads they stuck to the task, we kept our shape and deservedly made it through to the quarter finals.

“This was a strong Worthing team. It was pretty much the same team that won away at Tonbridge Angels in the league last Saturday.

“It just shows when we are on it, we can beat these tops teams.

“That’s Whitehawk and now Worthing we have beaten in this competition and we look forward to the quarter-final draw.”

Town, who are eighth in the Southern Combination Premier, will now turn their attentions back to the league as they host Shoreham at the Saffrons tomorrow.

“If we show the same intensity we will win,” added Lambert. “It’s as simple as that. The big games take care of the themselves, the lads raise their game.

“I want them to show me they can do it against the so-called lesser teams who are lower down the table. That’s what it means to be a good team.

“We had a poor start to the season and struggled with injuries but we are making some progress and I’m starting to see some encouraging signs.

“We have some great games coming up over Christmas. If we are at our best we cam start banking some points and make some progress up the table.”

Town’s top scorer Dan Perry is easing his way back to full fitness following a knee injury and should be fit enough for a place on the bench against Shoreham.