By Derren Howard
A goal each for Evan Archibald and Sam Carrington saw Eastbourne Town to victory in their first league derby meeting with Langney Wanderers at the Saffrons on Tuesday night.
Eastbourne Town against Eastbourne United has for many years been the traditional derby, and while that rivalry remains as healthy as ever despite United’s recent managerial troubles, Langney’s performance on Tuesday indicated they too can be a force in the Southern Combination Premier.
Town fully deserved the three points in front of 235 fans but it was an impressive display from Andy Goodchild’s men who were missing seven key players due to injuries and unavailability.
Peter Featherstone (holiday), Ryan Alexander (honeymoon), Paul Rogers (injured), Max Hollobone (injured), Dan Bateman (injured), David Smart (work) and Lee Jules (injured) were all out and this saw four enforced changes from the Wanderers line-up that drew 2-2 with Saltdean United on the opening day of the season.
Wayne Wilkinson and Paul Rogers were on target against Saltdean. On Tuesday, Town had the better possession in the first half with Langney content to look for opportunities on the counter. The Wanderers did find themselves picking the ball out of the back of their net twice but both were disallowed. Town’s best chance came towards half-time with an inviting header from Evan Archibald going just wide of the upright.
Town’s opener came on 67 minutes as last season’s top scorer Archibald slotted home. The second goal saw Carrington beat the last defender and finish well beyond Langney keeper Dan Hutchins.
Langney refused to give in and pulled one back in the third minute of injury time when a long throw from Matt Simpson was eventually finished by Wilkinson.
“I was getting a bit worried towards the end,” admitted Town manager John Lambert. “We dominated and if we had scored five or six they could not have complained. But they got the one back and then we were hanging on. We got the three points but I know we can play better. Something is not quite right with the team but it is early days and hopefully after a few matches it will click into place.”
Town drew 1-1 in their first match of the season last Saturday at East Preston as Town’s Ethan Strevett levelled Scott Raffety’s opener.
“Four points from the first two games isn’t too bad,” Lambert added. “We should have won at East Preston we had one goal disallowed and our lad was clearly onside. The linesman simply wasn’t fit enough to keep up with play.”
Wanderers boss Andy Goodchild was pleased with the effort from his players after their defeat at Town. “It was a spirited performance. A great effort from a depleted squad. A full strength side may have caused an upset. Lots of positives to take from the game and again showing that Langney are worthy of competing at this level.”