Worthing victory keeps Town in pole position for league title

Eastbourne Town celebrate at the Saffrons against Worthing United
Eastbourne Town celebrate at the Saffrons against Worthing United

Eastbourne Town maintained pole position in the Sussex Premier League with a dominant win over Worthing United on Saturday afternoon.

The result never looked in doubt as the Saffrons’ search for a return to Ryman League football looks more and more like it will be a successful one.

First half goals from Wes Tate, Callum Sheriff and Aaron Capon put Eastbourne three goals up at the break before Jason Taylor’s strike early in the second period put the result beyond doubt.

It was, though, a rather dull opening quarter of the game. Matt Evans sprinted off his line to deny Tate, while a few moments later skipper Kenny Pogue chested down Rogers’ excellent pass, but shot tamely into Evans’ hands as Worthing were holding their own.

But their resistance was broken 38 minutes into the game. Tate brought the ball down from a diagonal ball and was handed the space to be able to fire past Evans from close-range. And it was two goals in four minutes as Sheriff leapt unchallenged to head in a Tate corner. Capon then ensured the hosts would walk into the half-time break three goals up. Alan Foster dispossessed Callaghan before driving down the left wing and picking out the winger, who stooped to guide a header beyond the grasp of Evans.

Worthing had rarely threatened, with Wayne Joseph’s curling effort from a 25-yard free-kick being as close as they came to testing Greg Nessling in the Eastbourne goal.

The Saffrons carried their momentum into the second period as Taylor worked himself space out wide prior to finding Capon, who could only guide his side-footed volley narrowly wide of the left-hand post. Taylor’s pace and trickery had caused problems all afternoon and deserved a goal, but it came in fortuitous fashion. The visitors only half-cleared a corner and Taylor was on hand to hit a half-volley that took a wicked deflection, wrong-footing Evans and rolling into the opposite corner of the net.

No more goals would come, but Eastbourne were remained comfortable and dominant in possession. With the game all but gone, Worthing had their best spell of the encounter. Ben Hall sliced wide when given space on the edge of the box and Nessling stood firm after Callaghan had sent Tugnutt through on goal.

But the home side still looked the more likely to score. Pogue bullied his way into the box from long ball, but his finish did not match the build-up as he sliced a good opportunity wide.

The skipper then forced Evans into a very impressive stop as Taylor again teased his full-back before curling a delightful cross onto the head of the striker, but the keeper somehow clawed his close-range header away.

The Saffrons now look forward to hosting mid-table Hassocks on Tuesday night, an important fixture with it providing the opportunity to extend their lead at the top over second-placed Horsham to four points.

Eastbourne: Nessling, Henson, Foster, Vickers, Rogers, Sheriff, Taylor, Darby, Tate, Pogue ©, Capon Subs: Jenkins, Smith, Paul, Crabb, Gray