AS Eastbourne winners of the Sussex W J Jewell Trophy

Five-star Eastbourne retain W J Jewell Trophy

Withdean Youth 0 - 5 AS Eastbourne

AS Eastbourne U12’s retained the Sussex W J Jewell Trophy with an emphatic victory over Withdean Youth on a rainy Sunday afternoon at Culver Road. 

Goals from Edward Ratcliffe, Mason Creese, Josh Thomas and a brace from Joseph Overy saw Anthony Storey’s side run out deserved winners in a competition where they have been renowned for their goalscoring capabilities.

Eastbourne piled on the pressure in the opening exchanges, with captain Creese at the heart of most of their attacks, but it was Withdean who had the best chance to break the deadlock after five minutes. From a goal-kick, the ball found its way to Theo Maryon who saw his effort graze the bar on its way over.

No less than five minutes later, Eastbourne drew first blood. Creese was involved once again as he found Ratcliffe inside the area, whose shot just trickled past the line despite the best efforts of Withdean’s defenders.

Storey’s side doubled their lead in the 13th minute, with Creese picking the ball up in his own half before going on a brilliant solo run and powering home past Albie Sherlock. A well-earned goal from the forward who could have easily had a hat-trick in the opening ten minutes.

Eastbourne’s defence held firm for the remainder of the half, however Stan Bovington was inches away from reducing the deficit on the stroke of half-time, but he couldn’t quite make a solid connection with the ball.

Manuel Hoffmann’s side came out in the second half with it all to play for, but Eastbourne would increase their tally in the 35th minute under somewhat fortunate circumstances. Creese’s ball in from the left was spilled by Sherlock, and Thomas was there to capitalise on the keeper’s mistake for Eastbourne’s third.

Despite a visible improvement in the second half, Withdean still struggled to keep possession of the ball, as Storey’s side closed them down at every opportunity. Eastbourne would soon grab their fourth of the afternoon in the 41st minute in similar fashion to their previous goal. Creese’s effort was parried well by Sherlock but it fell kindly for Overy who made no mistake from close in.

If Eastbourne’s fourth goal was similar to their third, their fifth was practically identical. Five minutes after their last goal, Creese was once again denied by the ever-present Sherlock. But Overy was in the right place at the right time to score his second and Eastbourne’s fifth.

As the game drew to a close, Withdean spurned a couple of glorious chances to restore some parity, as Reubyn Cranston was kept out by Alex Hobden before Edan Hicks’ follow-up struck the post and rolled harmlessly out for a goal kick. A strong finish to the game from Hoffmann’s side, but ultimately the strength of Storey’s Eastbourne was too much for them.

The victors scored a total of 45 goals in their six tournament games, an astounding feat which highlights the quality of youth football in Sussex.

After the game, Eastbourne manager Anthony Storey said: “I’m delighted for the boys today. Really am. I thought they were all excellent, Mason Creese up top was superb, he’s having a great season and was a real handful today.

“We’ve got the league games to catch up with now, so hopefully we can have some good success there as well.”

AS Eastbourne win Sussex W J Jewell Trophy
HIGHLIGHTS - Withdean Youth vs. AS Eastbourne
Watch highlights of AS Eastbourne retaining the Sussex WJ Jewell Trophy after an emphatic 5-0 victory over Withdean Youth.

(A selection of photographs can be found on Facebook - courtesy of Simon Roe Photography)
(Video highlights are available above and also on YouTube - courtesy of Your Instant Replay)

Stats: (Withdean Youth-AS Eastbourne)
Goals: 0-5; Shots: 5-24; Shots-on-target: 3-7; Corners: 2-4; Offsides: 2-2; Fouls: 3-4; Yellow cards: 0-0; Red cards: 0-0.

Withdean Youth: Sherlock, Paling, Lee, Hicks, Maryon, Jenkins ©, Cranston, Hoffmann, Sutton.
Subs: Bovington, Lab, Joseph, Monti, Creed

AS Eastbourne: Hobden, Olson, Brown, Grout, Thomas, Ratcliffe, Cullinane, Creese ©, Best.
Subs: Overy, Gadah.

Match report by Ben Knapton