Ruthless Town sail past Midhurst
Eastbourne Town took no prisoners as they romped to a 6-0 victory over Southern Combination Division 1 side, Midhurst & Easebourne in our Feature Game of the Sussex Senior Challenge Cup First Round.
It was a very wet and windy night at The Saffrons, as goals from Dan Rogers, Aaron Hopkinson, Aaron Capon, Leke Ademola, Jack Samways and Fletcher Holman ensured Town got off to the perfect start in the cup.
Town took the game to Midhurst from the very first whistle, looking to pile enormous pressure on.
Midhurst stood up to an early onslaught, but just 10 minutes in and Town were in front thanks to Dan Rogers who pounced on a parried shot to smash home.
Just four minutes later the lead was doubled when winger, Aaron Hopkinson, chipped Josh Bird in an audacious effort from range.
Midhurst continued to try and contain Town and Bird was forced into a couple of fine saves to keep them in the tie.
Midhurst looked to finally get a foothold in the game, but it was all to no avail when Aaron Capon latched onto the end of a fantastic ball over the top from Hopkinson and he made no mistake, slotting it through the legs of Bird.
It was a sloppy first-half performance from Midhurst, who struggled to contain the numbers that Town threw forward.
The second-half didn’t start any better, and the visitors found themselves further behind just five minutes into it when substitute Leke Ademola found the net from an acute angle after his initial effort struck the post.
Midhurst will have been thankful to Bird who came to their rescue on multiple occasions. Jack Samways had him at full stretch to tip a curling effort wide of the mark from range, and this was followed by a brilliant stop to deny Capon, palming his strike onto the crossbar.
Samways, who had an excellent game in midfield for Town, topped his performance off with a goal, courtesy of a lobbed effort from range with Bird caught out of his goal.
There was a lot of hunger in the Eastbourne Town side who looked to drive forward at every opportunity. Despite the scoreline, however, it was a spirited display from the Midhurst back line at times who were making life as difficult as possible.
Finally, though, Town added a sixth to add gloss to a very professional display, when the young Fletcher Holman came off the bench to tap home from close range.
Elsewhere in the competition Littlehampton Town put five past AFC Uckfield in a seven-goal game, Roffey and Billingshurst both edged five goal thrillers (3-2) against Broadridge Heath and Newhaven, whilst there were narrow 2-1 victories for Worthing United, Horsham YMCA and Little Common over Forest Row, Selsey and Peacehaven & Telscombe respectively.
Crowborough Athletic lost 1-3 at home to East Preston, as did Arundel against Pagham. Saltdean United, Crawley Down Gatwick and Eastbourne United all kept clean sheets as they progress into the next round of the competition, winning 3-0 against Hailsham Town, 2-0 over Hassocks and 1-0 versus AFC Varndeanians.SUSSEX SENIOR CHALLENGE CUP ROUND 1 RESULTS
(Full album of photographs are available via Simon Roe Photography)
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