Eastbourne United edge close contest with Dynamos
Eastbourne United lifted the Sussex Les Kempster Challenge Trophy (Under-13s) with a 2-1 win over close rivals West Hove Dynamos at Culver Road on Sunday.
Dynamos’ goal midway through the first half was immediately cancelled out by Eastbourne United’s Toby Dicker which led to the Sussex Sunday Football League side take full control in the second half and grab the winner through Freddie Sarson.
West Hove started much the stronger side and almost took the lead just ten minutes in when Bobby Byrne, one-on-one with Eastbourne’s Taylor Myles-Watkins but saw his effort blocked in a last-ditch attempt by Aston Downey.
They continued to cause United problems on the counter with balls over the top but Mark Newnham-Reeves side were defending well.
Eventually though the deadlock was broken midway through the half when a long-range free kick was driven in and found its way to Bobby Byrne who, completely unmarked, half-volleyed across goal with a lovely finish to open the scoring.
Eastbourne United, whilst they hadn’t threatened too much, had controlled most of the possession but sought immediately for the equaliser. They had it just three minutes later after a whipped in corner found it’s way onto the head of Toby Dicker who nodded in from close range.
United continued to threaten from long range with Aaron Mott testing the Dynamos ‘keeper several times but all pushed away.
The second-half, Eastbourne looked far more assured on the ball and controlled possession with more confidence and some lovely one-touch football.
Just ten minutes in the took the lead through Freddie Sarson who, with space on the right-hand-side of the penalty area, struck with conviction across goal leaving the Dynamos goalkeeper with no chance.
There was little to no action for the remainder of the half bar a slight scare for Eastbourne when West Hove’s Sean Holland struck at the near post which was tipped away Myles-Watkins.
Speaking after the game, Eastbourne United coach, Dean Boddy, was delighted for his players: “We’ve wanted this for the past couple of years, especially with COVID. They’re an incredible, talented group of players and I’m just really happy for them.
“We tweaked the formation a bit the day before just to help with the size of the pitch because they’re used to bigger pitches.
“I think there were a lot of nerves first-half. I wanted them to be a bit braver on the ball but once we found our rhythm I think we were the dominant team. West Hove are good friends of ours and unfortunately there can only be one winner, but they’ve done brilliant to get here.
“We’ve just won the Under-14s Division One we’ve won the league cup and now this so I’d love to know of another team nationally that has achieved what these boys have whilst playing up a year! They’re a credit to themselves and they’re going to go far.”
(A selection of photographs can be found on Facebook - courtesy of Simon Roe Photography)
(Video highlights are available above and on YouTube - courtesy of Your Instant Replay)
Stats: (West hove Dynamos-Eastbourne United): Goals (1-2), Shots (7-14), Shots on target (3-8), Corners (2-4), Fouls (4-7), Offsides (3-1), Yellow cards (0-0), Red cards (0-0)
West Hove Dynamos: Galloway, Edmonds, Saunders, Rutler, Byrne, Holland, Rose, Beck, Thewlis, Jimenez, Essam.
Subs: Brewer, O’Hara, Cockerill.
Eastbourne United: Myles-Watkins, Downey, Stairs, Morgan, Dicker, Kadric, Boddy, Kennedy, Abbott, Mott, May.
Subs: Hunt, Mulvenney, Moger, Sarson.