Eastbourne United vs. West Hove Dynamos

Dynamos win Stan Beattie Memorial Trophy

Words by Kieran Wiggs
Eastbourne United 1-2 West Hove Dynamos

Reuben Tucker’s stoppage-time penalty was the decisive moment in the three-penalty thrilling final yesterday evening in the Sussex Stan Beattie Memorial Trophy Final (Under-15s) at Culver Road as West Hove Dynamos edged Eastbourne United. 

Both, Bobby Byrne and Aaron Mott, confidently netted from the spot with one in each half, but it was Tucker’s that ultimately gave West Hove the trophy in an immense encounter against Eastbourne United. 

Eastbourne were on the front foot from the off with Max Hammond immediately causing problems for the West Hove defence with his electrifying pace which helped him lose his marker, although his effort at goal was comfortably saved by Tom Galloway. 

Hammond was involved in the action again beating his defender to get a shot off which was stopped on the line, but cleared to his teammate Tarik Kadric who fired over from close range. 

At the other end, West Hove looked to make an impact when Callum Beck’s promising ball over the top found the head of Tucker who flicked his effort past Taylor Myles Watkins but narrowly missed the target. 

Linking up well was Joel Johnson Cole and Kadric for a one-two before the shot from the edge of the box was saved by Galloway’s strong trailing leg. 

Keeping it goalless were the goalkeepers at both ends as Myles Watkins produced a fine save from Alex Harding’s effort in the Eastbourne net and Galloway did incredibly well to deny Noah Fuller’s close-range header. 

The next big chance came when Eastbourne failed to clear Christo Nano’s corner which found Will Essam on the edge of the box, who fired a well struck half-volley which rattled the bar. 

The feeling of a goalless half seemed inevitable with the pace of the game slowing down at the 40-minute mark. 

Although the mood quickly changed when the referee pointed to the penalty spot for a handball after a West Hove corner into the box, which Bryne confidently converted to give his side an important lead before the half-time whistle. 

Moments after the restart Byrne looked eager for a brace when he weaved his way through the Eastbourne defence and took shot from the edge of the box, yet his effort was saved and cleared away from danger. 

The referee then pointed to the spot for the second time in the game when Hammond raced past the West Hove defence and was brought down, and it was the Eastbourne skipper, Mott, who fired in the leveller in what made a tasty affair. 

The West Hove fans were on their feet when Byrne was through on goal but was disappointed to see his effort narrowly miss the target after attempting to round the goalkeeper. 

Still searching for the winner at the other end, Kadric’s great ball was met by Hammond’s progressive run, but Galloway’s leg denied the effort. 

As both teams were beginning to think of penalties in the final minute, the referee pointed to the spot for third time in the game for another handball in the Eastbourne box. 

Tucker, relishing the chance to give his team the trophy, fired the resultant spot kick into the top left corner, to send the West Hove fans into jubilation. 

Speaking after the full-time whistle, West Hove Dynamos Manager, John Byrne, said: “We knew it would be that type of game, as we’ve have had so many games against Eastbourne over the years because we have known each other since we were under-7s, and they are always pretty tight games, and it was the same again tonight.

“It could have gone either way, and it must have been a great game to watch as a neutral because it was end-to-end.

“We thought it was going to penalties, and picked the five penalty takers, so it was a shock to get a penalty so late on in the game.

“They (the fans) did us proud and got behind us. It was amazing. They are a great bunch of lads, and they work hard for each other. Thanks to everyone who came down and supported us, it is really appreciated!”

Eastbourne United vs. West Hove Dynamos
Eastbourne United vs. West hove Dynamos - 24-03-24
Highlights from the Sussex Stan Beattie Memorial Trophy Final - Powered by Your Instant Replay

(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 (Eastbourne United-West Hove Dynamos): Goals (1-2), Shots (13-12), Shots on Target (7-6), Corners (6-8), Fouls (8-7), Offsides (2-0), Yellows cards (2-0), Red cards (0-0).

Eastbourne United: Myles-Watkins (GK), Downey, Kitchen, Kadric, Hammond, Fuller, Crouch, Mott (C), May, Johnson-Cole, Coombs.
Subs: Moger, Dicker, Kennedy, Abbot, Puddiford.

West Hove Dynamos: Galloway (GK) (C), Thewlis, Beck, Nano, Bird, Budgen, Essam, Byrne, Harding, Wheatcroft, Tucker.
Subs: Rose, Rutler, Saunders, Cockerill, O’Neil. 

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