Monday 15th November 2021
Isthmian Youth League South
Priory Lane, Langley, Eastbourne
Att: 65
Match report by Darryl Jacobs

The young Hornets put in probably their best performance of the season so far to inflict a first home defeat on Eastbourne Borough.

An early goal, nodded in by F Knight from a corner, settled any nerves and put Mark Hawthorne’s side in control. And although The Sports came back strongly, dominating the ball at times, they rarely threatened to open up our well organised defence and created few clear cut chances.

The game was put to bed in the 80th minute when E Moteane made it 2-0, capitalising on a defensive mix up that provided him with the relatively simple, but definitely missable, opportunity to knock the ball into the unguarded goal from twenty-five yards.

The Hornets survived an early scare when Eastbourne hit the woodwork, following a scramble in the box. Somehow the ball flicked up onto the post with relieved ‘keeper G Edgley snatching the ball into his safe hands before an attacker could apply the finishing touch.

Although the young Eastbourne side were on top in these early exchanges, the Hornets stunned their opponents in the tenth minute when Knight, always a threat from set pieces, scored from just outside the six yard box. A delightful J Archard free-kick from the right found Knight, rising highest to nod the ball in via the fortuitous help of a deflection, taking it up and over the flailing hands of home ‘keeper T Vesnaver for an impressive fourth goal of the campaign for the central defender.

Eastbourne were seeing plenty of the ball but it was Horsham that looked the more dangerous particularly down the left flank where C Gibson and A Adam combined well. In the 20th minute, Gibson put Adam away and he outpaced his defender but hit his shot straight at the ‘keeper. And, in another sweeping move, Adam surged into the box on a driving run but was halted by a last ditch challenge which sent him tumbling to the ground. The frustrated Adam appealed for a penalty but the referee wasn’t having it, instead showing him a yellow card for diving – or, as we say nowadays, simulation!

And Mr Lindsay wasn’t going to stand for any bad language either, having just booked Eastbourne right-back C Yeates for abusive language aimed in the direction of the linesman. It was Adam in action again just after, weaving his way into a central position and getting his shot off but it was comfortably pushed away for a corner. It was a good spell for the visitors, with Archard making a powerful run on the right finishing with a shot on target but the ball was cleared away.

Eastbourne’s best chance for a while came just before half-time when Yeates headed over and then he had an even better chance, making a great forward run into the box but pulled his shot wide of the left post.

H/T: Eastbourne Borough 0 Horsham 1

The Eastbourne manager made changes at half-time, introducing M Bright and S Bull and, soon after, Hawthorne replaced E Ndhlovu with M Morris.

The home side opened the second half brightly, on the front foot, putting the Hornets under some pressure. F Middleton was put through on goal but pulled his shot to the right of the post. On the hour mark, Eastbourne were really going for it, forcing three corners in succession, all placed to the near post, but Edgley showed good composure in taking command of the situation and punching each of them away to safety.

With the need for fresh legs, as the The Sports looked to be pushing strongly for an equaliser, Hawthorne took off Adam replacing him with M N’Guessan to provide an extra man in midfield. And, shortly after, he put on K Symonds in place of Archard and at the same time for Eastbourne J Taylor replaced F Nwanosike.

But as the game looked to be heading to a tight last fifteen minutes, with the result still very much in the balance, it was the Hornets who would deliver the decisive blow. Morris played in Symonds, who raced forward to latch on to the ball and although the advancing ‘keeper just beat him to it he managed to get his foot in, enough to stop the ball being cleared away. It fell  to Moteane, following up, who couldn’t quite believe his luck to find himself with clear sight of the unguarded goal 25 yards out. He just needed to stroke the ball into the net which he did unerringly to effectively finish the game. A great goal celebration followed as the young Hornets knew their opponents were not going to come back from two goals down.

It was a very encouraging team performance from the young Hornets, a consistent display throughout the whole of the match with few mistakes. Eastbourne will perhaps consider themselves unlucky, and although the 2-0 scoreline was a little flattering in favour of the visitors it was nevertheless a well deserved victory.

Team:

1 G Edgley
2 A Macleod
3 C Gibson
4 H Sutton
5 A Duneclift
6 F Knight
7 E Ndhlovu
8 N Guest
9 J Archard
10 E Moteane
11  A Adam

Subs

M Morris
K Symonds
M N’Guessan

Manager’s Man of the Match: F Knight

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