Saturday, 4 April 2015

Eastbourne Town 2 v 2 Hassocks

Saturday 4th April 2015
Sussex League Division One
The Saffrons, Eastbourne
Attendance: 136
Match Rating: 3

At the conclusion of my match at Willingdon, I hurried back to Hampden Park train station, caught the train into Eastbourne and arrived at The Saffrons a couple of minutes into the second half. By the time I arrived, the home side were two goals to the good, thanks to goals from George Robinson, on 32 minutes, and Dominic Clarke, on 40 minutes.

And for the first twenty minutes of the second half, Eastbourne looked comfortable with their lead, and did most of the attacking, although Hassocks did try and make inroads themselves. The game suddenly and unexpectedly changed on the hour mark though, when Hassocks pulled a goal back. A low ball was played across the six yard box, and a covering Eastbourne defender really should have cleared the ball, but he didn't manage to make a connection, and Phil Johnson had a simple tap in. Ten minutes later and Hassocks were back on level terms, when Bradley Bant saw his free kick from 20 yards take a slight deflection off a defender, to take the ball out of the reach of the keeper low to his right and into the net.

Eastbourne's comfortable looking lead had been wiped out, and they should have been handed a great opportunity to go on to claim all three points on 73 minutes when their striker chased and battle with a defender after a ball through the middle, the defender couldn't make a decisive touch, but the goalkeeper did, wiping out the striker. After a short conversation with the linesman, the referee awarded a free-kick just outside the area, but completely inexplicably only showed the Eastbourne keeper a yellow card, despite being the last man and denying a very clear and obvious goalscoring opportunity. The free kick came to nothing. Both sides had sights of goal before the end of the match, but the points were shared, and this was an interesting game in that Eastbourne looked comfortable for the first hour, then all of the momentum swung to Hassocks, before a very poor referee's decision denied Hassocks the opportunity of trying to find their way through ten men for the last quarter of an hour.

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