First Team vs Eastbourne Town

Match Date: 05 August 2017
Score: 1-2

Match Report by Allan Hefferon

This game was of particular significance for Bearsted as they were to be making their first appearance in the FA cup, a game that finished with them being desperately unlucky not to have earned at least a re-play. Unfortunately for them though they were punished after 11 minutes, in controversial circumstances, when following a swift break, the ball fell to Luke Denton to thrash the ball home clearly through the legs of stranded team mate Liam Baitup in an offside position which was spotted the linesmen only for him to drop his flag, an action which ultimately allowed the strike to count. Three minutes later it was two when a run and shot on goal by Jason Taylor forced a great save by Scott Andrews, only for the ball to come back his path to tuck home into the net. With the home side now looking very confident of extended their lead they continued to look for the runs of their front men adopting a direct approach which although presenting some threat to them, gradually the visitors were to settle ,enjoying more possession and able to play in a their more controlled way. The result of which seeing them come close on several occasions as half time loomed. A prime example being when Reece Collins forced a fine save from home keeper Greg Nessling, tipping over a fierce drive from 12 yards. However after 39 minutes Collins was not to be denied, when following some neat build up, he sent the ball home from close range. This goal now put the Bears onto the front foot and a minute before the break they came very close to equalising when Jack Sellens headed into the side netting, when a deep Cameron Croucher cross from the left found him lurking at the far post.
Following the break so Eastbourne began to create more potential opportunities with a supply of long balls from midfield, notably from Denton and defenders Dan Rogers and Cullum Sherriff. For Bearsted they were now finding difficulty in maintaining the same status they had in the first half. Subsequently, their defence was at times becoming stretched and having to deal with the runs and shots by both Taylor and Liam Baitup and might well have gone further in front during this time. At the other end though, once more Sellens went agonisingly close and Nessling having to be at his best saving low from a Michael Holliday free kick. However as the game headed towards a conclusion so the opportunity to arrived for the hosts to wrap up the game, when they were awarded a penalty, when a great save by Andrews immediately flew up onto the arm of Andy Foster. Such opportunity was not taken though when Andrews was able to deny Baitup, diving low to his left keeping the game alive. With all to play for now and only a few minutes remaining so Bearsted pushed on in search of a leveller. This almost came when a Collins flashed a header just over and then when from a right wing corner Rob Lyall rose to head a goalbound effort bouncing over the bar from six yards with almost the last effort of the game.
Team: S.Andrews, S.Flisher A.Foster, R.Lyall, C.Croucher,C.Epps (C.Carcary) M.Holliday, R.Croucher, (J.White) A.Hart, R.Collins, J.Sellens
Subs: R.Golding, L.Hughes, M.Blundell,L.Snazel