FA Cup action returns to The Belmont with some good prize money and a visit to Banstead Athletic or Colliers Wood United in the next round at stake.
There are three senior football teams in Eastbourne: Borough, Town and United. Eastbourne Town currently play, at the same level of football as Whitstable, in the Southern Combination Football League Premier Division. They are managed by John Lambert and ended last season as runners up to Horsham with 86 points, after looking for most of the campaign like they would finish as champions and win promotion back to the Ryman League.
This season, after a good 2-0 win at Raynes Park Vale in the FA Cup, they have played two league matches – losing 2-1 at Whitstable’s FA Vase opponents Chichester City and drawing 1-1 with AFC Uckfield. In that draw, their equaliser was scored by Sean Ray, an experienced central defender signed from Hastings United, where he developed a nasty habit of scoring headers from set pieces against Whitstable!
Whitstable Town and Eastbourne Town met a number of times in the Ryman Division One South. They were both promoted to that league in the summer of 2007, after winning the Kent and Sussex Leagues respectively. In fact the first ever Ryman League match for the Oystermen was played at The Belmont between the two teams on Saturday 18 August 2007 in front of 277 people. It finished 2-2, with current Herne Bay manager Sam Denly equalising for the home side deep into stoppage time after a dubious late penalty had threatened to give the Sussex side a debut win.
These were the teams that lined up nine years ago.
Whitstable Town: Kevin Fewell, Rob Thomas, Tom Parker, Josh Maine, Steven Lloyd, Sam Denly, Clint Gooding, Marcos Perona, Jon Neal, Steve Marshall, Andy Constable.
Subs: Michael Lane, Tommy Martin.
Unused subs: Michael Adcock, Dan Lawrence, James Duffy.
Goals: Marcos Perona (9), Sam Denly (90+3).
Eastbourne Town: Greg Nessling, Brad Manton, Alex McKay, Luke Denton, Ben Putland, Peter Featherstone, Danny Simmonds, Greg Manton, Liam Baitup, Lee Walsh, Graham Holman.
Subs: Charlie Francis, Steven Dallaway.
Unused subs: Clive Snell, Scott Andrews.
Goals: Luke Denton (44), Liam Baitup (81 pen).
Come down to the ground on Saturday to support the team if you can, as it promises to be a closely fought game.
If the match is drawn, the replay with be at Eastbourne on Tuesday evening.