Nick Shaw punches ball away

Eastbourne Town 2 Whitstable Town 0

Ryman Football League Division One (South)

Saturday 5th January 2013

Whitstable seemed to lose their way after the floodlight failure at half time during the League game at Eastbourne on Saturday as they went down two-nil.

The first half was fairly even as Town had their first opportunity after only three minutes when Jake MacKenzie headed straight at Eastbourne keeper Josh Pelling from a searching Jake Beecroft cross. The hosts had to wait ten minutes when captain Ben Austin looped a header over the bar. A minute later a John Lansdale shot went over the bar. As the game started end to end Stuart Vahid headed wide after twelve minutes.  A couple more chances for Eastbourne followed when Dan Smith missed the target with a shot after 17 minutes. In the 23rd minute  Aaron Hopkinson sent a corner right across the goal mouth but nobody could get on the end to convert the opportunity.  Whitstable were forced to make a change at this stage of the game when Nicky Southall came on to replace  James Morrish who was taken ill.

Jake Beecroft crosses

Town then created a couple of opportunities when Buster Smissen went on a run but sliced his shot wide and then after 36 minutes  a ball from MacKenzie found Micheal  Everitt who shot over.  MacKenzie had another chance after 44 minutes but again the shot went wide. The half time whistle came with the scores level and the game evenly balanced.

At this time came the problem with the floodlights which reared its ugly head. Only three pylons came on and some urgent maintenance work was required delaying the start of the second half by 25 minutes. How Whitstable must have wished the repair work had failed as Eastbourne dominated the second half.  Three opportunities came for Matt Crabb as he sent a shot wide after 49 minutes, headed over a minute later and then after 55 minutes forced a good save from Nick Shaw.

Then came the opening goal after 65 minutes when Smith broke free and slammed the ball into the back of the Whitstable net.  Twelve minutes later Lansdale seized an opportunity to fire home giving Shaw no chance.  This goal sealed the game and despite Smissen sending a header straight at Pelling there was little sign that Whitstable could get back into the game.  In fact Nick Shaw was forced into two great saves just before the final whistle to ensure the difference remained two goals.

A disappointing afternoon for the Town on a damp afternoon in Sussex.

Team: Shaw, Beecroft, Brown, Everitt, Raggett, Brunt, Heard (Hanshaw 62 mins), Morrish (Southall 23 mins), Vahid (Williams 72 mins), Smissen, MacKenzie.