United Secure Local Bragging Rights
Eastbourne United AFC have extended their unbeaten league run to seven games with a hard fought 3-2 victory over local rivals Seaford Town.
United welcomed back Simon Catt, Shaun Lee and Danny Simmonds to the starting line-up, with new signing and former Brighton & Hove Albion player Stuart Myall taking his place on the substitutes bench.
United began strongly and after 9 minutes when the returning Catt found space in the area to hit a shot that wrong-footed the visiting ‘keeper Sheldon Levett to give United the lead.
Catt was again involved in United’s second goal as a poor clearance from Levett went straight to the midfielder, and despite the close attention of two Seaford defenders, Catt turned to find Pete Cooper with an inch perfect pass who rifled home into the top right for his tenth league goal of the season.
Moments later, a deep cross from eloping full back Aaron Filsell was narrowly headed wide by Nick Barden.
But it wasn’t to be long until United got there third, with arguably the goal of the match.
A deep Pete Featherstone free-kick was well controlled by Cooper on the edge of the box, who proceeded to turn whilst being held by a visiting defence and fire home a curling effort as United appeared to be cruising towards a routine victory.
A rash free-kick given away on the stroke of half-time allowed Seaford back into the match as United old boy James McKenzie struck through the wall to raise visiting spirits with their first attempt of the match.
Seaford came out for the second half looking like a side rejuvenated by the strike before half time and grabbed a second goal when another former United player Nathan Milroy placed home an Olly Davies cross.
Catt and Jack Divall both came close to giving United a bit of breathing space, but there efforts failed to fully test Levett.
United introduced Stuart Myall and Jamie Bunn midway through the second half and Bunn was immediately involved as his through ball found Divall, but the winger put his strike over the bar.
Divall came even closer to a first goal at The Oval as he fizzed an effort across goal that narrowly past the wrong side of the post and the outstretched dive of Cooper.
With time running out, Seaford pushed men forward in search of an equaliser and came close when a needless free-kick was given away in a similar position to McKenzie’s in the first half, but the former United player put his effort past Adam Sargent’s upright as United held on to secure a victory that keeps them right on the tail of the teams directly above them in the Division Two table, with a game in hand on fourth place Little Common and two games on third place Broadbridge Heath.