Whitehawk 1-1 Eastbourne Borough
Tuesday 7 February 2017
National League South
Hawks: Stewart, Sheppard, Harding (Hamilton 51), Favarel, Marimon, Howlett-Mundle, West (Akanbi 60), Southam, Mills, Rodrigues, Osborn. Subs Not Used: Abdulla, Howard, Covolan (GK).
Borough: Holmes, Hare, Stone, Hughes, Simpemba, Khinda-John, Baptista, Bosma (Dutton 75), Pinney, Romain, Smith (Street 36). Subs Not Used: Case, Tate, Carey (GK). Cautions: Romain.
Shots: WHK 7-7 EBO; Shots On Target: WHK 3-2 EBO; Corners: WHK 2-5 EB0; Fouls Committed: WHK 12-16 EBO; Offside: WHK 2-2 EBO; Bookings: WHK 0-1 EBO; Sent Off: WHK 0-0 EBO.
Andy Woodman was pleased with the character his Whitehawk side showed to come from behind to earn a point against Eastbourne Borough.
The Hawks did well to battle back from Mark Hughes’ opener, with debutant Ibrahim Akanbi scoring a fantastic equaliser six minutes from time.
In truth, a draw was probably a fair result as the Hawks continue to improve under Woodman.
The Hawks boss said: “People said the players give up and don’t fight after going a goal down, but I haven’t seen that in my two games so far.
“We deserved to get something from the game, although we rode our luck early on.
“We have some difficult games coming up, but after tonight I am looking forward to the challenge.”
The Hawks had a decent chance to break the deadlock just six minutes in, but Lucas Rodrigues could only scuff his effort wide from twelve yards after good work from Alex Osborn.
Eastbourne then had a great opportunity to go ahead when Elliott Romain got on the end of Mark Hughes’ flick across, but could only hit the post from a tight angle before the forward then poked Miguel Baptista’s low ball in wide.
Some awful defending then nearly gifted the visitors an opener when Nat Pinney’s header across goal wasn’t cleared by the defence, and Mark Hughes should have done better than hit the bar with his volley from eight yards as the Sports continued to have the upper hand.
It was the Hawks, however, who had the first effort on target of the game when the ball broke to Osborn, but from inside the area he saw his low drive well saved by the feet of Jordan Holmes.
The first half was marred when Borough’s Alex Smith was forced to be stretchered off after coming off worse having put a challenge in on Ramon Marimon after the half hour mark.
The Sports then had a good shout for a penalty just forty seconds into the second period, as Pinney went down under a challenge from Marimon, but referee Lloyd Wood waved away the appeals.
Hawks’ new signing Ibrahim Akanbi came on for his debut after the hour, and almost made an instant impact after seeing his ambitious 35-yard free kick curl just over the bar, but it was Eastbourne who went ahead after 69 minutes.
Miguel Baptista’s corner wasn’t cleared, and the ball dropped to Hughes just inside the area and the midfielder fired the ball on the turn beyond Tom Stewart and into the top corner.
The Hawks pressed for the equaliser, with Akanbi off target with an effort after good work from Osborn, before the new signing from Ryman South Whyteleafe drew the Hawks level with six minutes to go.
After picking up a knock down from Danny Mills, Akanbi did brilliantly to turn away from Josh Street before a 20-yard piledriver gave Holmes no chance as the ball flew in off the inside of the post.
Momentum swung as a result, with Osborn forcing Holmes into a good save with a low drive, but it was the Sports who came close to nicking it in added time but Pinney could only fire straight at Stewart after he was put through by Street.
Pictures by David Pillman.