On Monday the 18th of October, Whitehawk’s Under 18 side made the trip to Eastbourne Borough, looking to bounce back from a 5-0 away loss to Lewes. The rain was pouring down at Langney Sports Club, but this didn’t discourage either side from getting stuck into a high tempo, exciting game of football.
The first major chance of the game came in the third minute, with the Borough goalkeeper misjudging a clearance outside of the 18-yard box, leaving his goal exposed – but unfortunately for the Hawks, Matt Godfrey couldn’t quite pick out his teammate at the back post to finish off the move. Hawks continued to apply pressure to the Borough defence, with Toby Reeder heading over from an excellent cross by James Lyon-Monk.
Despite the Hawks having the majority of early chances, it was Borough that broke the deadlock in the ninth minute, with Fraser Middleton set through on goal by an inch perfect through ball, making no mistake with the finish as he slid it past Hawks ‘keeper Sam Lomas to make it 1-0 to Borough.
Whitehawk continued to dominate possession despite going a goal down, while failing to make inroads on the scoreline. Whitehawk right back Lyon-Monk, made several dribbles into opposition territory, but his resulting crosses were mostly neutralised by the resolute Borough defensive unit.
15 minutes in, Whitehawk looked to regain parity in the form of Reeder, but his shot was well saved twice by the Borough goalkeeper, having been set through on goal.
Borough seemed to grow more dominant as the first half went on, albeit with the Hawks still having the majority of the chances, none of which were finished in the final third. Hawk came close to equalising in the 35th minute, with Jack Duckett narrowly missing the target.
Half time: Eastbourne Borough U18 1-0 Whitehawk U18.
Whitehawk made a promising start to the second half, with an early shot from Duckett blocked, while Eastbourne also blazed over from close range in search of a second.
Following a short pass from the number 7, Middleton slotted the ball home for his second of the match, to make it 2-0 to Borough – giving them some breathing space against a dangerous looking Hawks side looking to make amends from the concession of a goal.
The Hawks could and maybe should have got a goal back, from a sumptuous cross by Leo Teasdale, leaving a free header in the 18-yard box – however the chance was squandered, as the header went well wide of the goal.
The Hawks were immediately punished not being more clinical, with an optimistic long ball from Borough unwittingly headed on off a Whitehawk head, into the path of Middleton – who made no mistake in letting the ball bounce before rolling it into the bottom right-hand corner for his hat trick, with 56 minutes on the clock. 3-0 Borough.
As the rain continued to hammer down on the players, the game slipped out of Whitehawk’s hands, despite being the dominant side for much of the remainder of the game, as good chances came and went.
Hawk keeper Lomas denied Borough a fourth with a good save in a one-on-one situation, but by this point the result was probably a foregone conclusion.
Whitehawk will rue missed chances in this match and will look to bounce back at home to Burgess Hill Town at the Terrapura on Monday the 25th of October (a 7:45 kick off). This result means that Eastbourne Borough climb to third in the Isthmian Youth South Table, with 9 points from 4 matches, while Whitehawk fall to 10th in the table after Burgess Hill’s 2-2 draw with Bognor Regis Town.
Hawks: Sam Lomas, James Lyon-Monk, Ossie O’Neill, Alex MacLean, Josh Mundy, Ellis Martin, Jack Duckett, Henry Rakabopa, Toby Reeder, Matt Godfrey, Luke O’Neil. Subs: Leo Teasdale, Will Gilbert, Will Goss, Alfie Brooks
Match report by George Bryant-Nichols