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Eastbourne Town 3 Merstham 2
Vital win for Eastbourne Town FC
Eastbourne Town 3 Merstham 2

FA Vase (First Round Proper)

When Town were reduced to 10 men in the 45min today when Andy Ducille was sent from the field of play for a second book able offence , you would have put your money on Merstham to make the extra man pay with another 45 mins to play , but this was a game when Towns never say die spirit and fitness told in the end as they eventually won by 3-2 .

It was Town who started the better of the teams , and they took the lead on 9 mins when carl bomber Harris stole in at the near post to stab the ball home from a Danny Simmonds free kick .Town looked a bit more composed on the ball , but Merstham got a lucky break on 30 mins when Agyei hassled Greg Manton into a mistake , and he shot home with a looping shot that hit the underside of the bar and rolled into the Town net .
So 1-1 it was , then Andy Ducille was sent from the field of play , and Town regrouped in the interval .
However Merstham tried in the early period of the second half to pressure the Town defence , Greg Manton and Peter Featherstone was equal to their efforts , Manton in particular lead by example with his no nonsence style of play , and Merstham were restricted to long range shots that did not really trouble Mark Oldroyd in the Town goal .
As the half wore on , Town started to mount some serious attacks , Mark Goodwin was particularly unlucky when his mazy run towards goal ended with a sweet shot that hit the crossbar .With the Town faithful in full voice and almost making up for the missing player , Towns Skipper Luke Denton was needlessly fouled in the Merstham area and hot shot Liam Baitup stepped up to put the perfect penalty into the Merstham net . So, 2-1 to Town , and surely that would have taken the sting out of the Merstham game plan . No, they were not going to lie down and let Town win so easily , as they threw everything at the Town goal. Several shots went skimming over the Town crossbar , and it was left until the 88th min for Merstham to equalise . An in swinging corner was not dealt with by the Town defence , the ball broke to West on the edge of the area , and his shot narrowly crept in at the far post to send the tie into extra time .
We all wondered what the Town squad was made of this year , and they showed us the full potential of the team in extra time .With the Town faithful cheering the side on ,several chances came and went for both teams in the first period of extra time . During the second period , Ady Colwell threw on Steve Dallaway for the tiring Shaun Loft , he almost scored with his first touch of the game , then he put a header narrowly wide from a Luke Denton corner . However , sometimes strikers need a few chances to get into the game and Dallas struck the ball home with his next chance on 114 mins , when he reacted first to another Luke Denton corner . The Town Faithful and players went mad , but Town still had an anxious few minutes to wait for the final whistle and confirmation of their passage into the next round.
09 October, 2006

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