A penalty from Gethyn Hill secured the Seagulls three points on an afternoon where Weston made the most of the opportunities they had.
The first half lacked quality, both sides unable to send it long because the ball would hold up in the wind or pass quickly due to dry 4G surface. The home side opened the scoring, a well worked passing move on the edge of the box ended with Yemi Odubade using a burst of pace to drive past Jason Pope into the box and steer a clinical finish past the oncoming Luke Purnell in the 33rd minute. The Seagulls responded well though, with lots of possession leading to crosses into the box from the likes of Danny Greenslade and Jarrad Welch, but it was just lacking a finishing touch as the prolific Gethyn Hill was being marked by at least 2 men every time.
Weston did manage to draw level quickly though; in the 42nd minute Ash Kington hit a dipping, swerving effort from 20 yards out that the home goalkeeper parried back out into the box, but Kenan Dunnewald was on hand to tap the ball beyond the helpless keeper. It was a relatively easy finish, but the young forward should be credited for his positioning and reactions because it was those things that allowed him to beat the defenders to the ball, giving him the tap in.
There was one final chance before the end of the half, Greenslade, Welch and Naby Diallo combined in a short corner to whip a glorious ball towards the back post, however Jake Lee was just shepherded away by a defender to prevent another tap in for the visitors. That was the last chance of the half, the sides went into the break with the score at 1 – 1.
The second half began equally just as windy as the first, which probably reduced the quality of the game. Pretty much straight after kick off, Eastbourne saw a venemous strike cannon back off the crossabar. The difficult conditions didn’t stop Purnell pulling off his weekly wonder-save though, tipping a rasping effort over the bar in what turned out to be a crucial moment in the game.
The 61st minute held what turned out to be the biggest moment of the game; the Seagulls counter-attacked quickly and Hill worked it to the byline next to the right corner flag, breezed past one defender as he worked his way to toward the box, and as he entered it another of Borough’s defenders took a dangerous swipe at his ankles, scything him down somewhat cynically and to the referee’s credit he managed to see the ‘challenge’ despite a host of bodies in the way and pointed straight to the spot. The Welshman managed to get up after being mercilessly hacked down, stepped up and rifled the ball into the top left corner despite the keeper getting a fingertip to it. The team all ran over to the travelling Seagull Army and celebrated together.
Shortly after that though Diallo was sent off for two challenges that the referee deemed as bookable offences.
The remainder of the match was pretty much Weston showcasing their resolute defending ability, Jason Pope organised the whole back four, won every header and played some brilliant passes into the midfield in what was a master-class from the ever-brilliant centre-back.
After what was almost 30 minutes of defending with 10 men, it was a massive relief to hear the full time whistle at the end of the four additional minutes. It was a win that every single player had grafted for, perhaps it wasn’t the best game this team have ever played but after putting so much effort into it the players deserved the three points, as did the Weston faithful who did their best to start some sort of atmosphere.
The final score was 1 -2, with the next game at home against St Albans City on Tuesday evening.
FT: Eastbourne Borough 1-2 Weston (Odubade 33-Dunnwald 39, Hill pen 61)
Weston XI: Purnell, Harper, Greenslade, Cane (C), Pope, Lee, Kington, Diallo (S/O 67), Hill, Welch, Dunnwald (Parsons 90+1). Unused substitutes: Laird, Scott.
MOTM: Jason Pope – Despite Gethyn Hill putting in a shift up front and getting the winner, Popey wins MOTM for a consistent performance at the heart of the defence, keeping the Eastbourne forwards in their pockets.