Seagulls surrender a two-goal lead

PUBLISHED: 19:05 23 October 2011 | UPDATED: 19:05 23 October 2011

SOCCER  :  Weston  V  Sutton United.

SOCCER : Weston V Sutton United.

Archant

Weston surrender a two goal lead against Eastbourne Borough to earn a point at home.

WESTON-S-MARE 3

EASTBOURNE BOROUGH 3

WESTON remain in eighth spot in the Blue Square South despite being pegged back to their second successive draw, when they surrendered a two-goal lead to a determined Eastbourne side, who last season plied their trade in the Conference National.

Commented chairman Paul Bliss: “We were lucky to take a point from Eastbourne who dominated the second half, but we played with grit and determination. That display bodes well for the FA Cup game on Saturday.”

For the first time this season diminutive striker Sahr Kabba led the home attack after finally shaking off a leg injury and he quickly showed his ability. He forced the game’s first corner in the second minute, but a minute later, following Eastbourne’s first corner, striker Ben Watson had a fierce effort beaten out by Lloyd Irish.

Kabba put Weston in front on six minutes when set up by Nat Pepperell, who played in a more central position rather than operating wide on the right. Kabba won a tussle against giant Eastbourne skipper Gary Elphick and beat keeper Rikki Banks from six yards.

Minutes later, Kabba was put through again but fired narrowly over from a good position. However, he struck again on 13 minutes, again put in by Pepperell, who popped up on the left. Although his first effort was blocked by Banks’ legs, he bundled the ball to the net despite the efforts of two defenders.

Keeping pressure up, Dayle Grubb tested Banks with a free kick while Kane Ingram, having aquiet game by his standards, was just over with a distance effort, but Eastbourne pulled a goal back on 39 minutes when Simon Johnson left Irish standing still with a 30-yard free kick.

A minute into the second half, Grubb had an effort beaten out by Banks, but as Eastbourne began to dominate they drew level on 52 minutes when Elphick headed in another Johnson free kick and earlier, Elphick had a goal disallowed for offside.

Weston regained the lead on 61 minutes when Kabba was hauled down, which earned a booking for Eastbourne’s Carl Rook, and Pepperell his remarkable record of never missing from the penalty spot since joining the club.

Both goals had let-offs with Jamie Price testing Banks and Steve Brinkhurst firing narrowly across goal for Eastbourne.

Weston looked to be hanging on for a narrow win until the 86th minute when Rook headed past Irish from Matt Crabb’s corner.

WESTON STATS

Goals: Weston, Kabba (6, 13), Pepperell (61, penalty). Eastbourne: Johnson (39), Elphick (52), Rook (86).

Shots on target: Weston 5, Eastbourne 6.

Shots off target: Weston 5, Eastbourne 8.

Corners: Weston 4, Eastbourne 8.

Offsides: Weston 3, Eastbourne 4.

Free kicks conceded: Weston 17, Eastbourne 5.

Referee: Adam Bromley (Plympton). Good game. Allowed play to flow.

Bookings; Weston, Ingram, Grubb, Laird, Young. Eastbourne: Rook.

Attendance: 326.

Weston squad: Irish, Price, Laird, Grubb, Villis, Martin, Ingram, Kirk, Trowbridge (Diallo 64), Kabba (Young 77), Pepperell (Cleverley 78). Subs (not used): Mackay, Huxley.

ON Saturday, Weston will be hoping to reach the first round proper of the FA Cup when they entertain Southern League Premier front runners Oxford City. (3pm), with a replay in Oxford on Tuesday evening (7.45pm).

The sides met once before in the second qualifying round of the competition in 2007 when Weston ran out 4-3 winners.

On Saturday, Oxford were knocked out of the second qualifying round of the FA Trophy, losing 3-0 at home to Mangotsfield United. However, they may spring a surprise in the FA Cup having beaten Eastleigh away 3-1 in the last round and Eastleigh beat Weston 2-1 in the Blue Square South back in August.

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