10th September 2023

The Glovers’ unbeaten start to life at Huish Park continued following a hard-fought 3-2 victory against Eastbourne Borough.

Two changes to the starting line-up from Tuesday evening’s win at Weston-super-Mare saw Sonny Blu Lo-Everton and Zac Bell replace Jamie Sendles-White and Rhys Murphy.

It was Eastbourne who had two big chances to lead early on when a deflected free-kick fell to the feet of Jack Paxman, who was denied incredibly by Joe Day, who had a lot of ground to make up. Moments later, Leone Gravata had a chance with a curling effort, which was tipped over by Day, who had just got to his feet after the previous save.

The Glovers then took the lead on 13 minutes. Sonny Blu Lo-Everton beat Ben Dudzinski to the ball before crossing towards the back post, but it was headed behind. The resulting corner from Jordan Young found Frank Nouble, who rose highest to head into the top corner.

Eastbourne were forced into an early change when Freddie Carter came worse off after a foul on Jordan Young on 15 minutes. This sparked the first of a string of drinks breaks due to the temperature at Huish Park.

After the restart, the free-kick was overseen by Jordan Young, who struck with some venom, but it was blocked by the wall before dropping to Sonny Blu Lo-Everton, who tried to keep the attack alive but instead won a corner for the Glovers. The resulting corner from Jordan Young found the head of Jake Wannell, but his effort was wide of the goal as it disappeared into the Dorset Vehicle Rentals Stand.

Minutes later, Frank Nouble broke down the left side and tried to steer an effort towards goal, but it was blocked. The loose ball fell to the feet of Matt Worthington, who tried to guide his curling shot towards the far corner, but it was over the crossbar.

Eastbourne then had a chance to get back into the game on 27 minutes. A through ball from Leone Gravata found the feet of Fletcher Holman, who looked up and took a shot, but his effort on goal was dragged wide of the target.

Moments later, the visitors found the goal they were looking for. Eastbourne came down the left through Leone Gravata, who crossed but it was cleared. The clearance was picked up by Jack Paxman, who drilled his effort through a crowd of players and in at the front post to make it 1-1 on 36 minutes.

On 38 minutes, the game had completely turned around. Good build-up play, led by Jack Paxman, saw Eastbourne split the Glovers’ defensive line and set up Paxman in the six-yard box to simply guide the ball into the bottom corner. A frustrating couple of minutes for the Glovers, who now found themselves trailing suddenly.

The Glovers didn’t take long to create chances, as they looked to rebuild and grab an equaliser. Patient play from Frank Nouble on the edge of the box saw him find Jordan Young, who tried to lift the ball over a sprawling Dudzinski, but he made the save with a smart block.

In the second minute of injury time, the Glovers found their equaliser. A long ball from Sonny Blu Lo-Everton sparked the interest of Ben Dudzinski, who came charging out of his goal in an attempt to make a clearance, but Frank Nouble demonstrated his speed to beat Dudzinski to the ball and loft it into the far corner from a very long way out and at a tight angle.

At half-time, Mark Cooper looked to his experienced bench and made a couple of changes. Sonny Blu Lo-Everton and Zac Bell made way for Jake Hyde and Charlie Cooper as the Glovers looked to change their shape for the second period.

Substitute Charlie Cooper provided Jake Wannell a big opportunity to put the Glovers in front from a free-kick, but Wannell was in an offside position as his header was saved by Ben Dudzinski.

Eastbourne then had a chance of their own on 55 minutes as Leone Gravata found space on the edge of the box to get a shot away, but his effort was charged down by Josh Staunton.

On 63 minutes, the players took on more fluids as the temperature wasn’t letting up over South Somerset. This also saw the Glovers make their final change as Jordan Stevens replaced Jordan Young. Stevens linked up well with Matt Worthington just a couple of minutes after his introduction as they made their way down the left wing and got a cross in, but it was just too high for Jake Hyde, who was waiting in the box.

With just over twenty minutes to go, the Glovers took the lead. Matt Worthington’s cross from the left was cleared but only as far as Josh Owers, who unleashed a thunderbolt into the far corner. A superb way to mark his first goal in Green & White as he wheeled away towards the Thatchers in celebration.

With Eastbourne once again trailing, they responded quickly as they looked for an equaliser. Zak Emmerson turned his man and got a shot away, but his effort was wide of the goal. The visitors then had a golden opportunity to equalise when the ball fell to the feet of Decarrey Sheriff, who only had Joe Day to beat, but he saw his effort ricochet off the left-hand post and wide.

As the full-time whistle was blown, it marked a second win of the week for the Glovers and saw them move up to 6th place, just 3 points off the top spot.