Sussex Senior Cup: Battling Stags beaten by Eastbourne

Midhurst, in blue, in action against Eastbourne United AFC   Picture by Darren Chiverton
Midhurst, in blue, in action against Eastbourne United AFC Picture by Darren Chiverton

Midhurst lost 3-0 to Eastbourne United in the county cup.

The sides were meeting for the third year in succession in the cup – and despite being without a victory in the league, the Stags went into the game full of optimism.

The game started at a high tempo with Eastbourne looking to put their mark on it, but Midhurst defended well and gave United little time on the ball.

Great play by Kevin White, Matt Mason and Liam Dreckman gave Jimmy Turner Midhurst’s first opportunity. His shot was too ferocious for the keeper to hold and Sheehan went close with the rebound.

The remainder of the first half saw Midhurst cause problems for Eastbourne but with no cutting edge. Sheehan, Hyde, Mason and Turner were all guilty of spurning chances to put Midhurst a goal up.

Midhurst came unstuck with two minutes of the half remaining as an excellent run from Eastbourne’s winger released Charlie Osborne, who beat the offside trap, rounded Knight and slotted home.

The second half started with Midhurst pressing high and Gary Norgate released Sheehan down the right. He beat a couple of players and his cross was cleared to Dreckman, whose left-footed shot went narrowly wide.

Midhurst had several more chances with no end product.

A move down Eastbourne’s right wing ended in a forward receiving the ball six yards out. Sean Dummer was adjudged to have impeded the striker, who fell to the floor. A penalty seemed harsh but was converted by Wes Tate.

For the next 15 minutes, United showed their class – but Midhurst weathered the storm and got back into the game.

But with the Stags pressing for a goal, United finished them off with an excellent finish from Osborne for his second.

This performance by Midhurst can give them confidence as they head to Little Common on Saturday.