Football Blog: Tangerine Flavoured

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Gary Goals: Eastbourne Borough vs the Mighty



Never has football seemed so lonely as FA Cup first round day without supporters. A minutes silence and the last post echoing round an empty ground, a wreath laid in front of cardboard cutout supporters. It's a crying shame that Eastbourne are denied this match being played for real. Given we won the most famous cup final in history, the game that begat all others as a televised spectacle, we must be an absolute plum draw. How many other 1st round clubs boast a Ballon D'or Winner and a World Cup winner amongst their former players? Who else would you really want if you were them?

Anyway, I really fancy a cup run. It's been a mad old season so why can't we have a decent cup run and make our contribution to the strangeness of it all? It's been grand seeing teams like Southampton and Everton topping the Premier League, why not us in the 5th or 6th round for once? In fact, fuck it, let's go all the way and win the thing. Why not? Chorley have just beaten Wigan, so why can't we beat Man City or someone? No reason at all. Lets 'ave it! 

Team is pretty much as you were except Ollie Turton plays in centre midfield replacing Grant Ward. Which seems odd but there you are. 

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There's no commentary on the stream so the strange sound of the fake crowd noise really stands out. It seems like this one has been generated by recording over excited schoolkids. It's sounds like one of those England U18 matches where they've given loads of tickets to schools or an excitable swimming event from an Olympics held in the far east. 

Pool hit the post with seconds, CJ haring down the wing, selling his man a dummy and pulling back to Sullay whose low effort is palmed onto the post, before rebounding back into the keepers arms. 

Eastbourne win a corner, reward for a quick break and some muscular play. It's to the far post and for a split second looks like half a chance but it's too deep and they can only head it into the stand and well wide. 

It's terrific to see the stand behind one goal has a proper corrugated iron roof. I notice this as Maxwell takes the ball off the toes of an Eastbourne forward who barrels onto a through ball with the intent of a bull running at a matador. There's not enough corrugated iron anymore in football. Maxwell, just about whips his red flag out the way in time and dances round the burly front man, ball in hand. 

Sullay hits the post again as Ollie Turton spreads the play and Pool muscle through on the right, again the ball pulled back and this time Kaikai hits it hard and beats the keeper but not the goal frame. The ball bounces kindly for Borough, who hit a lightning counter attack, a ball over top beautifully brought down by their no 9 who gets away from Husband and strokes the ball towards the corner of the net, only to be denied by a combination of Maxwell's leg and arm. A good save and a breathless 30 seconds. 

Midfield playmaker Turton slips a through ball to Sullay, who lays it back to Dougall. The surf dude takes a few strides then hits a low, swerving, pitch skimming shot that the keeper (the fabulously name Franco Ravazzoli) does well with. 

Pool are indebted to the telescopic legs of the ever improving Ekpiteta as Gretarsson stumbles trying to shepherd the ball out of play, Eastbourne are on it like a rash, pulling it back and big Marvin needs all the timing he has to make one of his last ditch tackles that I don't think he gets enough credit for. 

Yates and Kaikai almost pull off a lovely one two move. A few minutes later, Kaikai stumbles as Madine attempts the same trick. Then a minute later, he looks away, only for Dougall's through ball to hit his heels. 

The goal machine leaps 35 yards out, takes the ball down and hits an outrageous volley that goes just over the top, hitting the back of the stand like a gunshot. Shirtless Jerry then brings a similar sound from the palms of the increasingly heroic keeper, played in by Hamilton, controlling with one touch and absolutely belting it with the next. It's a terrific save, an instinctive block of the first order, a solid arm thrown up and the ball beaten back from whence it came.  

Pool win several corners as the half draws to a close. The best one is flicked on at the near post and the Viking slides in at the far post but the Eastbourne man with him sticks with him and Pool are denied again. 

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When I check social media, it seems we've had a couple of penalty shouts to add to our plethora of efforts. I have to be honest, I haven't noticed anything nailed on. We've dominated without really pulling them to bits and the story seems to be the same as so many games, not quite clinical enough and prone to an error at the back. I wrote the next line at half time in the Wigan game on Tuesday - If we score first, we can go on and put the game to bed as they'll need to come at us. If they get one, I'm edgy as they can park the bus... 

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Dougall lays it forward to Sullay, he stutters and shimmers and tries to find space for a shot. He strikes it but it's charged down only to break for Madine who places it carefully, but it ends up precisely beyond the far post. 

The goal machine is in the action again seconds later, his chest control and miss hit volley falling to Yates. Shirtless Jerry is offside but the moment stays in the report despite the linesman's flag as it draws another brilliant stop from the Eastbourne keeper. 

Gabriel lofts it high into the box, Madine gets under it and does one of those little cushioned header and it's Turton, steaming in, he's going to hit this on the volley and it's going to break the net. 

Needless to say, he doesn't. He kind of gets there a bit early, sticks a foot out and it rolls away about 4 yards in the wrong direction leaving Turton to turn and trot back to his position. There's always next week Ollie, always next week. 

The the GOAL MACHINE FIRES INTO ACTION! Jimmy Husband controls well on the left and charges forward and swings it in low, Madine controls a deflection with his right, the ball popping up, then he stretches a long left leg, falling backwards and half volleys it into the far corner.  1-0

Yates somehow misses at the far post, in the scramble it comes of an Eastbourne body. Madine has a header cleared off the line. Shouts for pen as Marvin heads it against the arm of an Eastbourne defender. It definitely hits him but I am glad that at least at this level of football that isn't a spot kick though. 

Gabriel lofts a free kick into the box, Madine climbs and nods down to Yates who has the presence of mind to lay it off to the onrushing Goal Machine for a side foot finish into the corner. 2-0 ALL HAIL THE GOAL MACHINE!!

Critch has been writing in a notebook all game, studiously using a cheap black biro to plot and his equations tell him it's time for Dan Kemp to replace CJ. I think CJ has done ok, his delivery has been better today I think.

Whilst we're on managers, I note their gaffer looks a bit like a character from the board game Guess Who - a big round bald head and thick black rimmed glasses. (Is he wearing a suit? Yes. Has he got big eyes and glasses? Yes. Is he very bald? Yes. Is it Danny? Yes, it is!) - His assistant on the other hand is an urbane holiday romance looking type called Sergio who I imagine has a few middle aged hearts fluttering amongst the south coast Shirley Valentines in Eastbourne's fanbase. 

Eastbourne have made some subs, trying more mobile lads in place of their brawny starting forwards. One sub has a shot well blocked by Marvin, the other then beats the same player and fires one just over and just wide. Eastbourne work another moment, a good move that involves some direct running and neat passing before a shot that's blocked by (you've guessed it) Marvin and prompts handball shouts. Then it's Marv again, trying to bring the ball down on the edge of the box but miscontrolling. For a moment it looks a fatal mistake but Eastbourne can't control it either and Gabriel is able to shepherd it out. 

Bez and Ward come on. The rain is pouring. The artificial pitch gets a weird sheen. Sullay shapes one from the edge of the box, but it's easy for the keeper. They score but it's ruled out for a push on Gabriel and the lack of celebration says everything about how obvious the foul was.  

Then Kemp picks it up, rides a challenge and spreads it to Yates in space, who takes it wide before he slips it under the onrushing keeper. A neat finish and it's 3-0 and job done. 

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Eastbourne looked good for the first part of the game but faded a bit. We did well to be patient, to just keep playing and it was a decent win against a committed side who weren't overawed by the occasion at all . Goals for the strikers will help the confidence and more games for players Dougall and Gabriel is no bad thing. The latter impressed me again, putting up with an absolute buffeting every time he tried to run the flank and showing the presence of mind to cover across a couple of times when the defender on the other flank was in trouble. Granted, he'll have harder games, but he did his defensive work well. 

The Goal Machine divides opinion but in mine, he deserves those two today for his consistent and often selfless play up front since forcing his way in. His dipping effort in the first half also highlighted what he's capable of, a bit of magic that defies his categorisation by some as a mere big lump. Him and Jerry again did ok together and they're starting to play to each other's strengths. It mightn't be quite Liverpool's front three but it's becoming a serviceable forward line, we've won 4 from 5 and when you havn't got any other forwards, it's handy that those you have can work together and do a job... 

Next up Leeds u23s. Lets ignore that one. It doesn't count. The FA cup first round is everything that a game against a Premier League reserve team isn't. 

utmp

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If you appreciate the blog and judge it worth 1p or more, then a donation to one of the causes below which help kids and families in Blackpool would be grand. You can also donate to Eastbourne Borough in lieu of their ticket income should you wish. 

Home-Start 

Blackpool Food Bank

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