Thursday 01st September 2005
Eastbourne United's winning FA Cup debut
Saturday 23 August 2003
FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round
by Darrell Harman
Eastbourne United Association 1-0  Lordswood
attendance: 102

The road to Cardiff began on this hot and sunny afternoon in Eastbourne and for Lordswood it's another year to wait as they lost to a side that were making their debut in the F.A. Cup.

Lordswood started brightly when in the fourth minute Dan Hudd won a header that found John Gissing and he passed back to Hudd whose shot from twenty yards sailed narrowly over the crossbar.

Four minutes later Herbert's poor goal kick found Mark Warren who from thirty yards ran towards goal but his shot from an angle was deflected for a corner.

Lordswood went close when Hudd passed the ball into the path of James Short but his shot under pressure sailed over the Eastbourne crossbar.

The home side almost took the lead after 29 minutes when Mark Downey on the right touchline saw his cross tipped over the crossbar by Herbert.

Five minutes later Lordswood came agonisingly close to taking the lead when a bad back pass saw Short latch onto it and beat the advancing goalkeeper David Browning but his chip from 15 yards spun past the upright.

The second half was a bit of an anti-climax for Lordswood as they did not get started and this allowed Eastbourne United to get into the game.

In the 52nd minute Scott McDonald on the right passed inside for Warren but his side foot effort went wide.

Eastbourne United scored the winner in the 68th minute when a catalogue of mistakes occurred.  Gissing gave possession away and then Kevin Thorburn conceded a free kick.  Herbert punched the ball clear but the ball found Ben Hutchinson whose shot-cum-pass fell at Mark Downey's feet and he scored from six yards.

Lordswood were stunned by this and in the 71st minute could have equalised.  A long throw from Andy Freeman was flicked on by Short to Gissing whose miss hit shot was easily saved by the goalkeeper.

Eastbourne could have wrapped up the game when they hit a long ball and Warren headed on to Scott McDonald who raced into the area but blazed his shot over the bar.

With ten minutes left on the clock,  Lordswood should have equalised to take the game back to Martyn Grove for the replay.  Short received the ball and turned and knocked the ball into the area for Gissing who from only five yards shot over the crossbar when it seemed easier to score.

Lordswood: Herbert, Johnson, Thorburn (Day 81), Clements, Woodland, Colyer, Gallagher, Hudd (Ware 75), Short, Gissing, Freeman (Weeks 81)