Eastbourne Town 1 Swans 3

Saturday 1 March 2014.                                       Ryman League, Division One South.


Eastbourne Town 1    Walton & Hersham 3.

Swans’ new manager Tony Reid got his tenure off to a winning start on his return to the club he bossed earlier in the season. It was essential Swans picked up three points against the bottom club to help their struggle to avoid getting further sucked into a relegation fight, and they did that on a sticky pitch with a much more convincing performance than those of late. The win put an end to an eleven match run during which they had picked up just one point, and also gave them their first double of the season.

Despite several more changes to the side this was a much more assured display, and the final winning margin could well have been greater. New signings coming in were central defender Tom Mudge and right-side player Orin Boreland, but the unlikely star was Nehemiah Adams, whose main role previously at the club this season has been as a coach for Swans’ reserve side. Adams, better known as Nemo, marked his debut with a hat-trick, with all three goals splendidly taken.

Swans could well have taken the lead straight from the kick-off when Matt Reece had a clear chance on the edge of the box, but his strong, left-foot shot flew just inches over the bar. Another chance came with just two minutes played when Adams got into the box on the right to drive in a shot that home goalkeeper Callum Christe beat away at his near-post.

Eastbourne had an opportunity with a quarter of an hour played when they won a free-kick outside the box on the right, but Billy Medlock struck his effort well over. Ashley Robinson was then given a lot of space on the left to get in a strong shot that Swans’ keeper Dane Buss just got a touch on to deflect the ball wide of the far-post.

Swans’ Peter Wedgeworth cut across from the left to have a shot blocked, and André Scarlett’s follow-up took a deflection and the ball flew over for a corner. Sean Bradley’s kick from the left was met by Mudge, but he put a strong header wide.

Just before the half-hour an Eastbourne free-kick won a corner on the left, and from the kick a far-post header was deflected behind to win another corner that came to nothing. The home side continued to have a good spell, and after Medlock was played in on the left to shoot into the side-netting, he turned on the edge of the box to drive in a low shot that forced Buss to save on his line.

As the half entered the final ten minutes Swans’ Boreland was fouled just inches outside the right edge of the box, but Louis Clark put a close-in header over the bar from Wedgeworth’s free-kick. Reece then sent Boreland down the right to get in a shot that Christe took at his near-post. Scarlett and Boreland then combined to set up Reece, who cut in from the right to have a shot deflected over.

With the first minute of stoppage-time being played Swans took a deserved lead. Wedgeworth made a run on the left before laying the ball across to Adams, who drove a low shot past Christe from the edge of the box.

Two minutes into the second-half Boreland made room on the edge of the home box to get in a shot that Christe beat away, but Eastbourne immediately had a chance at the other end, and Buss just kept out Medlock’s close-range header on his line. Buss could then only watch as Ross Sutton’s shot from the edge of the box flew just over following Ryan Cooper’s long throw from the right.

Just a minute later Reece went close to making it 2-0 to Swans as he got in on the right to drive in a shot that thumped against the near-post, but the visitors only had to wait another minute before they did double their lead. Wedgeworth played Scarlett in on the left to get in a shot that Christe beat away, and when the ball came out to Adams just inside the box on the left, he sent a fine shot dipping over the keeper and into the top of the net.

It should have been 3-0 with just under an hour played when Andy Lomas’s fine ball down the left picked out Reece, and when he played the ball inside to Boreland he was well-placed to score, but he snatched at his shot and the ball flew well-wide. But with twenty minutes of the second-half played the ball was headed away to the edge of the home box and Adams struck a first-time shot low inside the left-post to register his, and Swans’, third goal.

Eastbourne won a free-kick on the left, but Robinson’s effort drifted wide of the near-post.

With ten minutes remaining Lomas made a terrific run into the left of the box to cut in on the line and get the ball low across the goal-face, but no-one could take advantage. Lomas was immediately getting in a superb cross from the left to the far-post, where substitute Louis Glace-Palmer volleyed over.

Swans should have been 4-0 up and cruising, but they immediately conceded a goal to give the home side new hope. The ball was crossed high from the left, and Dominic Clarke was left unmarked in the right of the box to nod the ball over Buss.

With five minutes of normal-time remaining Swans should have restored their three goal cushion when Wedgeworth laid the ball inside from the left to set up a great chance for Reece, but he skewed the ball wide.

Swans’ Team: Dane Buss, Sean Bradley, Andy Lomas, André Scarlett, Tom Mudge, Louis Clark, Orin Boreland (Fabian O’Brien 65’), Vernon Francis (Nathan Oliver 89’), Nehemiah Adams (Louis Glace-Palmer 72’), Matt Reece, Peter Wedgeworth. Subs. not used: Tom Hayden, Martin Beard. Scorer: Adams (45+1’, 54’ & 65’). Caution: Clark, foul (41’).                            .                              

Eastbourne Team: Christe, Cooper, Pacheco, Davidson, Elliott, Sutton, Greenfield, Howard-Bold, Clarke, Medlock, Robinson. Subs. not used: Hollobone, Schaaf, Adebayo-Rowling, Cumming-Bart, Joseph. Scorer: Clarke (82’). Cautions: Cooper, foul (57’), Elliott, foul (84’).