The final match of the season for the U18’s was a home fixture against Eastbourne United with the hope we could gain revenge for the away loss to them earlier in the season.
The team, as usual, showed changes with Luke Vidler back into goal, Kieran Austin returning to central defence along side captain Frazer Johnstone with Fenton Boaks and Thomas Turner completing the back four. Toby Cane was injured, William Herriott regained his forward position but otherwise the team was the same as last week.
Early exchanges were fairly even and we created several chances in the opening 25 minutes. First Harry Millar sent over a cross to Tom, who had ventured up field, and his powerful shot was well saved by the Eastbourne keeper and went for corner.
Then 5 minutes later Luke made a great save from an Eastbourne free kick. Harry then sent over a corner which was met by Jonno Bennett but his header went just over. Harry then went on a great run up field but his subsequent shot was over the bar.
Luke then had to make another save on a one to one basis from close range. Then just after the half hour we conceded a penalty when Luke was adjudged to have fouled the forward and the striker duly scored.
Things could have got worse just before half time when Luke’s bad free kick went straight to an Eastbourne player but Luke made up for his error by making an excellent one on one save. One nil down at half time.
At half time we were still in this match and the players were told to keep the ball on the ground and not launch it because we had the wind behind us now. However Eastbourne were taking the game to us and forced Kieran to be replaced by Daniel Green in defence and shortly after Luke was again in action making another great save.
William was then replaced by Joss Slowey after taking quite a battering form the Eastbourne defence. We then conceded another penalty when Frazer handled the ball in the penalty area and again the spot kick was converted, 2-0 down.
The final substitution was made with Jordon Burstow replacing Jonno and it was he who made a great run down the right side but the final ball in did not lead to anything positive. The third goal for the visitors came in injury time.
All in all not a good way to end a season but there are positive signs for the future if all the first year players remain at the club with additional players to come in for next season.
To all the players who are now too old for U18’s football, we hope that you have enjoyed being with the club and the team and look forward to seeing you in the adult teams.
Luke Vidler, Fenton Boaks, Kieran Austin (Daniel Green), Frazer Johnstone (c), Thomas Turner, Harry Millar, Jay Thornton, Shaun Tait, William Herriott (Joss Slowey), Ian Robinson, Jonno Bennett (Jordon Burstow).
Man of the Match: Harry Millar.