A stoppage time goal condemned Rye United to a narrow defeat away to Eastbourne Town last night (Monday).
Toby Clifford struck in the third minute of added time to give Town a 1-0 victory in a Parafix Sussex Senior Challenge Cup third round tie which could have gone either way.
Playing only their fourth game since mid-December, Sussex County Football League Division One outfit Rye had the better of the first 10 minutes in a tie which went ahead at the third time of asking following two postponements.
But Ryman League Division One South club Town - who fielded a youthful and very different side from that which is likely to take the field in their upcoming league games - grew into the game as the first half wore on with Marc Munday hitting the crossbar and having an effort cleared off the line.
Rye again made the better start to the second period and Ade Olorunda forced a very good save out of Town’s one-time Rye goalkeeper Callum Christie. Gregg Berry also caused problems for Town and fired a couple of efforts across goal.
The game really started to open up as both sides tired, but it was Town who landed the decisive blow with a well-worked goal. The impressive Leyton Schaff held the ball up and Chris Cumming-Bart played a one-two with Clifford, who slotted past Greg Nessling.
Town’s reward for beating a Rye side containing recent recruits Jack Hope, Alan Foster and Jack Shonk (the latter as a substitute) is a quarter-final at home to Ryman Division One South leaders Peacehaven & Telscombe next week.
Rye: Nessling, Masters, Hope, Alexander, O’Callaghan, Martin, Foster, Billings, Archibald, Berry, Olorunda. Subs (all used): Shonk, Cooper, Hales.