There was a controversial end of a very good County League mid table clash at the Colwell Ground on Saturday as Eastbourne United players and management team felt that they were robbed of three points when they had a stoppage time winner ruled out through offside in the last kick of the game.
On the balance of both sides performance it would probably have been a deserved three points for former Burgess Hill Town manager Simon Rowlands team who just about shaded it if the game were to be scored in the points fashion in boxing. Having said that it was another one of those games where Rangers will rue the chances they spurned.
Mikael Arnoux started at right back for Rangers with Steve Smith withdrawing from the squad in the morning of the clash through illness. Akehurst then moved to left back as Ben Palmer who saw red at Arundel on Tuesday night was unavailable in the only changes from the 3-0 defeat at Mill Road.
Leppard nearly broke the deadlock but was thwarted by Rusell Tanner. However Rangers struck from the resulting corner taken by Jamie Weston when the ball fell to Josh Bryant who finished from close range which was without question, against the run of play as the visitors started the strongest.
Bryant’s goal was followed shortly after by a moment of complete madness when just minutes after his goal he clumsily fouled the oncoming Joe Summerbell giving the referee no other option than point to the spot. The experienced visiting forward Wes Tate then blazed the spot kick over the bar saving Bryants blushes somewhat to bring his side level.
Rangers number ten Nathan Millroy came close to doubling his sides lead when put through one on one via Jamie Weston away keeper Tanner came rushing out and Millroy lobbed the oncoming former team mate and his effort was just inches from coming in the underside of the crossbar but the bounce defeated the goal and the game remained at 1-0.
United hit the bar through Joe Summerbell from a Matt Geard cross which challenged Rangers all afternoon but Summerbell with a free header and Gordon beaten was denied by the woodwork as Rangers sighed a breath of relief.
It was Millroy again who squandered when one on one again with Tanner who won the battle as he blocked when Millroy could have lobbed or gone round his new nemesis.
The visitors got themselves level in the game when Dean Stevens finished from close ranger once Gordon had stopped the initial effort which was thoroughly deserved by Rowlands side who had been threatening.
Aaron Capon was the man who’s goal was disallowed in the final minutes of the game when he rifled home however his effort was deflected by a United player who was in an offside position and the assistant referee saved Rangers from defeat once consulted by referee Tim Hatt and both sides picked up a point each.
Rangers boss Glenn Charker said: “I would have taken a point this morning with both hands to be honest after Tuesday night. I’m a bit torn really about today. I didn’t see all that at the end but we missed too many good chances again. I think Simon (Rowland) will be disappointed like we were it was one of those games today and it could have gone either way and on reflection a draw is about right.”
“I can’t keep saying the same thing but it’s the truth - we just haven’t taken our chances when we have had them enough times this season and unfortunately that’s why we are where we are but you know, we’re still going to have a go in the last six games particularly Hassocks on Monday morning which with how they’re playing could be a cracking game.”
ST FRANCIS: Gordon, Arnoux, Akehurst, Leppard, Bryant, Lawrence, Rose (Haskell), Westlake, Saunders, Millroy, Weston