Eastbourne Borough vs Taunton Town


Date Time League Season Match Day Full Time
March 16, 2024 3:00 pm National League South 2023/24 16/03/2023 90'


Eastbourne Borough2
Taunton Town0



It was a case of after the Lord Mayor’s Show for the Peacocks as they dipped to defeat on the East Sussex coast. The midweek win at Torquay and the proficient manner in which Town went about it had renewed confidence both on and off the pitch but frustratingly that level of performance was absent in this game, and it was the hosts who enhanced their own hopes of escaping the drop with a goal at the end of each half.

Making their second visit to Priory Lane this season after the first match was abandoned due to fog in December, the Town side showed one change from midweek, with club stalwart Lloyd Irish making his 388th appearance in goal due to Dan Lavercombe having sustained a hairline leg fracture against the Gulls. Trying to shake off the effects of a tortuous six hour coach journey, the Peacocks were first to show with a Lloyd James free kick which Nick Grimes flicked on but too far for Cameron Evans to connect at the back post. An open start to the game then provided Borough with a half-chance, Sam Beard breaking down the left to see his cross volleyed wide by Decarrey Sheriff.

Play continued to ebb and flow, with Irish claiming after Siya Ligendza had threatened to latch onto keeper Harrison Foulkes’ long kick while Grimes fired a free kick narrowly over at the other end, but clear openings were not forthcoming until midway through the half, with both sides seeing a chance within a minute of each other. Borough skipper Brad Barry got on the end of Alfie Bendle’s corner to see his header just clutched by Irish on his line before the visitors had an even better opportunity. Zac Bell’s cross deflected to Nat Jarvis who would have hoped to find the net but saw his first time effort strike the post and rebound off fellow striker Seb Bolton and over. Then came Eastbourne’s turn to hit the woodwork, Beard finding Jack Clarke whose deflected shot from the edge of the area looped beyond Irish but thankfully off his right-hand post while teammate Ligendza was considerably further away with a strike which he blasted out of the arena.

The final stages of the half proved pivotal to the outcome of the contest. Another chance went begging for the Peacocks ten minutes before the break when a poor home pass gave Zac Smith daylight to break to find Chamberlain and his lay-off to the overlapping Marcus Day produced a low centre, locating Bolton who looked odds on to convert at the far post, only to see Foulkes react well to block on the line. Eastbourne substitute David Sesay then tried his luck from distance to pick out the side netting, but Town failed to heed the warning and found themselves trailing after 42 minutes when Sesay found space on the left to curl an excellent finish beyond Irish and into the far corner.

The visitors produced one last thrust prior to the whistle, Bolton flicking on a Grimes’ cross which reached Evans, but his header was easy pickings for Foulkes. That constituted Bolton’s last contribution with Ross Stearn taking over when the sides resumed after the interval, with Town knowing they needed to sharpen up all round if they were to maintain their recent revival. Borough were the side though who began the brighter, Sesay nearly doubling their lead when Sheriff’s cross found him unmarked at the far post but Irish got down well to hold the header.

Taunton enjoyed a spell without creating a chance, one short free kick routine promising more until Smith’s cross was claimed by Foulkes at his near post before Town lost possession soon after, a Borough break culminating in Yahya Bamba bursting into the box but Irish did brilliantly to deny his attempt at goal. The second half was becoming difficult for Town who huffed and puffed without any clear product. Day’s shot from the edge of the box deflected to Foulkes after the hosts had failed to clear their lines before the Town man was replaced by Jaden Brown, making his Peacocks debut, with 20 minutes to go.

The one meaningful effort from the Peacocks in the second half came nine minutes from time via Jarvis whose powerful strike appeared destined for the top corner until Foulkes palmed away at the expense of a corner. However. the latter stages of the game belonged to the Sussex outfit. Well-travelled striker and new signing for Borough Matt Green backheeled wide from Sesay’s cross before Bamba missed a sitter, somehow skewing wide of an open goal from Finn Ballard McBride’s cross.

That might have proved costly during five minutes of added time but despite some intent towards the home goal the Peacocks were unable to carve out anything and Borough rubbed it in by adding a second goal three minutes into stoppage. Clarke’s clearance found Bamba and he made amends for his earlier failure in some style, scorching away from halfway into the area where he slotted home past Irish to secure his side’s seventh point from nine. Defeat for the Peacocks dropped them down to 20th and they will need to show much more in the final dozen games of the season to ensure they retain their National League membership.


Taunton: Lloyd Irish, Zac Bell, Nick Grimes (captain), Dan Ball, Ollie Chamberlain, Lloyd James, Nat Jarvis, Zac Smith, Cameron Evans, Marcus Day (Jaden Brown 70), Seb Bolton (Ross Stearn 45) . Unused subs: Rabby Tabu Minzamba, Callum Dolman, Louie Slough

Eastbourne: Harrison Foulkes, Brad Barry (captain), Dan Quick, Alex Finney, Siya Ligendza (Matt Green 75), Jack Clarke, Decarrey Sheriff (Finn Ballard McBride 80), Alfie Bendle, Sam Beard (David Sesay 28), Yahya Bamba, Pierce Bird. Unused subs: Jake Hutchinson, Moussa Diarra


Referee: Charles Martland (London)
Referee’s Assistant 1: Steven Rea (Burnham)
Referee’s Assistant 2: Conor Griffin (London)




“One of those games we certainly should have done better in and we’ve got to keep our levels higher all over the pitch……..” watch Rob Dray’s match reaction on Peacocks TV HERE


Match highlights can be seen courtesy of Eastbourne Borough FC HERE


Match photos from Club Photographers Darren Harris can be viewed HERE and Debbie Gould HERE

Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance MOM

Lloyd Irish receives the Taunton Town Man Of The Match award from club physio Anthony Cornish