Rangers derby ends all-square after Eaastbourne let lead slip

Eastbourne Rangers drew 2-2 with Cuckfield Rangers in a well contested game on the Sports Park 3G - but Rangers will rue letting go a a 2-0 lead

It finished all-square at the Sports Park 3G
It finished all-square at the Sports Park 3G

Although it was goalless at the break, this was in no small part due to Rangers stopper Louis Peach who made three outstanding first half saves, albeit from long range efforts.

The red and blacks took an the lead early in the second period when a cross from Dylan Nanuck eluded the Cuckfield keeper, with the ball sailing into the top corner.

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The home side doubled their lead midway through the half when a tame Luke Regan shot from the edge of the box somehow found its way over the line, via the hands of the away keeper.

Peach had to be at his best again in the latter stages of the contest, making another hatrick of sublime saves. But in fairness to Cuckfield, they never gave up and were rewarded with two goals in the last 15 minutes to bring the score level.

Rangers felt the most contentious period of the game came in the dying seconds. Matty Astle latched on to an under-hit back pass and raced away from the Cuckfield back four from the halfway line. He was fouled by the away keeper on the edge of the box just as Astle was about to pull the trigger. The referee gave the free kick but had adjudged there were covering defenders, therefore gave only a yellow card. And with nothing coming from the resulting free kick, the final whistle soon followed.

Although it was a disappointing result after being two goals up, this was an excellent performance by an ever improving first team. It could well have been a different game if not for the performance of Peach in the Rangers goal, and he was awarded the Rodmill Post Office MoM as a result of an accomplished display as well as excellent saves throughout the game.

The Rangers first team are in action again on Saturday when they travel to AFC Uckfield Reserves.

Ditchling 2-1 Eastbourne Rangers II

Rangers reserves traveled to Ditchling for the long awaited Division 2 South top of the table clash. The home side drew first blood midway through the first half with rangers hitting back before half-time through skipper Kyle Daines.

The second period was well contested but it was Ditchling that snatched a winner five minutes from time which blows the top of the division wide open. The MoM award was given to Matteo Lombardelli.

The reserves are next in action on Tuesday when they face Willingdon II, in what would be their fourth game in 10 days.