STRUGGLING Steyning suffered their sixth successive defeat as they were booted out of the Senior Cup by eagerEastbourne on Saturday. The visitors, who had won by the same margin at Banstead earlier in the week, carried far too much firepower and they missed numerous chances.
Experienced John Daubney led their forward line with the verve that was so rarely seen in his spell at Horsham not so long ago. clearly enjoying the up-and-coming young talent around him. Keith Miles in particular looked a rare find-his powerfully struck goat after 23 minutes, was his 25th since United brought him into senior football a year ago. That was Eastbourne's second goat Daubney having netted eight minutes earlier In a goalmouth scramble, and Steyning's cause was already lost.
At times United played exhibition stuff as sweeper Adam Booth tried frantically to organise some semblance of Steyning defence. For a teenager, he is having to shoulder a lot of responsibility in a generally futile cause and it is to be hoped that the constant hammerings do not have a long-term effect on his confidence for he is undoubtedly a player of considerable promise.
Eastbourne 'keeper Gary Gill was forced into rare exertion midway through the second half, diving to save Tim Hall's 18-yard drive, and that reminded the visitors that more goals would not come amiss .
Cries of distress from Booth and Stewart Wilkie alerted their colleagues too late to the fact that Miles had been left unmarked and he linked with David Venables to set up Daubney's second in the 67th minute. Substitute Jimmy Gibbins
came on soon afterwards and promptly made it 4-0 with an assist from Wilkie, who dived under his cross as it bounced. Venables, fed by Gibbins, wrapped up the scoring with a low drive which cannoned home off a post and Steynlng were left to contemplate another humiliating afternoon.
They have conceded 23 goals in their last five games which have included dismissals from four cup competitions. Can It really be only 18 months since they captured the Senior Cup?
Steynlng: Stewart Wilkie; Trevor Nash, Mervyn Metcalfe, Adam Booth, Russell Matthews; Malcolm Metcalfe, Mick Barry, Glen Parsons, Paul Walker; Tim Hall, Jarrod Manchee. Sub: Paul Herbert (for Matthews, 45 mins).
Eastboume: Gary Gill; Gary Buchanan, Carl Pepper, Stefan Hart, Martin Ellis; Steve Powell, Tony Sharkey, Duncan Boon; David Venables, John Daubney, Keith Miles. Sub: Jimmy Gibbins (for Sharkey, 72mins).
Referee: Mr D. J . Barber (Shipley).