Late Clark strike secures Eastbourne victory

City secured back to back 1-0 wins thanks to Ewan Clark’s late strike against Eastbourne Borough at Twerton Park this afternoon. He drilled home a low shot on 78 minutes to finally break the resistance of the struggling visitors.

It had looked like a much more straightforward afternoon for City as they dominated the opening exchanges. Cody Cooke saw a first minute header tipped over the bar by Dudzinski with Joe Raynes blazing over from the resultant corner. Cooke almost got on to the end of an Oscar Thorn centre five minutes later before he saw another header strike the bar on 15 minutes. Dan Hayfield’s long range effort was nearly diverted into the net by Scott Wilson then Jordan Dyer shot was turned away by Dudzinski from Clark’s free-kick. Having survived this early onslaught the visitors finally halted City’s momentum by slowing the game down whenever possible and the game was still goalless at the break.

And they began the second half on the front foot without fashioning any real openings. City were also struggling to recapture their first half performance as the game became increasingly scrappy. However, the introduction of Tom Smith and James Alabi, for his home debut, breathed new life into the Romans and moments after Clark curled a good chance over the bar, great work by Cooke set up the City no.7 to finally break the deadlock. Borough reacted well to the blow and finally began to test City’s rear-guard, winning a series of corners that came to nothing. Smith almost made the game save with a long range effort that Dudzinski gratefully grabbed. And Eastbourne twice spurned great chances to level in the closing minutes. A ball over the top saw Ballard McBride get clear but Casa-Grande stood up brilliantly to block his shot. Then a cross dropped to Bird just a couple of yards out but he somehow managed to fire wide of the post. This was the final scare for City as they saw out the remaining time to secure the three points and climb back into the play-off places.