Bexhill College Football Academy, in partnership with Eastbourne Borough FC, produced a determined and committed display to overcome a tough Dover Athletic side 4-2 on Wednesday 4th December at Priory Lane.
Eager to build upon last week's promising display against Crystal Palace, Eastbourne were rewarded for their positive start when Leone Gravata's cross was turned into an own goal by a Dover defender to give Eastbourne a 1-0 lead.
There was no confusion over the scorer of Eastbourne's second goal with Gravata cutting out a lax pass from a Dover defender before firing the ball into the back of the net from 25 yards. Eastbourne went into the half time break 2-0 up and soon increased the lead again through Gravata who came in from the left wing, beating the goalkeeper to his left-hand side from 25 yards once again.
Dover reassembled and were awarded a penalty which they converted, after Eastbourne's goalkeeper Jacob Roberts brought down the Dover forward. Dover surrounded the Eastbourne goal, but some strong defending and wastefulness in front of goal on Dover's part maintained Eastbourne's two goal lead.
Dover then scored a second goal to set up a frantic end to the game. However, the tension was settled one minute from time by Gravata, securing his first hat trick of the season. Following a clearance from the Eastbourne box, Harley Ransom raced 60 yards to get to the ball, before beating the goalkeeper and setting up Gravata, who finished into the empty net.
Man of the Match went to Gravata, who was quite simply the difference between the two teams. Coach Sean Noble commented that it was a captain's performance by Gravata whose recent performances have been of the highest level, earning praise from opposition coaches and spectators alike.
Eastbourne finish 2019 at home to Worthing on Wednesday 11th December.
Bexhill College's Football Academy is also in association with Chelsea Football Club Foundation, and is holding its next trials in March 2020. For more information on trials and the College's other Sports Academies, please visit www.bexhillcollege.ac.uk.
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