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FA Cup: Eastbourne Borough 3 Sheppey United 1

Sheppey United’s FA Cup journey came to an end after opponents Eastbourne Borough staged a second half fightback.

The Ites were ahead early on through Billy Bennett but the National League South side scored three times inside 10 minutes to turn the third qualifying round tie on its head.

Ernie Batten's Sheppey United are out of the FA Cup after an impressive run to the third qualifying round
Ernie Batten's Sheppey United are out of the FA Cup after an impressive run to the third qualifying round

Southern Counties East Sheppey had already got past Sutton Athletic, Uxbridge, Steyning Town and National South Welling United to make it this far - just two wins from a place in the first round proper.

Beating Welling was an impressive achievement and manager Ernie Batten admitted it would have taken something special to do pull off another shock, but they gave their hosts a scare at Priory Lane.

Batten’s ambitious side made a dream start when Bennett put them ahead early on, running onto a flick from Jack Midson to finish past the keeper.

Adam Molloy saved from home striker Charlie Walker as Borough looked for an instant response but at the other end Harison Carnegie went close with a curling effort.

Sheppey went into the break a goal up but Joel Rollinson missed a good chance for Eastbourne early in the second half and former Gillingham and Peterborough midfielder Chris Whelpdale saw an effort deflected over.

The pressure paid off, with the home side equalising on 67 minutes. Walker found substitute Greg Luer and he cut inside before beating the Sheppey keeper Adam Molloy.

A minute later they took the lead and it was Whelpdale with the second goal after being picked out in the centre by Kai Innocent.

Walker hit the post but it wasn’t long before the hosts had a third as Luer bagged his second of the night with 15 minutes left, heading home a cross at the near post.

Whelpdale went close to a fourth in the closing stages but his header hit the bar.

Sheppey: Molloy, Birch, Divine, Howlett-Mundle, Crimmen, Hamill (Aikhionbare 72mins), Leonard, Wilkins (Freeman 87mins), Midson, Bennett, Carnegie (Oguneinde 81mins). Subs not used: Mfula, Emptage, Meziane, Taylor.

More on the FA Cup;

Stones out on penalties

Fleet knocked out on pens

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