Being without a competitive game Hampstead [Town] arranged two strong away matches, one with Eastbourne and the other with Horsham [Trinity].
The club's playing strength was equally divided between the two games, and in the match with Eastbourne a new centre-half in H.G.M. Barnes, the well-known Sussex County player, now resident in this district, was tried and he proved a great success. His display was faultless and he will be seen in the next match on the home ground. R. Kirby occupied the centre-forward position in the team, with K. Seabrooke and F.G. Young forming the right wing. All of them did well, but G.F. Howell proved first favourite with the seasiders, and deservedly so. Although losing this match by two goals to none, Hampstead gave such a fine exhibition and proved so popular with the crowd that they have been invited to make it an annual fixture.
From the Eastbourne Chronicle (by "Onlooker"), 27 October 1923 :
Eastbourne won their friendly with Hampstead Town on Saturday by two goals to none, but the score flattered them. The visitors opened strongly; they were fast and nippy, and their heading was good; in fact their football was well worth seeing. Kicking towards the Meads-road goal they at once pressed, and Medhurst had to save a fine straight drive from the centre forward (Kirby), while shortly afterwards the outside-left (G. Howell) struck the top of the post with a beauty. Eastbourne had started one short, Hollobone being a minute or two late in arriving, but when he did come he soon got on the target, twice in quick succession, but the goalie was on the alert. At the other end Kirby missed an apparently easy chance, lifting the ball over the bar when only a few yards out. Hampstead's goal had a narrow escape when Lynn headed against the post, following a run and shot by Marchant, who had received from Stannard. Grevett's plan of coming into the middle when danger threatened on the other wing proved very serviceable, as he was able to head away several centres and stop other rushes. From a pass-out by Hollobone, Tugwell made a determined bee-line for goal; I hope he will try a few more of these rushes instead of always going to the corner flag, and that his luck will not always be what it was in this instance - he was unceremoniously bowled over just as he got within shooting distance.
Eastbourne took longer to settle down than their opponents, but when they did some nice passing was seen in the forward line, where Hollobone was doing really well. Lynn and Teague ably backed him up in the inside passing game, but the outside wingers were not neglected, both Marchant and Tugwell getting several long forward passes from the pivotal man. One neat movement by Hollobone and Lynn ended with the former testing McCracken at close quarters with his left foot; the shot was brilliantly stopped, after which Lynn hit a post. The Londoners' wing forwards sent across some lofty centres, especially Howell, but these were not improved upon. After Little (right half) had gone close with a hard drive, Eastboune got away and Hollobone finished a skilful individual run by scoring with a grounder, left foot. This success came after nearly half an hour's play. The home forwards were showing clever combination, and it was only in this respect that they could boast any superiority over Hampstead. I remember one attack in which Lynn got the ball near the half-way line and it was then passed and repassed from one forward to another nearly a dozen times; when at length Hollobone shot just outside not a single opponent had touched the ball during the whole of the movement, although the forwards had to fight every yard of the way. But for a quick-eyed parry by McCracken Eastbourne's score at the interval would have been 2-0 instead of 1-0.
On the resumption the Londoners were soon prominent and from a centre by the outside-right Wise volleyed the ball against the bar with a bang - a lucky escape for Eastbourne. Hollobone, I was glad to notice, attempted several first-timers - these are the shots that win matches - and his best effort in this direction was a magnificent drive after one of the backs had headed out a centre by Marchant; without hesitation the centre forward slammed the ball straight for the top of the goal from about 25 yards; it would have been a grand goal had not the custodian tipped the ball over the top. Kirby broke through for Hampstead, only to be sent flying by Jupp. The visitors were now doing far more attacking than Eastbourne, but Medhurst was in sterling form, saving numerous good shots. Nevertheless the stand goal had several narrow shaves. After a period of comparative inactivity the Blue and Yellow forwards got away and Teague netted with a fine swinging shot. There was no more scoring, and Eastbourne won, as above stated, by 2-0, though a draw would have been a fair result.