Poole Town Inflict Heavy Defeat On The Sports
The heaviest defeat of the season, and the palest performance: Eastbourne Borough crumpled to a 4-0 .....
..... home reverse on Saturday at the hands of Poole Town.
By Kevin Anderson
Borough really did not see this one coming. Jamie Howell’s team may not be the finished product, but results have been reasonable, and they have seldom been outplayed. Only a physically dominant Chelmsford, who blew Borough off the park 5-2 some weeks ago, had really made them look second best. Until Saturday, that is – when the home crowd saw a pale team performance with no momentum, little invention, and fatal errors.
Poole Town are a modest outfit themselves, but they took ruthless advantage of Eastbourne’s defensive slips to record their own biggest, and probably easiest, win of the season. Two simple first-half goals gave the Dolphins a half-time margin, and after the break a direct free-kick and a penalty nailed the points.
The manager named an unchanged side, looking to build on a strong performance at Hungerford. There were few early hints of Borough’s implosion as the home side controlled the opening phases. But on 15 minutes Poole, compact and organised, seized the lead on the break. A promising Eastbourne broke down and within seconds returning hero Marvin Brooks – back from Salisbury – had shrugged off a feeble challenge and sent Warren Bentley speeding clear to steer his low finish past Bailey Vose. Five minutes later Borough failed to clear a corner, Will Spetch struck a follow-up shot which Vose spilled, and Bentley popped in an easy second from close range.
The tireless Sergio Torres worked relentlessly to ignite a fight-back, and he drew some response from his team-mates. Harley Willard’s terrific pace caused Poole some problems, Taylor tried again and again to find pockets of space, and Kane Wills sent probing passes from deep. Lloyd Dawes curled one decent effort just too high, and Charlie Harris drilled what should have been a lethal cross, but nobody managed a touch.
But despite the territorial pressure, the home forwards were being blanketed out by the Dolphins, who defended deep and seldom gave Eastbourne a sight of goal. The Poole 4-4-2 became 4-5-1 and sometimes resembled the infamous 4-6-0 fielded by one Scottish national manager some seasons ago….
The second half was strange. For all the home fans’ rightful disappointment and frustration, Borough did get a bit better, and the Dolphins had hardly a sniff of goal – except for the two further killer blows that they struck. Four minutes after the break, the Sports’ revival hopes were punctured by Steve Devlin’s superb strike from a direct free-kick, awarded after Matt Drage body-checked Jez Bedford’s run on goal.
Full backs Redwood and Hendon were both making inroads on the flanks, and the introduction of a buoyant, eager Harry Ransom was a breath of fresh air. But by this stage, it was too late to rescue the game. And when Bedford was sent sprawling in the box on 69 minutes, Bentley stepped up to despatch the penalty, 3-0 had become 4-0 and poor Jamie Howell – who had almost missed the game with a bout of food poisoning – must have wished he had stayed on his sick bed.
Borough kept battling, with a brief but bright cameo off the bench from Ryan Worrall, but when Willard struck a post with a rasping 20-yarder, and then a sublime Torres strike drew a wonder save from Nick Hutchings, the Sports knew this was not their day, and a comprehensive away victory was complete.
Borough: Vose; Hendon, Khinda-John, Drage, Redwood; Wills, Torres, Harris (Ransom 61); Dawes (Worrall 75), Taylor, Willard. Unused subs: Simpemba, Charman, Plummer.
Referee: Ian Fissenden Att: 487
Borough MoM: Sergio Torres (pictured) - tireless in the cause