Pre-Christmas Home Defeat for Borough
Sports haven't an answer as Hawks notch four
Former Herald sports editor Ken McEwan - a man who has watched the Sports/Borough since the 80s - gives us his view of a disappointing afternoon at the Lane...
The lead-up to Christmas is usually one of the happiest periods of the year but any festive smiles were wiped off the faces of Eastbourne Borough supporters as they watched their team concede four goals at home for the second time in seven weeks at Priory Lane on Saturday.
Borough have now conceded 46 goals in 22 matches. Only bottom-of-the-table Whitehawk have fared worse which should make for two fascinating struggles between the two teams over the holiday period.
In fairness, Havant were a strong, well-organised side and gave the hosts a lesson in clinical finishing. They looked every inch play-off candidates.
There were certainly high Eastbourne hopes at the start. Yemi Odubade made his first start after injury for nearly three months, Simon Johnson was back in the fold after two years and four other players were making their home debut.
As always the one man who could hold his head high after the game was Fergio Torres who, despite going down injured twice in the opening 10 minutes, continued to give his all and never shirked a tackle.
Havant went ahead in the 11th minute with a ridiculously soft goal as Theo Lewis got a toe to Wes Fogden’s low cross and the ball rolled almost apologetically over the line.
Torres sent a fierce drive whistling past the post in the 21st minute but five minutes later Borough had a major let-off when Andreas Robinson’s 20-yard scorcher cannoned off the outside of the post.
Borough desperately needed a rapid equaliser as the second half opened but instead found themselves two down within a minute of the resumption. Matt Tubbs, a half-time replacement for Dan Strugnell, saw his first touch land at the feet of Jordan Rose who thumped the ball fiercely into the roof of the net.
It was 3-0 in the 58th minute when Wes Fogden’s angled screamer from the right went in off the back post.
And when the legendary Tubbs showed his class with another exquisite effort from an acute angle, the outcome was a ‘four-gone’ conclusion.
Watching the game was former Borough boss Tommy Widdrington whose son Theo came off the bench with the hope of repeating his goal against Borough earlier in the season.
Instead it was Borough seemed to come to life with the introduction of Lloyd Dawes who immediate injected some much-needed energy to the side.
Dawes himself made a great burst down the middle, his final shot bouncing off the chest of keeper Ryan Young and he continued to instigate menacing moments for the visitors who found themselves under real pressure for the first time.
Sean Okojie’s excellent long range effort went in off the post for an 83rd minute consolation goal as The Sports finished the game very much on the front foot.
If only they had opened as they finished, with Dawes in the starting line-up, it might have been a different story.
Borough: Smith, Udoji (Ransom 66), McCallum, Wills, Haran , Khinda-John, Johnson (Hendon 60), Torres, Okojie, Odubade, Richards (Dawes 56). Unused subs: Simpemba, Armstrong-Ford.
Referee: Will Finnie,
MoM: Sergio Torres – never stopped working.