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1st XI - Match centre

Poole Town
Eastbourne Borough
Sat 17 Feb 15:00 - The Vanarama National League - National League South Full time Attendance 479

Sports Make a Splash in Poole

Four smashing goals and three vital points for Borough in Dorset

The long haul to Dorset was richly rewarded for Eastbourne Borough as they claimed all three points with a 4-0 victory at Poole Town, to ease themselves nearer to National South safety.

Manager Jamie Howell would not have publicly admitted this one to be a six-pointer, but his side certainly put welcome distance between themselves and the West Country strugglers. And with a number of the other relegation candidates suddenly picking up points, the Sports still have work to do before they reach the comfort zone.

But if Borough turn in a few more performances like this one, they will be looking up the table and not down. An assured defensive performance, capped by four devastating strikes, earned the resounding victory and left Howell quietly satisfied. “We were in charge of the game from start to finish,” said Jamie. “Goals in the fourth minute and the 94th, and that says it all. Our strikers are on fire, but I was really impressed again with the back line, who are playing like seasoned pros."

“That is just one (narrow) defeat in five games, and we have some momentum. There are winnable games ahead and it’s up to us to win them!”

For almost the first time this season, the Sports fielded an unchanged side, including a back five with an average age of barely 20. But the central pair of James Haran and Harry Ransom looked commanding, supported by stylish Charlton loanee Archie Edwards and impressive young Bedes scholar Matt Pickering. Behind them, Mark Smith had an uneventful afternoon as Poole failed to trouble the scorers.

Unsung heroes Sergio Torres and Kane Wills won their midfield battles, and up front the Sports were simply unstoppable. On just four minutes, McCallum and Odubade combined smartly to send Lloyd Dawes racing clear, making light of a muddy and bumpy surface, and the striker finished calmly from the edge of the box.

Midway through the half it was 2-0. The exceptional vision of Edwards switched play from left to right, where McCallum played in Charlie Harris for an explosive swerving shot that left keeper Hutchings helpless.

Then McCallum turned from provider to finisher with the goal of the game. With the Dolphins defence floundering, Gavin took Yemi’s perfect pass in his stride with a blinding strike from just outside the box. Just past the half hour, and the result was done and dusted.

Dawes and Torres each came close before half-time, and then the second half was a matter of managing the game. Poole did have a better share of the ball, but their passing was sloppy and wasteful, and their finishing was blunt.

A storming run from the irrepressible Dawes ended with a diagonal shot over the bar, when a feed to the waiting Odubade might have been the wiser choice, and then at the other end Ian Simpemba – on for the injured Jim Haran – bravely headed away Poole’s best effort.

Off the bench, there were lively cameos for Shaun Okojie and Jamie Taylor as the Sports finished the stronger. From three quick corners, Okojie had a clean header saved and McCallum and Torres had efforts on target, and then in stoppage time McCallum swapped passes on the left and cut in with a devastating angled shot for 4-0. Coup de grace? If Poole Town had only coup de grace on their rather rustic pitch, Borough’s flying forward line might have scored even more…

Borough: Smith; Pickering, Ransom, Haran (Simpemba 71), Edwards; Harris, Wills, Torres, McCallum; Odubade (Okojie 61), Dawes (Taylor 78). Unused subs: Johnson, Khinda-John.

Referee: quiet authority and good judgement from Rob Massey-Ellis
Att: 479
Borough MoM: with two goals and two assists, Gavin McCallum edges it!

(Photo credit: Andy Olman, Bournemouth Echo)

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