An eventful night at the Pilot Field saw Borough pegged back to a 2-2 draw by Hastings United, after they had dominated the first half.
Boss Tommy Widdrington is still a fortnight away from naming his first competitive line-up, but the team that started Tuesday’s friendly could perfectly well fill the shirts at Conference South level.
The Sports played with pace and enterprise and should have been out of sight of the hosts by half-time.
Matt Aldred, who opened on 21 minutes with a smart low drive after excellent work by Simon Johnson, could have had a first-half hat-trick but was denied first by the post and then by a terrific Josh Pelling save.
Richard Pacquette doubled the lead on the half-hour and Borough ended the half in cruise control.
But Hastings, who had threatened only in isolated attacks, took their game up a gear after the break.
Dave Cook finished off an incisive left-wing move on 56 minutes and, with a flurry of substitutions affecting the flow of the game, the same player equalised ten minutes later. Chances came and went at both ends, and Lewis Carey gave a glimpse of his qualities with a fabulous save from Sean Ray, to deny United a shock late winner.
Widdrington will doubtless have made useful judgments on some of the new faces – but his first-choice eleven is looking pretty good.
Borough: Carey; Hamilton, Simpemba, Watts, Beale; Lovett, Aldred; Johnson, McCallum, Lok; Pacquette. Subs: Walker, Kempton, Welch, Worrall, Levy, Tinder-John, Merrick.