Eastbourne Borough prepare for their first home league game in over a month this weekend, hoping to put the memory of their last domestic clash at Priory Lane firmly behind them.
The Sports lost to Havant and Waterlooville in a cold, wet and windy clash on December, 26 and have yet to host another Blue Square South team since following further bad weather.
However, they are set to welcome AFC Hornchurch to the South coast this weekend with boss Tommy Widdrington hopeful they can erase the bad Boxing Day memory.
He said, “It will be good to get back to Priory Lane and get that last match out of our heads, not only because we lost but because it just wasn’t a nice day.
“We had what can only be described as a deluge fall upon us from the skies and I just hope this wind that has left me trying to hold my hair on dies down by Saturday so we can have a decent game of football!”
The elements continue to frustrate Borough, with their midweek match at Billericay Town being postponed just as the players pulled up the stadium, despite a pitch inspection at 2pm deeming it playable.
Widdrington said, “To travel three and a half hours there by bus, especially after waiting an extra 20 minutes before leaving to check it was going ahead, only for it to be called off was very frustrating.
“The pitch was a quagmire. The referee was trying to bounce a ball and it wasn’t going anywhere, so it was definitely the right decision.
“There was no way it was playable. I don’t think even Chris Shephard would have been able to move his feet.
“I can understand Billericay trying to get the game on but players’ safety comes first.”
The postponement was all the more frustrating for Borough as they’d hoped to build on Saturday’s impressive away win at Staines in which strikers Elliott Charles and James Walker grabbed a goal a piece, the latter on his first start in over four months since his knee injury.
Widdrington said, “We were going to go into the Billericay game fairly confident.
“I felt we controlled the game really well on Saturday and to get our noses in front and see out the 90 minutes was really pleasing.
“I joke about it being a manager’s Friday night dream to have both his strikers score and keep a clean sheet, but the main thing was the three points.
“The Staines manager had said it was a must-win game for them and I think that pressurised the situation a bit at this early stage in the season.
“With all due respect, they made it more of a game than it actually was. We went into it really relaxed and that worked.
“I think 2-0 flattered them a bit, their ‘keeper made a couple of outstanding saves.
“We were a bit rusty to start with but that can only be expected after not playing for a few weeks. No matter how much running or weights you do, you can’t replicate a game and match fitness.”
The win, which bumped the Sports up to 11th in the Blue Square South standings , was their third in the last four matches on their travels, which, when compared to a record of three defeats in their last four domestic clashes on home soil, leads Widdrington to call for his men to transfer that winning away form back home, too.
“Our away form’s been excellent and, if you look at my record at most of the clubs I’ve been at, you’ll see I have a decent away record because we make ourselves hard to beat.
“While we’re not completely disappointed with our home form, it’s true to say we could have picked up more points than we have done.”
As has been the case for the last couple of matches, Widdrington has a full selection of players to choose from after the return to fitness of Simon Johnson, Gary Hart and Sam Cole.
He said, “All my players were okay for Tuesday so they’ll probably all be okay for Saturday.
“I have 19 fit bodies all available and fighting for a place.”
There will be a question and answer session with players and management in Happy Jacks Bar at 6pm on Saturday.