Eastbourne Borough boss Tommy Widdrington was delighted his side rectified their Boxing Day defeat by kicking off their year with a much-deserved win at Havant and Waterlooville, despite a late flurry of goals from the hosts.
With five minutes left on the clock and three goals to the good, Eastbourne Borough were waltzing to their first win of the year, but two late strikes from the hosts meant Widdrington’s men were forced to endure a nervy final few minutes.
The Borough boss said, “We deserved the win, definitely. We were delighted to put right what we didn’t do on Boxing Day, which was ultimately to get the ball in the net.
“The way in which we played was similar in both games and we produced some good football, but we were just glad to rectify the Boxing Day result.
“I think the score line on Tuesday flattered them a little bit, with their two goals coming late on. It was a nervous few minutes and it wasn’t - they weren’t exactly peppering the goal but they just threw the kitchen sink at us.”
The Sports travelled to West Leigh Park on New Year’s Day looking to exact swift revenge on the side who beat them by the solitary goal at Priory Lane just six days earlier.
And that they did, storming into the a 2-0 lead within half hour thanks to Charlie Gorman’s first goal for the club, which was hotly contested by Adam Watts who claimed he got the final touch on the ball, and an Elliot Charles header.
Just to make sure of opening his Borough account, Gorman added a third to The Sports’ tally just past the hour mark.
Havant refused to roll over though and Sahr Kabba netted in the 88th minute to kick-start their mini revival.
Dan Strugnell slotted home Havant’s second goal in as many minutes to slice the deficit to just one goal and set up a ‘hearts in mouths’ finale for the Borough contingent.
However, much to their relief, the Sports managed to hold firm and secure the valuable three points that not only bumps them up to ninth in the Blue Square South table but also extends their unbeaten league run on the road to just over three months.
Widdrington added, “The referee was assessing the pitch before the match because with the slope going against you, it’s notoriously a difficult pitch to play on. I felt though, that on a poor surface, both teams played some decent football and I imagine it was a good game for the neutral to watch.”
Borough: Worner, Johnson, Raymond, Uddin, Rowe, Watts, Adelsbury, Smith (Walker, 77), Gorman. Charles (Ibe 86), Shephard (Hamilton 49).