Simon Johnson added two more to his ever-growing catalogue of stunning strikes and inspired Eastbourne Borough to a resounding victory over high-flying Bishop’s Storford on Saturday.
His first, a delicious chip, wouldn’t have looked out of place in the Premier League and his volleyed second rounded off an excellent afternoon’s work for the in-form playmaker.
But it will be the team performance that will please manager Tommy Widdrington the most He received the manager-of-the-month award for August prior to kick-off and there were no signs of the supposed curse that goes with the accolade as he witnessed his side get off to a bright start.
They set the tone early-on with their flowing brand of football and their opponents struggled to deal with their movement and quick passing.
Charlie Gorman was the first to test the visiting defence with a well-struck volley after Chris Shephard’s corner was only half-cleared, and the midfielder was unlucky to see his goal-bound effort blocked.
Shephard then missed from close-range himself shortly afterwards and they were nearly made to pay immediately when Stortford broke, but Matt Johnson hit straight at keeper Craig Ross when through on goal.
Borough continued to press without making any clear-cut chances and it looked as though the sides might go in level at the break.
That was until Gary Hart swept a looping cross to the far post and the excellent Darren Lok held off a defender to turn a cushioned volley neatly into the far corner.
Widdrington revealed that he demanded concentration form his boys at the break , as this would be the last oppo rtunity for to pick up league points for 14-days due to cup commitments.
And that’s exactly what he got as they came out with a real sense of purpose in the second-half.
Skipper Ian Simpemba caused havoc at set-pieces with his towering presence and almost set-up the unfortunate Gorman who was again denied by a stern back-line.
The visitors did have chances to get back in to the match though and they countered on a few occasions.
Reece Prestedge drew a cynical foul from Gorman as he raced through and he was booked as aresult. The same man then also saw a cleanly struck free-kick held by Ross.
But Borough held firm and began to assert themselves on the visitors.
Matt Aldred bossed the midfield, anchoring and setting up attacks at will, Lok’s tireless running had defenders running with their backs to goal , and on 62-minutes, Simon Johnson sent the Priory Lane crowd into raptures with the goal of the game.
After good work by Chris Shephard on the left-wing, Johnson saw the keeper off his line and produced an equisite lob from all of 25-yards to double the lead.
And they put the game beyond doubt 15-minutes later.
Sub Elliot Levy, who had only been on the pitch for two-minutes, capitalised on some sloppy defending, and marched through a defence that had stopped for offside, and he cut inside to loop his deflected shot over the advancing keeper.
The visitors did manage to pull a goal back back through forward Kyle Vassell who finished well, shooting across Ross after a well-worked cross from the right hand side.
But straight from the re-start, Johnson again finished superbly with a volley from the edge of the box to put some gloss on the final score.
Borough: Ross, Tallack, Gorman, Aldred, Simpemba, Rowe (Watts), Hart, Raymond (Cole), Lok, Johnson, Shephard (Levy)
ATT: 514. MoM: Simon Johnson.