Eastbourne Town boss Danny Bloor believes no-nonsense centre-half Dean Brooks is more than capable of filling the void left by Greg Manton.
Brooks produced a first class performance for Town as they outplayed a decent Faversham side at the Saffrons on Tuesday night.
Scott Kirkwood, fired home an early penalty to give Town a lead before Steve May and Sam Crabb sealed a fine home victory.
But it was defender Brooks who caught the eye with a dominant display at the back alongside skipper Nick Fogden at the heart of the Town defence..
Brooks, signed by Bloor from Eastbourne Borough two seasons ago, was recalled into the side after Manton brothers Greg and Brad left the Saffrons and joined County League division one outfit Uckfield.
Brooks regularly found himself behind Greg Manton in the defensive pecking order but it seems the young centre half is determined to take his opportunity and convince his boss not to look elsewhere for a replacement.
Bloor said, “Dean showed us the reason why I signed him. I thought he was excellent tonight and he was my man-of-the match by a mile.
“He looked confident and strong and communicated well with the other defenders. If he continues like that we will not miss Greg at all.”
The early penalty helped settle a few nerves at the Saffrons. The last two home games saw two narrow 1-0 defeats and the relief was there for all to see when Kirkwood, who missed a penalty during their 1-1 draw at Walton and Hersham on Saturday, fired beyond away keeper Robert French following a handball in the box.
The second goal was a fine strike from the ever impressive Steve May. The versatile midfielder ran beyond the defence and superbly controlled a long through ball before calmly finishing in the bottom corner.
Shortly after the interval the lively Sam Crabb beat the keeper to the ball and slid home the third. It was a brave finish from the young winger and the goal virtually ended the game as a contest.
The three goal haul was even more impressive as Town were missing their star striker Nathan Crabb.
Nathan missed Saturday’s game and was still nursing nasty looking facial injuries after a recent late night town centre scuffle.
Fogden had a chance to make it 4-0 on the hour but his volley on the turn from 15 yards sailed over following a corner.
Faversham lost their cool and Damian Able received a straight red card for foul and abusive language at the referee with 20 minutes remaining.
May delivered a cross on 75 minutes that only required the slightest of touches but somehow it eluded everyone.
Faversham had a final flurry at the end and the closest they came was when Owen Kessaack was forced to clear off the line from Ben Brown’s effort.
Boss Bloor added, “This is what we are capable of. We are a good side, we have some good players and when we are on our game we are capable of doing this to teams.
“We like to play attractive football and the pitch was superb tonight, it certainly helped us.”
TOWN: Thorp 7, Davidson 7, Kessack 7, Brooks 8, Fogden 8, May 8, Kirkwood 7, S Crabb 8 (Hollebone), Curd 7, Denton 7 (Freeman) Geard 8 (Lang). Att: 106. Referee: Graham Kane