Eastbourne Borough boss hails supporters ahead of St Albans City clash

No more Wembley dreams, then, for Eastbourne Borough. But the dreams are replaced by stark reality as St Albans arrive at Priory Lane tomorrow (Saturday) for a relegation scrap.

Friday, 10th January 2020, 12:00 pm
Eastbourne Borough manager Danny Bloor. Picture by Jon Rigby
Eastbourne Borough manager Danny Bloor. Picture by Jon Rigby

Around a dozen games in, since Danny and his colleagues Sergio Torres and Scott Chalmers-Stevens took the helm in mid-November, the record is nicely in balance. Six wins, two draws, five defeats – and seven very welcome points from the last nine in National League South.

Since a feeble performance at high-riding Dorking Wanderers on Boxing Day, Borough have comfortably beaten strugglers Welling, gained thrilling revenge in the Dorking return fixture, and claimed a point from third-placed Slough Town.

Everyone could have done without the demoralising trip to Salisbury on Tuesday night, when a desperately late goal knocked the Sports out of the FA Trophy. But now, to coin the well-worn cliché, Bloor’s side can concentrate on the league – and that campaign resumes tomorrow.

St Albans City, by no means serial strugglers in National League South, have endured a poor season so far, and they arrive at the Lane in second-bottom position, with only a hapless Hungerford Town beneath them.

At Clarence Park in October, the Sports took all three points with a 3-1 victory that was frankly very comprehensive.

Now seven places – but only six points – above City, Bloor knows that his side still have much to do between now and April. At an educated guess, any two of eight clubs could go down.

“It’s a massive game on Saturday,” Bloor told the Herald this week, “and in a sense you could argue that three points against St Albans are more valuable than three points against Dorking in our last home game. But we will go into the game in good spirits and fully aware that at our best, we can literally beat anyone.

“I hope people realise how much goes into putting out a side at this high level – including the logistics. Getting players to Salisbury – twice – in the midst of a full league programme, keeping them fit, keeping the momentum. We have had a crazy schedule for a semi-pro club, but I guess that’s why we love it!

“We will have been in for training on Thursday night, because we are committed and professional. Needless to say there will be no running up and down the pitch! But we’ll get bodies back into shape – I’ve brought in three professional physiotherapists and masseurs for the session, to ease all the aches and strains.

"We’ll have talked through the previous games and looked hard at what we need to do against St Albans. And we’ll have renewed the team ethic which is serving us so well.

“If they need an arm round the shoulder, that’s what they get from me as a manager. I don’t shout and belittle them. I respect them as players and I know what we as coaching staff can coax out of them.

“Finally I want to give huge thanks to the supporters who have covered just as many miles as we have. Their commitment and loyalty are magnificent. And in the recent matches we have been recapturing the atmosphere and support at Priory Lane too.

"People are turning from spectators back into supporters. They have their club back! And tomorrow I’m sure we can repay that against St Albans!”