Eastbourne Borough boss hopes recent form will attract fans to Priory Lane

Come and watch us! Eastbourne Borough manager Danny Bloor sees his Eastbourne Borough side as the National South’s best-kept secret – and he wants to share it.

Friday, 24th January 2020, 12:00 pm
Eastbourne Borough celebrate. Picture by Lydia Redman

The Sports welcome mid-table rivals Concord Rangers tomorrow (Saturday), and Bloor is hoping that their recent run of form will attract floating fans to Priory Lane.

“I can’t speak for early season, but in this current phase of the season, on my watch, we have not had a game at Priory Lane that hasn’t been exciting and closely fought.

"I say to the people of Eastbourne – come down and have a look, give us a try.

“In fairness, on one or two recent Saturdays Brighton and Hove Albion have been at home, which affects our gates, but we would love to see our core of 450 to 550 go up another couple of hundred.

“I am certain they will be pleasantly surprised. They will see a team who are giving 110% for their club, and we are playing positive football and looking to entertain.”

An eye-catching 3-2 victory over Crawley Town in the Sussex Senior Cup on Tuesday is the latest in a line of impressive results.

Borough are five games undefeated in National South, and Bloor – with his coaching colleagues Sergio Torres and Scott Chalmers-Stevens – has re-invented the side, and the club’s spirit.

Not that the manager is getting carried away. “We deserved the win on Tuesday because we worked hard, we did the right things.

"In a sense it was just another win – we are going about our business in a quiet hard-working fashion.

"We don’t make any claims, any promises, but we will just carry on trying our hardest.

“We are learning to be resilient. Against Crawley we were actually missing eight players – injuries, illness, unavailability.

"But the team ethic and team spirit are strong, and when you bring in a new player he rises to it.”

Back in November, Essex-based Concord Rangers inflicted the heaviest defeat of Danny’s managership, a 5-0 drubbing in which just about everything went wrong.

On the day, just about every Rangers chance went in, but Borough’s defence was about as porous as a wet paper bag.

“Yes, we owe Concord one, and the players know it.

"They are a big and physical side and we will need to show those same physical qualities that we showed last Saturday at Chelmsford.

“We will still be counting up the wounded warriors before Saturday and there’s no question we will still be depleted.

"But who ever starts, I know I can count on every one of them."

Awful injuries last Saturday, to Charlie Walker and Michael West, took some of the shine off an excellent performance at Chelmsford.

Walker came off worst from a centre-back’s challenge, and was stretchered off after a lengthy stoppage, suffering an ugly swelling over the eye, and was checked for concussion.

Replacing him, West lasted barely ten minutes before sliding accidentally into the metal barriers which are set very close behind the goal at City’s Melbourne athletics stadium.

He also had to be carried off, with a shocking gash to his leg.

Emergency patching was followed up by hospital treatment, and then a successful operation on Wednesday. But the popular midfielder still faces up to four weeks out.

On the brighter side, there were debuts at Chelmsford for centre-back Steven James and Woking loanee Jack Skinner.

James, freshly returned from four years on sports scholarships in the US, looked composed and solid, while young Aussie Skinner, who is highly regarded at Woking, was full of energy and invention.

Dean Cox remains suspended, and Bloor will take late checks on others under treatment before naming his side. A further loan deal has not been ruled out.

The Sports have no midweek game next week. On Saturday evening, around 5.50pm, they will discover their semi-final opponents in the Sussex Senior Cup, when the draw is broadcast on BBC Sussex.

Other clubs in the drum are Worthing, plus the winners of the Bognor-Albion and Peacehaven-Lewes ties still to be played.