Eastbourne Borough enjoy second successive win under Bloor

Eastbourne Borough celebrate Nick Wheeler's early goal against Hartley Wintney on the FA Trophy Cup (Photo by Jon Rigby)
Eastbourne Borough celebrate Nick Wheeler's early goal against Hartley Wintney on the FA Trophy Cup (Photo by Jon Rigby)

Eastbourne Borough enjoyed their second successive Saturday win under new boss Danny Bloor and it saw them into the first round proper of the FA Trophy.

On a grey day at Priory Lane, the game was seen by fewer than 300 people, many absences no doubt due to a ridiculous FA regulation requiring season ticket holders to pay for admission, in reality asking them to fork out twice to see one game.

Eastbourne Borough celebrate Dean Cox's goal against Hartley Wintney on the FA Trophy Cup (Photo by Jon Rigby)

Eastbourne Borough celebrate Dean Cox's goal against Hartley Wintney on the FA Trophy Cup (Photo by Jon Rigby)

Once again a team from a lower division proved anything but easy and if the Premier South division side had made the most of their chances the result would certainly have been different.

In the end, Borough were worth their victory and while the FA prize money of £3,750 will not solve their money troubles, it is certainly a step in the right direction.

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After the drama of two goals in the opening six minutes, the game fell flat for much of the first half with the best scoring opportunities falling to the visitors.

But it was Borough who got off to a perfect start with a goal inside two minutes. A fine cross from deep on the right by Greg Luer found its way to Nick Wheeler whose angled drive from 15 yards flashed into the far corner of the net

The home joy was short-lived, however as just four minutes later Sports keeper Tom Hadler could only push away a Tyron Smith corner and Shane Hollamby made no a mistake from 10 yards.

Luer continued to look dangerous and a splendid run on the right ended with a cross that found Charlie Walker but his effort was blocked.

Another Cox corner should have resulted in Borough doubling their goal tally but Manny Adebowale’s header was fractionally wide of the post.

At the other end Mickel Platt should have given Hartley an interval lead. Platt burst clear of the home defence after dispossessing Kane Wills but Hadler was quickly out of his goal to save the day for Borough.

The visitors continued to waste chances but were out of luck in the 39th minute when Josh Webb's shot from 25 yards thudded against the bar.

In the second half, by keeping the ball mainly on the deck, Borough upped their game and started to find their men more often.

Luer tested the keeper before the hosts restored their lead on the hour when a shrewd ball from Wheeler found Cox who coolly slotted past Williams.

Gallant Hartley kept plugging away and continued to engineer chances.

But Walker dispelled any Eastbourne fears of a midweek replay journey to Hampshire in the 66th minute when, following good work by Wills, he beat his man before firing home from the edge of the box.

In the final minutes, Ben Overton almost made a dream substitution when he weaved through the Hartley defence only to put his final shot wide with just the keeper to beat.

Danny Bloor will be aware that this was far from a perfect performance, but when it comes to competitions such as the FA Trophy and Cup, where money is to be made and interested maintained, it is very much the result that matters.

And let’s face it Borough are through while two-time Trophy winners York City are out.

And that can’t be bad.

Borough: Hadler, Adebayo-Rowling, Campbell, Wills, Adebowale, Cox (Overton 85), Luer, Wheeler, Walker, Ferry (West 60), Gayle. Unused subs: Khinda-John, Chalmer-Stevens, Hansen, Gharbaoui, Bray.

MoM: Dean Cox: scored and provided.

Ref: Dean Skipper, Att: 278.