Eastbourne Borough enjoy a winning start to the New Year

Eastbourne Borough made it a winning start to the new year as they came from behind to beat promotion-chasing Dorking Wanderers at Priory Lane.

Wednesday, 1st January 2020, 8:00 pm
Dean Cox. Picture by Lydia Redman

Having lost 4-0 in the reverse fixture on Boxing Day, the Sports produced a brilliant performance from start to finish against the Wanderers, but went into half-time a goal down after Matt Briggs' effort.

Despite that, Dean Cox's cross come shot drew the Sports level early in the second half before Charlie Walker and Ian Gayle goals saw Borough go 3-1 up. Jason Prior scored late on to set up a tense finale, but Danny Bloor's side held on to pick up an important three points.

Borough got off to a quick start with Walker twice going close, before Nick Wheeler whipped in a cross from the left and picked out Kane Wills but he fired just wide of the near post on the volley.

However, it was Dorking who broke the deadlock after 26 minutes through their only effort of the half. Guiseppe Sole played a neat ball to Briggs, who drove at the Sports defence before firing a low shot across debutant Franco Ravizzoli and into the far corner.

For all Borough's possession, they didn't really trouble Slavomir Huk in the Wanderers goal during the first period, but within three minutes of the restart they were level.

Tobi Adebayo-Rowling played the ball out wide to Cox on the right, who took on Sam Beard and his cross/shot went over Huk and into the far corner.

Borough should have then gone ahead after 53 minutes when the impressive Wheeler whipped in an inviting free-kick and picked out Walker, whose header was turned away by Huk only to Kristian Campbell, but from close range his effort was kept out by the keeper.

On the hour the Sports were ahead. Cox's cross eventually fell to Wheeler at the far post, who took on Dan Gallagher before his low ball across found Walker, who from ten yards fired low beyond Huk and into the bottom corner.

Borough survived a scare after 70 minutes when they conceded an indirect free-kick from inside six yards, but Lewis Taylor saw his drive blocked by the charging defence after Prior teed him up.

And with ten minutes to go, the Sports made it 3-1. Wheeler was again the provider, this time with an inswinging corner that picked out the towering Gayle at the far post, and he planted his header away from the scrambling Huk for his first goal for the Sports.

Anyone thinking that was job done would be wrong though, as Dorking set up a nervy last few minutes when they halved the deficit through Prior's finish from six yards.

However, Borough defended admirably and sealed a huge three points to kick off 2020 in style.