Eastbourne Borough hoping to avoid shock Senior cup exit to AFC Uckfield Town

Ellis McCormack. AFC Uckfield Town v Little Common. Picture by Mike Skinner
Ellis McCormack. AFC Uckfield Town v Little Common. Picture by Mike Skinner

In one of a number of potentially fascinating ties, National League South side Eastbourne Borough will be hoping to avoid a cup shock when they host SCFL Premier Division outfit AFC Uckfield Town at Priory Lane this evening.

Three divisions separate the two sides with the Uckers needing to be at their very best if they are to take anything from a side who are resurgent under manager Danny Bloor.

Borough have plenty of Senior Cup pedigree, having won the trophy three times - in 2002, 2009 and 2016, and finishing as runners-up on three other separate occasions.

In fact, in the last 15 seasons, the Sports have only failed to reach the Quarter-Finals twice; in the 2013-14 season, following an away defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion, and in the 2005-06 season, with a Third Round exit to Crawley Town.

That record is drastically different to the Uckers who last reached the same stage in 2010/11, then named as AFC Uckfield.

Far from being a match where the Uckers receive top billing, tonight’s meeting is likely to be dominated about talk of Borough’s resurgence.

Recent performances have been mightily impressive, and will give the Uckers plenty to consider.

Since Lee Bradbury departed as manager in late October, interim boss Sergio Torres and permanent appointment Bloor have helped extend a current unbeaten run to eight matches in all competitions.

The side currently sit 14th in the National League South.

A high-quality squad includes a host of familiar names, including Dean Cox, Greg Luer, Nick Wheeler, Kane Wills and Charlie Walker, who the Uckers will need to keep quiet if they are to make history at Priory Lane.

In a month where they had games in three competitions and were unable to play at home, November largely proved encouraging for Anthony Storey’s team.

Despite a 4-0 FA Vase defeat away at Binfield last weekend, impressive victories at Walthamstow, Eastbourne United and Hassocks should make the Uckers feel confident in their progress.

Having beaten Eastbourne Town, and then their close neighbours Eastbourne United Association, to get to this stage, after earlier league defeats to both, the Uckers again demonstrated their steel in cup competitions.

Kick-off tonight is at 7.45pm.