Eastbourne Borough produced their worst display so far this season as they slumped to an embarrassingly heavy defeat against a Chelmsford side seeking their first away win.
The sad truth was that Borough were simply awful. The team as a whole showed a lack of desire and regularly gave the ball away at will.
Visiting keeper Carl Pentney might just as well have stayed at home. Even with the fierce wind behind them The Sports rarely tested him seriously during a lacklustre 90 minutes.
The outcome might just have been different had Greg Luer not placed a penalty wide of the post in the 37th minute. That would have made the score 2-1 and Borough would have been back in the game. Just to rub salt into the wound, Chelmsford’s Shaun Jeffers showed just how a penalty should be taken when he made it 3-0 from the spot in the 51st minute.
After that, The Sports simply called it a day and with an astonishing lack of effort and urgency allowed their opponents to completely control the game. Home players were regularly seen with arms open, blaming each other for passes that went.astray.
Supporters were left in despair, wondering why three of the best players of last season - Kane Wills, Kiran Khinda-John and Dean Cox – were left on the bench, although Wills was brought on in the second half when it was too late to influence the outcome.
Despite a strong wind behind them, Borough found themselves two down after a quarter of an hour as they failed to defend two set pieces in the space of three minutes. First, a 12th-minute corner from the right by Billy Knott was headed home by Chris Whelpdale. Then Knott’s free-kick from the left was nodded in by Sam Higgins.
Borough were shell-shocked and they wasted a great chance to pull a goal back when Luer was wide of the post with the poorest of penalties after Kristian Campbell had been fouled in the area.
If Borough were to have any chance of salvaging anything from what was becoming an increasing nightmare, they needed an early goal in the second half. Instead, the Clarets made in 3-0 as Jeffers made no mistake from the spot after Jesse Debrah’s poor challenge on Mickey Spillane.
A superb low drive from 25 yards by Higgins wound up the scoring in the 59th minute but by then Borough had well and truly given up:
Already this season Borough fans had seen their side hit rock bottom. On Saturday they were drilling through the rock.
Borough: Hadler, Campbell, Adebowale (Wills 58), Torres ( Gharbaoui 74)), Luer, Romain, Ferry, Nditi, Wheeler (West 45), Debrah, Gayle. Unused subs: Cox, Khinda-John.
Referee Mathew Bounassisi.
MoM: not awarded. Att: 569.