From memorable to forgettable in the space of 48 hours: the Bank Holiday weekend brought drastically changing fortunes for Eastbourne Borough.
After a thrilling home victory over Maidstone United on Saturday, the Sports headed west to Havant and Waterlooville with high hopes, but a terrible afternoon ended in a 4-0 dismantling by the Hampshire side – easily Borough’s worst result of the season so far.
Ironically, Havant had themselves been on the wrong end of a 5-0 defeat at Bath City on Saturday.
But the Hawks ripped into Borough from the start, seizing the lead and the initiative.
A slick 13th minute move played in Adrian Clifton for a clinical finish.
Borough were playing neatly but without any reward. Then the really pivotal moment came on the half-hour, when Sam Beale’s tackle from behind on James Hayter earned a red card and a penalty, put away by Scott Donnelly for 2-0.
Just four minutes later, it was Donnelly again who extended the lead with a curling shot from the edge of the box.
With the game realistically beyond their grasp now, it was at least some credit to Borough that they steadied the ship and conceded only one more goal – a 57th minute effort from Matt Paterson, which a brave Lewis Carey almost saved before it spun into the net.
Carey made a couple of other fine stops, while at the other end Gavin McCallum’s skills and persistence always had the Havant defenders on their guard.
Kane Haysman saw a fine effort saved point-blank by Havant keeper Ryan Young, and there was a promising late cameo appearance for Academy striker Josh Street.
But it brought no reward. Widdrington is a man who refuses to over-rate the victories, or to panic in defeat, and his team will simply dust down and start again on Saturday against Truro City.
Triumph and disaster, said Kipling, are two impostors – but managers know that football is a fickle mistress.
Borough: Carey; Stone, Simpemba, Watts, Beale; Collier, Evans (Bosma 55); McCallum, Baptista (Nehemie 33), Romain (Street 72), Haysman
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