By Aidan Small
Despite late pressure from Margate, a dominant performance topped off with goals from Alex Smith and Elliott Romain secured a 2-1 victory for Eastbourne Borough at Priory Lane last night.
“I thought for the most part we were very dominant, we got what we deserved,” stated Eastbourne Borough boss Tommy Widdrington.
“An old manager of mine used to say that he doesn’t believe in luck, but believes that you need it. I think that they got a very fortunate slice of luck to get their goal in a period that they weren’t really in the game.
“It always puts the lads a little on edge I imagine as they are only one goal ahead, but I was delighted with their response.” added Widdrington.
Prior to this fixture, Borough were in fine goalscoring form having recorded 17 goals from their last three fixtures. But no one expected Smith to find the top right hand corner of the net after just 29 seconds. No one except his boss, of course.
“His finish was excellent, and I’ve got to say, it’s no surprise to me that he scored.”
Just twelve minutes later, Smith once again showed his craft, taking an exquisite touch before delivering the all important cross that helped to double Borough’s lead.
When asked about Smith’s fine performance on the night, Widdrington replied “He’s still young enough to make his way further in the game, but at the moment I don’t want him going further than the byline, because he keeps going there and putting the ball into the box!
“I think that Alex has been this consistently impressive for about three weeks now. Alex is getting up to match speed and we are all seeing what we know is in there. There is a very talented player there and a lot came to him when he was a very young lad at Fulham. He probably wasn’t ready for it.”
Last weekend Eastbourne Borough fell short of a result against Weston Super-Mare in a 4-3 defeat, and Widdrington was sure to praise his side for correcting their wrongs.
“We weren’t a million miles away on Saturday. We lost narrowly having scored three goals, but we admittedly made some individual errors that cost us goals. We didn’t do that tonight and it allowed us to get what we deserve.”
As a result of the three points picked up, Eastbourne Borough have leapfrogged Wealdstone and Bath City, placing them in 10th place on 26 points - just two points behind ninth place Hungerford Town.
The League will have to wait for now however, as Borough are already looking to prepare for their upcoming FA Trophy match at Leiston this Saturday.
“Its one of the competitions that we genuinely go into before the draw and think that we have a realistic chance of progressing. In fact, we have a realistic chance of winning it” said Widdrington.
Borough’s opponents Leiston play their football in the Isthmian Premier Division, and are looking like worthy title contenders having recorded 35 points in just 17 games. This leaves them in third place with a game in hand on top of the table Havant and Waterlooville.
“Obviously it’s a cup tie that we will go to as the team from the higher league, but I think that it will be a very good game. They are very strong and they have had a good season themselves; we’ve had someone watch them again this evening.” said Widdrington.
“My message to the lads when they go out on Saturday will be to make sure that you’re in the hat on Monday.”