No foot off the gas: Eastbourne Borough are on the road again tomorrow (Saturday) when they head for Dartford in search of National South points.
After last weekend’s long but fruitful journey to North Somerset, an away game at Dartford ought to be a breeze. The National South has lurched westwards, with trips like Torquay, Truro, Bath and Gloucester still to come – and Dartford have virtually become near neighbours. With Welling and Dulwich Hamlet, the Darts are Borough’s only opponents within a two-hour drive.
The North Kent club has twice failed in the play-offs after looking like promotion favourites. Several key players have moved on, and midfield inspiration Andy Pugh suffered an awful double break of his leg in pre-season.
The new Darts sit in mid-table and have failed to score in five of their eight games – although that last statistic might be turned around with the return of goalscoring machine Charlie Sheringham (son of former England striker Teddy). “There isn’t a manager in this league who wouldn’t sign Charlie, given the right deal,” observed Borough boss Jamie Howell. “He is always a handful, and he has that uncanny nose for goal that he must have inherited from his Dad! We’ll need to be alert, but Dartford are not about just one player.
“They might not have had the best of starts, but they still have an excellent squad. “We haven’t lost on the road yet and we’ve rapidly been learning how to play away from home.”
The Sports have conceded just a single goal – at St Albans – in their four away fixtures. And further forward, the Sports can count on their own Charlie. Sidelined for a fortnight with a jarred knee, live-wire striker Charlie Walker should be available for selection again in a fully fit squad. With Yemi Odubade and Lloyd Dawes also in good form, Howell is likely to select two from three in the starting line-up.
With a fully booked supporters’ bus, Borough will not be short of vocal backing at a ground where they have never won. Eight defeats and a draw, in fact, in nine visits. Is this the chance to break their duck? Boro v Weston p 91