Matt Crabb came of the bench and grabbed the winner in a entertaining and eagerly contested pre-season friendly at Priory Lane on Tuesday night.
Danny Bloor’s Eastbourne Town looked impressive ahead of their Ryman League division one south campaign and took a first half lead through defender Nick Fogden.
Boro’ winger Steve Brinkhurst levelled the scores in the 73rd minute before Matt Crabb fired home after good work from Simon Johnson.
For those who doubt the intensity of some pre-season games just ask former Boro’ striker Nathan Crabb.
The jet heeled attacker was back at the Lane, no-doubt eager to put one over his former employers.
His pace caused problems for make- shift centre half Eddie Hutchinson, particuarly in the second half, and Town boss Bloor will be relieved his star signing came through the match relatively unscathed especially after one bone crunching tackle from Hutchinson after Crabb beat him for pace.
But Boro’ do have injury problems of their own. Ben Austin (groin), Gary Hart (shoulder) Ollie Rowe (leg), Ross Treleaven (leg) and Gary Charmen all missed the game with Austin, Hart and Treleaven unlikely to be fit for the start of their campaign on August 13.
Defender Sonny Cobbs also hobbled off the pitch with a hamstring problem early in the first half. On the plus side injury-prone defender Gary Elphick came through his first 90 minutes of pre-season and former Brighton player James Smith played a full 90 minutes at left back.
Head coach Nick Greenwood said, “It would be nice to put out a side without fighting fires.
“Town played well and gave us a good, competitive match which is what we wanted. We just hope we can get some of injured players back for the start of the season.”
Of Smith Greenwood added, “He did well but he has not signed. We have to assess the injuries and see what’s needed,”
Town boss Danny Bloor was also pleased with his side’s display. For long periods it looked as though Boro’ would suffer another pre-season defeat to Ryman South opposition following their 2-1 loss to Bognor last weekend. Defenders Fogden and Owen Kessacks look decent additions to the squad while Crabb brothers Nathan and Sam alongside Brad Manton and new signing Danny Curd will surely fire goals in the Ryman.
There was also a run out for new signing midfielder Matt Percival who replaced Scott Kirkwood on 68 minutes.
Bloor said, “I was pleased; we looked good and kept our shape but it’s all about our first match of the season. That’s what these games are about.”
BORO: Masters (Banks 45), Baker, Cobbs (Smart 20), Hutchinson, Smith, Elphick, Brinkhurst, Johnson, Watson (Medlock 76), Strevett (M Crabb 63).
TOWN: Thorp (Nicholls 81), Davidson, Kessack, G Manton (Brooks 63), Fogden, Elliott (Curd 65), Kirkwood (Percival 68), S Crabb, B Manton (Foreman 54), N Crabb (Hendon 77), Denton (Hollibone 71). Referee: Kane