A moment of magic from midfielder Matt Smart saw Eastbourne Borough’s long run without a victory finally end at Fleetwood on Saturday.
85 minutes were on the clock and Garry Wilson’s men looked to be heading for a brave goalless draw against their play-off chasing opponents.
The home side conceded a needless free-kick 10 yards into the Boro’ half when Smart spotted home ‘keeper Scott Davies on the edge of his box organising the defence.
With skipper Ben Austin preparing to take the free-kick, Smart looked up again, quickly ran behind the ball and launched a free-kick that sailed through the air, over the stunned keeper’s head and into the net.
It was a fabulous moment witnessed by a handful of travelling Eastbourne Borough supporters.
Fans following the game at home would have seen the scoreline flash up as Fleetwood 1, Boro’ 0 thanks to an own goal from Matt Smart. But frustration turned to hope when a correction was given five minutes later and it was confirmed that Boro’ had finally won a league match after 1,710 minutes of Blue Square Bet Premier football.
“I said to Ben to leave it as I wanted to try a shot,” Smart said.
“I just pinged it and I knew as soon as it left my foot that it was going in.”
Boss Garry Wilson admitted it was a fitting way to end a losing streak that stretches back since their last victory against York City in October 2010.
“It was the best goal I have seen since I have been at the club. If it was on Match of the Day it would be replayed and replayed and rightly so.
“It was reported as a freak goal but that’s rubbish, it was tremendous piece of skill.
“The boy looked up three times and ran back from the other side of the ball and it was a fantastic strike.
“I have watched it a few times now and it gets better and better.”
The Boro’ boss now hopes victory can install the belief back into the side as they continue their fight to beat the drop.
“You can see the improvements in our last couple of performances. “The confidence is coming back and we deserved the three points. Hopefully it can lift us for the rest of the season.
This was a typical Boro’ display. Wilson’s men were organised, determinded and deserved their three points.
Jamie Taylor had a chance to open the scoring early in the first half but his shot was diverted for a corner. Richard Pacquette, George Purcell and Matt Crabb all tested the ‘keeper during a performance that’ll have fans once again thinking of the great escape.
They did it last year on the final game of the season, and after witnessing Smart’s effort on Saturday, Boro’ fans returned believing that anything is possible.
Fleetwood Town: Davies, Beeley, Wright, Haining, Barry, McGuire, Gregan, Milligan (Clancy 74), Vieira, Seddon, (Donnelly 13), Parker, Mullan (65).
Subs not used: Hurst, Pond.
BOROUGH: Forecast 7, Baker 7, Jenkins 6, Austin 7, Elphick 7, Smart 9, Crabb 7 (weatherstone 6), Purcell 8, Hutchinson 7, Taylor 8, Pacquette 8 (N Crabb 6).
Subs not used: Banks, Brinkhurst.
MOM: Matt Smart - who else?
Referee: Mr Bond 7