Eastbourne Borough suffered the acute embarrassment of allowing Whitehawk to leave Priory Lane on New Year’s Day with their first win of the season.
The hapless Hawks started the game with just a miserable four draws from 23 games. Borough fans arrived expecting their side to complete the double after a solitary-goal triumph at The Enclosed Ground on Boxing Day. In fairness to Borough the Hawks have been making life much hard for opposition teams since the return of Steve King. And this game looked likely to follow that same pattern with Borough on terms for most of the second half after a fine Gavin McCallum header from Yemi Odubade’s cross had given them a 19th minute lead.
The home advantage might have been doubled in the 19th minute when Odubade’s well placed free-kick produced a fine save from the keeper.
But this was one occasion when the Hawks were not prepared to lie down. They were on equal terms in the 28th minute when Gold Omotayo’s glancing header from Nassim L’Goul’s corner found the corner of the net.
Borough suffered a blow in the 31st minute when Khiran Khinda-John hobbled off and was replaced by Emmanuel Udoji. Nobody could possibly have predicted the final scoreline as the second half got under way. A fine left-flank run by McCallum ended with a ball that flashed across the face of the goal with nobody able to get a touch, Odubade’s shot was blocked and sub Jack Richards was only marginally wide.
But in the 54th minute Omotayo scored his second following home failure to clear a free kick from the left. Only those with exceptional memories could recall a league game when Whitehawk had actually taken the lead.
One imagined a backs-to-the-wall struggle to keep that lead, but instead it was 3-1 in the 82nd minute when Elliott Beynon’s tremendous angled volley following a corner flew ino the net for a goal worthy of Match Of The Day.
And just to rub more salt into Borough’s wounds an appalling clearance by keeper Mark Smith enabled Kyjuon Marsh-Brown to complete a home humiliation.
Steve King left the ground smiling but it was hardly a Happy New Year for The Sports side which had conceded four goals on home soil for the third time in two months.
Eastbourne: Smith, Khinda-John (Udoji 31) , Hendon (Dawes 76), Wells, Simpemba, Haran, Ransom (Richards 62), Torres, Okojie, Odubade, McCallum. Unused subs: Johnson, Pickerness.
Referee: Alex Blake, MoM: Yemi Odubade