McCallum double not enough as points slip away for Boro’

Gavin McCallum scored twice
Gavin McCallum scored twice

A single point was all Borough had to show from their two Christmas games, after a bright display against Maidenhead United on Sunday.

Resisting the chance to rotate his squad after a gruelling Boxing Day at Whitehawk, Tommy Widdrington sent out the same starting eleven for the third game running – a clear sign of his faith that strikers Darren Lok and Gavin McCallum can spearhead the team’s rise up the table.

And just as Lok had terrorised leaders Boreham Wood a week earlier, so McCallum was almost unplayable against a Maidenhead defence.

On 13 minutes an inswinging corner was nudged in by McCallum at close range for 1-0, and Priory Lane rubbed its collective hands at the prospect of another goal-fest.

But Maidenhead were producing goal threats of their own. Reece Tison-Lascaris broke clear to force an excellent save from Lewis Carey, and from the resulting corner Simon Johnson heroically blocked Devante McKain’s header right on the goal-line.

On the half-hour Maidenhead were level – and the equaliser was an awful goal to concede.

Britt’s huge punt from the back dropped just outside the Borough 18-yard line, Simpemba and Carey were caught out and the ball pinged off at an angle to Tison-Lascaris, whose gleeful low drive squeezed into the net.

The Sports went straight back on the front foot and might well have claimed a half-time lead. Lok played the pass of the match, a sweeping midfield ball out to Josh Hare, and the highly impressive Gillingham youngster sent in a cross which Britt spilled, but Matt Aldred’s follow-up shot was charged down.

Six minutes into the second half, the crowd’s mood of optimism turned to delight as Dean Sinclair carved himself space for a scorching shot, parried by Britt into the path of McCallum, whose instant strike nearly broke the net for 2-1.

That should have been a platform for Borough to take control, but instead the struts of the platform were kicked from under them just four minutes later, as Jacob Erskine’s header capped off a neat left-wing move and cross to bring the visitors level once again.

Chances came and went for both sides.

Borough forced several corners – one headed wide by Simpemba with the keeper clutching at air – as they battled to turn a respectable draw into a last-gasp victory.

But the minutes ran out, and understandably the energy did too, after two tough games in barely 48 hours.

An entertaining afternoon, but a poorer reward.

Borough: Carey; Hare, Simpemba, Hamilton, Khinda-John; Aldred, Sinclair, Raymond, Johnson; Lok (Pinney 87), McCallum. Unused subs: Welch, Worrall, Pacquette, Haysman.

Referee: Con Hadzidakis