Players must create their own magic

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Eastbourne Borough boss Tommy Widdrington insists it’s time for individuals to step up to the plate as the club go in search of back-to-back wins when they host Eastleigh this weekend.

The Sports ended their run of three consecutive defeats by notching a solitary-goal win against AFC Hornchurch on Saturday, courtesy of a trademark Chris Shephard free-kick in the 72nd minute.

Now, as Borough look to build upon their success, Widdrington has called for his men to raise their personal game so the team can continue to climb the Blue Square South table.

He said, “The harder you work and the more effort you put in, the better chance you have of getting a result and that’s what happened.

“Our effort was always there but against Hornchurch, we had that rub of the green to a certain extent and it was a bit of magic from Chris Shephard that gave us the win in the end.

“Chris, by scoring seven goals this season, is doing his bit for the team but others need to start doing so too.

“For example, the defenders aren’t scoring many goals for us at the moment and that’s something I’d like them to do.

“We are very much a unit, a team, but consistency is something we haven’t got in enough areas.

“There’s no magic wand or golden prize that I can give though to make us do consistently well - it’s up to the players as individuals to make the team better.

“We’re fully aware of the areas we need to improve. We want to move up the table as quickly as possible but we want to do it by playing the right way.”

One key to their success on Saturday was the addition of two new faces to the starting line-up in the shapes of Joseph Day, a 22-year-old goalkeeper on loan from Peterborough, and Frankie Raymond, a 19-year-old midfielder who has previously been at Reading and Gillingham.

Day, in particular, produced a series of impressive saves to keep Hornchurch at bay and earn himself the man of the match accolade on Saturday.

Widdrington said, “Joe made a couple of fantastic saves on Saturday, as did their ‘keeper to be fair.

“Bringing him here was something I thought I needed to do to brighten us up and he’s done what we thought he would do.

“He’s kept a clean sheet so everybody’s happy.

“Frankie put in a very unassuming performance but that’s a bit like him as a player.

“We missed Josh Scowen when he went back to Wycombe and we needed someone with a real mean streak in him and that bit of quality on the ball.”

This weekend, Borough welcome an Eastleigh side to Priory Lane that Widdrington tipped to be favourites for a top spot before the season started.

Currently, they occupy 10th place in the Blue Square South table but Widdrington still feels they have more to give.

“I tipped them to do well at the start of the season and I see no reason why they won’t be up there when it matters.

“They’ve had some changes there, the new guy’s come in and will be stamping his mark on the team, which is the norm.

“I know the team well - they were my local rivals when I was at Salisbury.

“I have got some friends there so, after the match, I’ll be shaking hands with them but before that, we will be doing everything we can to take three points from them.”