Ryan Hall’s double sinks Wealdstone and keeps Eastbourne Borough in play-off contention

Ryan Hall
Ryan Hall

Ryan Hall scored twice as Eastbourne Borough picked up three points at Grosvenor Vale against 10-man Wealdstone

Eastbourne Borough made it two wins on the road in a week after a great performance saw them beat Wealdstone 3-0 in the National League South, writes Anthony Scott.

Ryan Hall scored two goals either side of a Dean Cox effort to give Jamie Howell’s side three points in a game that saw the hosts reduced to ten men late in the first half and Mark Smith pull off a fine penalty save.

Borough made one change to the starting line-up from Tuesday’s FA Trophy win at Dartford, with Sergio Torres returning and Mike West making way. And the Sports, in front of a 719-strong crowd, started on the front foot and were unlucky not to take the lead ten minutes in. Hall let fly from outside the area, but Myles Roberts did well to turn the ball around the post, with Torres seeing an effort deflected wide from the resulting corner.

However, Borough didn’t have to wait long to break the deadlock - with the opening goal coming midway through the first period. Torres lifted the ball in from the right hand side and Hall rose highest to head the ball past Roberts.

At this stage the visitors looked in control, and came close to doubling their lead just moments later when the ball came back off the bar after a goalmouth scramble, before the Sports made it 2-0 with 25 minutes on the clock.

Reading loanee Joel Rollinson crossed the ball low in from the right and Cox was on hand to turn the ball in from twelve yards.

Things could’ve got even better for Borough after the half hour mark, when Tobi Adebayo-Rowling beat Bradley Hudson-Odoi before finding Cox, but his effort came back off of the post with Roberts beaten.

Wealdstone’s afternoon was then made a lot worse when they were reduced to ten men before half-time - with Christian Smith seeing red for a dangerous tackle on Ryan Hall in midfield.

The Stones have enjoyed a good start to the season under Bobby Wilkinson, who must have said a few words to his side during the interval as his side came out with intent to get back into the game.

Danny Green saw a free-kick three minutes into the second period come back off the post with Smith stranded, before the Sports keeper did well to collect a Connor Stevens through ball with David Pratt baring down on goal.

And the hosts were presented the opportunity to get back into the game just before the hour mark. The experienced Bradley Bubb was bundled over by a challenge from Tom Gardiner and the referee pointed to the penalty spot.

Green stepped up, but Smith pulled off a fine save to keep out the penalty, and then the follow-up as Green pounced on the loose ball.

The Sports keeper then produced another smart stop, this time to deny Jeffrey Monakana. Rhys Tyler broke down the right and cut the ball back to substitute Monakana, who saw his low drive turned onto the post by the diving Smith.

Despite finding themselves under pressure, Borough still posed a threat going forward, with Charlie Walker firing over from 18 yards before Hall saw his shot take a deflection which forced Roberts into a good save.

And all three points were secured three minutes from time. Hall picked up the ball inside the area and despite a tight angle, fired the ball low across Roberts and into the far bottom corner to complete a great win for Borough.

Borough are next in action on Tuesday (7.15pm) in the Sussex Senior Cup as they take on Bostik League South outfit Horsham at Lancing. They return to National League South action on Saturday as they welcome fourth-placed Billericay Town to Priory Lane.

Stones: Roberts, Tyler, Okimo, Stevens, Wilson, Poku, Shomoton, Smith, Pratt (Azeez 54), Green, Hudson-Odoi (Bubb 39, Monakana 61). Subs: Payne, Mensah.

Sports: Smith, Adebayo-Rowling, Campbell, Wills, Ransom, Gardiner, Cox (Adebowale 60), Torres, Liddle (Walker 66), Hall, Rollinson (Dawes 77). Subs: Briggs, Blackmore.

Referee: Whitton

Att: 719