Supersonic McCallum keeps Boro’ flying high at Concord

Gavin McCallum celebrates at Concord Rangers
Gavin McCallum celebrates at Concord Rangers

Explosive finishing, backed by a confident whole-team performance, saw Borough to a decisive victory at Concord Rangers which kept them flying high in the Conference South table.

The Essex club are not easy to beat on their own patch, but the Sports took early command with two sublime Gavin McCallum strikes, and then overcame Concord’s robust physical challenge to secure another three points.

And there was an ecstatic welcome from the sizeable travelling support for the return of Elliott Charles, who was given a cameo 20 minutes as he regains match sharpness. All Borough’s front men look greedy for goals at the moment, none more so than McCallum. For opposing defenders it is much like holding open a paper bag and trying to catch a lighted firework in it.

It took just six minutes to open the score: Richard Pacquette smartly set him up from a swiftly taken free-kick, and young Gavin drilled a low shot inside the right-hand post from the edge of the box.

For the next half-hour, Eastbourne took their team play to a new level. Expansive and swift, they had Concord rocking, with powerful efforts from Foot, Walker and Simon Johnson each close to doubling the score.

The home side, clutching vainly for the same sort of cohesion, threatened only in flurries, before two moments around the half-hour effectively settled the game. First Lewis Carey thwarted Jordan Chiedozie with a brilliant sprawling save when the young striker should have equalised.

And then McCallum took the breath away: set up once again by Pacquette, he hit an audacious strike from fully 30 yards that swerved over keeper Jamie Butler and found the top far corner. A goal to grace any game, and to crumple the spirit of any opponent.

With Borough now rampant, Sam Beale stormed forward and his cross was handled in the box, for a third penalty in four matches – decisively converted by Pacquette. 3-0, and surely game over.

After such a 45 minutes, any second half was going to be an anti-climax. Mindful of another Bank Holiday fixture to come, Borough contained the play comfortably enough without adding to the score. McCallum was eager for the hat-trick but was guilty once or twice of over-doing his runs when the option of a pass was on: a good fault, at any rate.

A late goal for Tony Stokes, nudged in on 83 minutes after Carey had saved Steve Cawley’s overhead kick, was really only an afterthought. For Widdrington’s reshaped and revitalised team of 14-15, the victory was total, and another major step forward.

Concord Rangers: Butler, Woodyard, Glozier, Ogilvie, King, Goodacre, White, Chiedozie (Cawley 62min), Collins, Gardner (Cleaver 73min), Stokes.

Borough: Carey, Hamilton, Beale, Foot, Simpemba, Khinda-John (Aldred 76min), McCallum, Sinclair, Pacquette (Charles 73min), Johnson, Walker (Lok 70min).

Subs not used: Lovett, Bown.

Referee: Neil Hair

Att: 258

MoM: Richard Pacquette - led the line superbly