By Ken McEwan
Two fine goals from Jamie Taylor inspired Eastbourrne Borough to their first home win of the season and took their unbeaten run to six games.
After a shaky start to the campaign, early pessimism has been replaced by optimism as Jamie Howell’s men showed great character to twice come from behind in an absorbing battle against a more than useful Chippenham side at Priory Lane..
Saturday’s win catapulted Borough into the top half of the table, but they suffered an early shock when the visitors took the lead in just 52 seconds. Home defenders failed to deal with an attack on the left and Dave Pratt swept the ball home from just inside the area after Andy Sandell’s first shot had been saved.
Pratt looked like doubling the advantage when he raced through following a weak header from Ian Simpemba but advancing keeper Bailey Vose saved the day with an excellent block.
The Sports drew level in the 18th minute, Taylor running onto a superb through ball from Nathan Pinney before coolly slotting past the advancing Jared Thompson.
Injured defender Will Hendon limped off in the 26th minute, but these days Borough have sufficient experience on the bench to cope with most eventualities as he was replaced by Gary Charman.
Charlie Harris was only inches off target with a near-immaculate 20-yard free-kick, only for the visitors to go ahead for the second time a minute later when Sandell’s effort in the 35th minute appeared to be cleared to safety only for the referee’s assistant to signal a goal.
But on 44 minutes another masterly Taylor effort put Borough back on terms, a magnificent volley on the turn giving Thompson no chance.
It was hard to predict a winner at half-time, but in contrast to the first half it was Borough who started with a bang, Charlie Harris nonchalantly headed home Leon Redwood’s deep cross from the left by the far post to give Borough the lead for the first time in the 48th minute.
Both sides had chances in what was proving a memorable match, but suddenly the pressure was lifted from the home side as Sergio Torres turned the ball in from six yards in the 78th minute after Taylor’s effort had been blocked. The smiles on home faces signalled 4-2 and much to look forward to this season.
Boss Howell said afterwards, “Both sides wanted to attack and that left defences exposed. I am really pleased to score four goals and get that first home win. We played well at Bognor and I wanted that to be seen here. We did see that in parts but we are still some way from where we want to be.
But it’s a work in progress.’
Borough: Vose 7, Hendon 6 (Charman 26mins 7), Khinda-John 6, Simpemba 6, Redwood 6 (Willard 49mins, 6), Wills 7, Torres 7, Harris 7, Taylor 9, Pinney 8 (Odubade 68mins 6), McCallum 7.
MoM: Jamie Taylor: two super strikes and much hard work.
Ref: Jack Packman.