Back at Priory Lane after two away defeats and eight goals conceded, Eastbourne Borough were back to winning ways with a 4-0 demolition of East Thurrock United on Easter Monday.
East Thurrock’s first season at this level has been admirable, and they are worth their solid mid-table position, but on Monday they were sluggish and looked bewildered by Borough’s movement and pace.
Hugo Langton restored Nat Pinney and Bouwe Bosma to the line-up which had lost 4-1 at Ebbsfleet, and rested Ian Simpemba – who was also given a notable new role, bringing his unmatched coaching experience very actively to the technical area.
For Eastbourne, there were sparkling performances throughout the team, from a commanding Jordan Holmes in goal, through to the irresistible strike pairing of Pinney and Jamie Taylor.
All four goals were stunners, and if there was any criticism of the Sports, it was that the scoreline could have been at least doubled.
Pinney had already clipped a great third minute chance past the keeper but wide of the far post, before five minutes later the Rocks were gifted a penalty, Josh Hare tripping the nimble Tom Wraight. But Holmes flung himself full-length to his right and touched Reece Harris’s spot kick round the post. It was a save that changed the course of the afternoon.
A smartly worked corner routine allowed Taylor to hammer a first time shot which Shaun Hobson struck home from a few yards out. Just another three minutes, and the lead was doubled with an even better goal. Fabulous link-up play with Worrall and Pinney released Taylor for a sizzling first-time strike from the edge of the box.
Any Rocks recovery should have materialised quickly after half-time, but instead it was the Sports who pushed on.
Taylor met Worrall’s excellent delivery from the right and turned his defender, but his low shot was pushed around the near post.
Then Hare – who excellent all-round play was swiftly now atoning for the penalty error – delivered lethally from an overlap but McCallum was penalised for a foul as he shot.
It was high time for another goal, and Taylor created it right on the hour mark. Fetching, shielding and spiriting the ball in from the right, he perfectly set up the onrushing Mark Hughes for an unstoppable low drive into the left corner of the net before the keeper had moved.
On 86 minutes McCallum claimed the fourth goal, looking up and curling a fabulous shot over Lidakevicius and into the very top corner.
But the other quiet hero was coach Hugo Langton. The temporary manager, who wants the job full-time, kept his head through two tough away fixtures, and deservedly at the final whistle wore the biggest grin in Eastbourne.
Borough are 12th in the National League South and Tommy Widdrington and Langton have between them worked some small-budget miracles this campaign. On the debit side, against the division’s top four teams, Borough have taken just one point from a possible twenty-four. That is the gap which a new manager will need to bridge.
Borough: Holmes; Hare, Khinda-John, Hobson, Stone; Worrall, Hughes, Bosma, McCallum; Pinney, Taylor. Unused subs: Tate, Horlock, Simpemba.
Referee: Lee Venamore
Borough MoM: Ryan Worrall