Walker returns to boost Boro’ attack

James Walker
James Walker

James Walker is expected to make a welcome return to the Eastbourne Borough strike force this weekend after a trip to the Caribbean to play for his country.

The Antigua and Barbuda international returned from World Cup qualifying duty on Wednesday night and, after being absent for the Sports’ match against Salisbury last weekend, should be available for their meeting with Basingstoke Town this weekend at Priory Lane..

Widdrington said, “James should be back in the country now and hopefully will be available for us this weekend.

“I’ve yet to catch up with him to see if he’s landed safely but once I do, I’ll see how much he played over there and how he’s feeling.

“Hopefully he won’t be too jet-lagged and the break would have been quite refreshing for him.”

Widdrington will be hoping the striker’s return will help stop the goal-drought that the Borough faithful have witnessed after the Sports’ 1-0 defeat to Salisbury last weekend was their fourth consecutive encounter without scoring.

That comes in stark contrast to the start of the season when Borough’s firing power was at full force, with each of their strikers having got off the mark within the first three matches of the season.

The Borough boss said, “I would be more concerned about the lack of goals if it was the same team that wasn’t scoring but, as it is, we’ve had to change the side three times, it’s been three different teams.

“We’re not scoring because of a loss of form, it’s because we’ve incurred injuries after contact from other teams, so I’d like to hope people reserve judgement because I feel that, after a couple of games, we can return to the winning ways that we’ve shown we are capable of.”

The Sports have the opportunity to do so this weekend when they return to Priory Lane after two matches on the road.

Aside from a defeat to Maidenhead during their last home outing, the Sports have enjoyed playing on own soil so far this season, picking up two wins from their first two fixtures at the Lane.

Widdrington said, “It will be nice to play at Priory Lane again. Although it’s only two matches since we did, it feels like a lot longer.

“We’ve enjoyed playing at home so far this season and other teams haven’t liked coming here.

Even when we lost to Maidenhead, they had their backs to the wall for the majority so we hope this weekend will be a good opportunity to get back to winning ways.

“This is the first week we’ve had without a midweek match but it’s been a bit frustrating. I didn’t expect anyone who declared themselves injured for Saturday to turn up for training on Monday, but that meant I couldn’t do the technical and tactical things that I wanted to do.”

Widdrington is hopeful that a couple of his sidelined players - a list that includes Chris Shephard, Marvin Hamilton and Simon Johnson - will return to fitness for this weekend’s Blue Square Bet South clash.

WELCOME BACK: James Walker is expected to be back to face Basingstoke at Priory Lane on Saturday having returned from international duty in Antigua