'I needed a victory, the club needed a victory' - Eastbourne Borough end 2019 on a triumphant note

Eastbourne Borough bade farewell to 2019 on a triumphant note, but were made to fight every inch of the way against a never-say-die Welling team at Priory Lane on Saturday.

Sunday, 29th December 2019, 5:25 pm
Updated Sunday, 29th December 2019, 5:37 pm
Charlie Walker. Picture by Jamie Evans

It was just the tonic Danny Bloor’s men needed after the 4-0 thrashing at Dorking just 48 hours earlier and after the game Bloor described the result as ‘the best since I became manager.’

“I needed a victory, the club needed a victory; I shall enjoy tonight,” he added.

Frenchman Stephane Bombelenga scored the all-important second goal on his Eastbourne debut while goalkeeper coach Scott Chalmer-Stevens had a flawless game in his first league match in place of the injured Tom Hadler. One fine save denied Theo Widdrington, the son of former Borough boss Tommy, who was watching from he stand.

Borough fans were desperately trying to remember the last time their team went in at the interval with a two-goal advantage and there was nervousness as they sipped their half-time cuppa following Bath City’s two late goals just a fortnight previously.

The Sports enjoyed plenty of first-half possession with the busy Dean Cox predominant in many attacks. The side also looked sounder at the back with the recall of the outstanding Kiran Khinda-John.

It was Cox who started the move which resulted in Borough going ahead in the 25th minute. Cox found Nick Wheeler on the left and Wheeler’s precise cut-back was beautifully volleyed into the corner of the net from the edge of the area by Charlie Walker.

It was 2-0 in the 38th minute when new boy Bombelenga touched home another teasing cross from Wheeler.

Welling came out in the second half firing on all cylinders, but Borough defended well aided by some woeful Welling finishing.

.Widdrington’s deflected shot was well saved by Chalmer-Stevens and Antony Cook was just a foot wide of the near post as he cut in from the right.

But it was Borough who almost had a third goal when visiting keeper Dan Wilks pulled off the save of the day to keep out a stunning drive from Kristian Campbell.

A double substitution gave Welling more attacking impetus but Afulobi Akinyemi was hopelessly wide when clean through.

He was immediately replaced by Moses Emmanuel whose 90th minute goal with a shot on the turn gave Welling a glimmer of hope, but it was too little too late although the announcement of six minutes stoppage time provoked the comment from boss Bloor that the referee must have ‘a ‘Micky Mouse watch’.

However, when the final whistle eventually went, a sense of relief was felt around the ground as Borough eased away from the relegation zone having been deservedly rewarded for a non-stop battling display.

Borough: Chalmer-Stevens, Adebayo-Rowling, Campbell, Wills, Khinda-John, Cox (Gharbaoui 85), Wheeler (West 89), Bombelenge (Hanson 48), Walker, Ferry, Gayle. Subs not used: Adebwale, Blackmore.

Referee Daniel Lamport

MoM: Kiran Khinda-John: solid as a rock at the back..

Att 486