Scored three, conceded 17, no points - but Hemel are a threat, say Eastbourne Borough

Eastbourne Borough hit the road tomorrow on a mission to take three points from National South tail-enders Hemel Hempstead Town – but manager Danny Bloor is expecting no easy ride.

Friday, 10th September 2021, 9:00 am
Eastbourne Borough shared the spoils with Dulwich Hamlet last week / Picture: Andy Pelling

The Tudors’ catastrophic start to the season has brought five straight defeats, with a goal balance of three scored, seventeen conceded. Their single-goal defeat at Concord Rangers last Saturday must almost have tempted their supporters into a post-match lap of honour. But beware, says Bloor.

“Anyone can beat anyone in this league. This will very likely be our toughest game of the season, and I really mean that. Hemel have made a few changes and brought in more new players just this week. The law of averages says they are going to win a game at some point.

“Hemel have good players, an experienced manager, and I am sure that eventually they will get it right. At 3.00pm on Saturday their team will be just as keyed up and focused as a Dartford or a Dulwich. I have stressed to our own players in training this week that we absolutely must not under-estimate Hemel Hempstead. We have to be prepared and focused."

New Borough keeper Lee Worgan is ready for his debut

Bloor will send a new goalkeeper out with the XI after the Sports recruited Willingdon-raised Lee Worgan, who is set to come into the side in place of loanee Curtis Anderson.

“We are steadily getting over the injury issues which have hampered us, and when we do, we have arguably a stronger squad than last season. Going forward, we are never failing to score goals. We have great options – strengthened by the return of Charley Kendall last weekend, who is a proven goalscorer for us and adds a different dimension.

“I was delighted – as were the whole squad – have our young full-back Jack Currie returning to training this week, and I hope he will be fully in the picture for selection very soon. Steve James’ return for the second half against Dulwich was a welcome bonus, and I thought he was outstanding.”

One game at a time is, of course, every manager’s mantra – but The Herald did tempt Danny into a quick look beyond this weekend – to the Sports’ FA Cup tie on Saturday week. Monday’s Second Qualifying Round draw awarded them a trip to Hanwell Town, who play in the Ryman South Central – two steps below Borough.

“In the Cup, you start as equals. This will be a big day for Hanwell Town. They do of course have home advantage – not too far from Wembley itself! We will get our reports and do our analysis in exactly the way we would prepare for Dartford or Dorking. It is a game which, if we play properly, we will win. If we don’t we’ll be left with egg on our face.”

Bloor will surely be looking to repeat Borough’s exploits last season, reaching a televised First Round Proper tie with Blackpool. “Oh no, this time we want to go one better! Let’s aim for the Second Round Proper! But, whichever the round, the real sense of excitement will come with FA Cup football in front of real live supporters. They missed out last season – and we sorely missed them.

“I’m sure we will really enjoy the Hanwell trip and the game – but first things first, and that means a good result at Hemel Hempstead!”