Eastbourne Borough survival battle held up by postponement – as Murray declares: It’s definitely not over

Time may not be on Eastbourne Borough’s side in their battle to survive in National League South – but boss Adam Murray remains convinced they can stay up.
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Last Saturday’s 1-0 loss at Bath City was a setback but the Sports are just six points below the safety line and are showing signs in their play that all is not lost.

They have been denied the chance to make headway in the bid to stay up tomorrow – they were due to travel to face Truro City – at Taunton Town – but a waterlogged pitch has seen it called off.

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Truro are in a ground-share with two other clubs and their grass pitch has suffered persistent problems. A string of postponements has stretched the patience of their fellow National South clubs. The league have stepped in, and directed all Truro’s remaining home fixtures to be played at Taunton Town.

Adam Murray issues the orders at Bath City - but Borough lost 1-0 | Picture: Lydia RedmanAdam Murray issues the orders at Bath City - but Borough lost 1-0 | Picture: Lydia Redman
Adam Murray issues the orders at Bath City - but Borough lost 1-0 | Picture: Lydia Redman

Ironically, Taunton’s own surface is not in the best condition, and this week’s rain has put paid to this weekend’s game – which will mean another long trip west one midweek for Borough and their fans.

At Bath City his reshaped squad held their own against physical opponents and looked worth a point before Bath grabbed a 78th-minute goal.

Borough’s status will in crucial showdowns – most of them at home – with other clubs treading the relegation quicksand.

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Dover Athletic, Havant, Taunton Town and Weymouth all have to visit Priory Lane before the season ends, while the Sports also travel to Dartford and Weston-super-Mare – both teetering above the drop zone – as well the eventual encounter with Truro.

On the touchline and around the club, Murray cuts a pragmatic, positive figure. He speaks with authority and knows what needs to be done.

If his current squad had been in place earlier in the season, most observers would place Borough as a top ten side. Time is now tight.

Murray said of the loss at Bath: “It was really frustrating, Up until the 78th minute it was a really good away performance. I don’t feel we deserved to lose the game but I need to see more from my players in terms of wanting to win the game.”

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“For some reason I still feel some of them are playing with, I don’t know if it’s fear or a lack of knowhow of how to win a game of football.

"There are some things that as a human and individual you have to take ownership of. You have to understand when the game’s 0-0 how you grab it by the scruff of the neck and make something happen."

Murray added: “I’ve said to the guys ‘You have nothing to lose’. Everybody outside our building will think we’re done so we have no reason to play with fear, with chains on, with a lack of freedom, We can afford to go out and do whatever we think we need to do to win games.”

Murray said his players needed to be more ruthless when good chances came their way.

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"Nothing has changed in terms of what we have to do. We still need to win a certain number of games, The teams above us keep giving us an opportunity so we’re more than in the race.

"I just need these boys to click and if we click sooner rather than later I think we’re going to surprise a few people.”

He concluded: “It’s definitely not over.”