Gritty not pretty – Remy lifts Eastbourne Borough to sixth straight win

On a cold December afternoon under a bleak grey sky, Eastbourne Borough stuttered over the line to victory in a pulsating contest with Chippenham Town.
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It is not always a case of playing to your potential, sometimes just scraping a win is enough. There are teams that back down when they are not playing well.

Danny Bloor’s team achieved a win by their tenacity and focus on the task. Post-match, the manager summed it up: “We were not at our best today, that’s a good sign when you are not at your best and you still eke out three points ... the players dug in, a real grinding performance, perhaps one we wouldn’t have seen earlier in the season.”

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Eastbourne Borough on the attack against Chippenham | Picture: Andy PellingEastbourne Borough on the attack against Chippenham | Picture: Andy Pelling
Eastbourne Borough on the attack against Chippenham | Picture: Andy Pelling

The decision by the club to bring the kick off forward was understandable. Kicking off at 3pm is a luxury that many clubs will not be able to afford this winter. However, there is a dramatic ethereal quality about football under the floodlights, and the pace of the game somehow appears to be accentuated. It would be a shame if we lost that special feeling of matches finishing under the glow of floodlights on a cold mid-winter afternoon.

An inauspicious start saw Chippenham Town take the lead in the fifth minute - from a 25-yard Jordan Young free kick that was parried down by Lee Worgan. Alex Bray was first to react, pouncing on the gift and turning the ball in from five yards.

On the right flank, Shiloh Remy gave the Bluebirds cause for concern, often drawing in two or three defenders to try and crowd him out – and leaving gaps for the other Borough players to exploit. Remy came close to making it all square on the 25th minute when his shot shaved the outside of the post.

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Then in the 42nd minute Milly Scarlett’s cross from the right was fumbled by Town keeper Will Henry. Defender Tom Mehew’s ineffective clearance fell to Remy, who shot past the keeper at the near post from 15 yards out to level the score.

The second half swayed from end to end – including some phases of play where Borough’s passing was woeful. Passes were consistently going astray. giving the ball away under little or no Chippenham pressure.

The chances were falling to both teams and the result could have easily gone either way. The dynamic Leone Gravata came close to scoring, with a step-over that created space to launch a powerful shot from 20 yards out – only for the keeper to tip it over the bar.

As both teams chased a decisive breakthrough, Harry Parsons got through on a tight angle one-on-one with Worgan, who sprinted off his line to close the angle down and blocked the shot with his body. Jayden Perez found an unmarked Charlie Walker with a short pass into the box, his shot bringing a fine save from Will Henry.

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Dylan Adjei-Hersey, newly signed on loan from AFC Wimbledon, brought fresh legs to midfield as the action pounded on. With just 10 minutes left, Jordan Young was through one on one with Worgan, who made another excellent save, this time with his feet.

It was not to be Chippenham’s day – and as we entered the final five minutes, Shiloh Remy – who had been at the centre of so much for the Sports – was unceremoniously taken down in the penalty area by a clumsy sliding tackle. The ball was confidently dispatched from the penalty spot by Remy himself, and the Borough had claimed the day.

And as dusk closed in on a wintry SO Legal Community Stadium, what were our final images? A special mention for Lee Worgan, who recovered from that early mistake to make two vital saves in the second half. Jack Burchell made an accomplished home league debut, looking comfortable on the ball – and adding height in the defence and at attacking set pieces.

What of the visitors? They certainly gave their all, and contributed admirably to a full-blooded contest.

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The gritty resilient performance gives Eastbourne Borough their sixth consecutive win, and fourth straight win in the league. In the end it was not a game to be remembered for sharp accurate passing and free flowing football. But it’s a result that closes in on that Bloor 40-point target. Hopefully, that target is not too far away and it won’t be long before we hear those words: “Let’s have some fun and see where it takes us!”

Borough: Worgan, Burchell, Innocent, Dickenson, Perez, Hammond, Walker (Whelpdale 58 ); Remy (Bull 90); Gravata (Adjei-Herse 77); Scarlett, Hutchinson Unused subs: Hayden Beaconsfield, Finlay Holter

Man of the match: Shiloh Remy whose balletic, industrious display lit up a grey afternoon.

Attendance: 777