Tag: Eastbourne Borough

Eastbourne Borough 4-0 St Albans City

It had, I have to say, been a long time. Since moving to Brighton two years ago, I had neglected St Albans City, but in the meantime they have done a pretty good job of neglecting themselves, too. Two years ago, the story couldn’t have been much more different. Under the tutelage of Colin Lippiatt, they chased full-time Weymouth all the way in the Conference South, eventually losing out after a bad tempered match in Dorset, but comfortably won their play-off final match at Stevenage against Histon to gain promotion to English football’s fifth division. To say that their brief stay there was unsuccessful would be something of an understatement. There were brief highlights – an opening day win at Kidderminster and a 4-2 win against York City, for example – but mostly it was thrashing after thrashing, and instant relegation back to the footballing hinterlands. Last summer, the wheels came spectacularly off the wagon. With Lippiatt retiring and the players (who evidently felt that the forty points that they amassed in the Conference were ample evidence if their talents) leaving in droves, the club took the breathtaking decision to appoint Ritchie Hanlon, an untried twenty-nine year old, as manager. The result was fairly predictable. The club slumped to second from bottom in the Conference South amid rumours of being close to bankruptcy and were knocked out of all...

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Eastbourne Borough 0-4 Weymouth

Sometimes you get the feeling before you even leave the house that it’s not going to be a good day. A quick check of the internet had confirmed that “planned engineering works” were adding an unnecessary half an hour to an already tortuous journey (how can a twenty mile journey take an hour and a half in this day and age?) and, added to that, Eastbourne play in red, which is always going to temper my support for them somewhat. On paper, this was a fixture with a bit of spice behind it. Eastbourne Borough were unbeaten in all competitions this season and sit at the top of the Conference South, whilst Weymouth spent heavily to get into the Conference in the first place and almost bankrupted themselves in the process. They’re still there, but in 17th place – uncomfortably close to the relegation places. A clear out in January got rid of most of their most expensive players (and a manager, Gary Hill, who curiously lost interest when it became apparent that the money had run out), along with an enforced tempering of expectations on the terraces. Priory Lane is not an unattractive place to watch football – almost entirely covered and with two bars, one of which was pleasingly empty more or less constantly. They are also the owners of the world’s best scoreboard. The people of...

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