The international break, what does that mean? Well, apart from Wales winning loads of games, it’s the chance to go and watch a game lower down the leagues if the club you support isn’t there already.
So we went to watch sixth-tier Eastbourne Borough, with me and Adam being familiar with their captain Sergio Torres one of the reasons we paid them a visit. The Sports were up against Bath City, who were on good form coming into the game, winning three and drawing two of their last five games.
Borough on the other hand were struggling, with no win since the 5th January. This poor run of results coincided with Torres being injured, but the Argentine played half an hour in the 2-0 defeat to Hungerford Town last week and was starting today.
Bath City were nearly in front straight away, with Borough short at the back Sol Pryce slipped in Ross Stearn who side-footed wide.
Frantic was probably the best way to describe the game, with a small, astroturf pitch meaning both teams turned over possession quite quickly.
Soon enough the home side started piling on the pressure. Dave Martin’s header was tipped over and Kristian Campbell smashed a shot onto and over the crossbar.
Meanwhile, Torres, who I think would admit struggled to get a foot on the ball in the opening stages, started to dictate from deep.
Sports wideman Tobi Adebayo-Rowling was causing problems down the right, and he tested Ryan Clarke at the front post after playing a one-two and bundling over his man in the process.
I find that at these games you always get people who repeat the same phrases over and over again from the sidelines. Last week at Lewes Women it was “all day” when a Rook player received the ball in space. This time it was “wake up Borough!”, especially when passing moves from the home side didn’t quite come off.
The same guy probably leaves every game exclaiming “that’s the last time I come to watch this shit”.
The best chance of the half fell to Brighton loanee Stefan Ljubicic, who should’ve hit the target with his downward header from Abebayo-Rowling’s chipped cross.
Then the latter came inside before shooting, unfortunately, a flying Bath defender got in the way to divert the ball for a corner. What did Borough have to do to score?!
Sports caretaker manager Mark McGee must’ve been frustrated that his side didn’t weren’t in front by half-time, and in the second half Bath started off on the front foot. An Alex Song style ball over the top was played to Roman’s striker Ross Stearn but his effort was not so Robin Van Persie and lacked the power to beat Mark Smith.
McGee was a pretty handy striker back in the day for the likes of Newcastle United and Celtic. Not only that, but the 61-year-old was also Scotland’s assistant manager up until 2017.
At this point it looked like one goal was going to win it, and City were going to get it. Tom Smith hit a sweet strike from just outside the box but Smith was there to palm it away.
Talking of sweet Bath strikes, Anthony Streaker caught one nicely but unfortunately for him the effort lacked any sort of outside spin and arrowed wide.
Late on, Borough substitute Andrew Briggs or “Briggsy” started an attacking move prior to receiving the ball in the box from Kane Willis. The youngster took a touch past his man before seemingly getting clipped. Time stood still for a moment. But when the whistle blew the decision was given against Briggs and the home side. A climactic ending it was, and it Eastbourne Borough can repeat their first-half performance in upcoming games I’m sure they’ll eventually get back on track in the Vanarama South.