Eastbourne Borough FC were formed in 1964 as Langney FC after the name of the local district. They moved from a recreational area, to just a few miles close to the sea-front at Princes’s Park before moving again to their present headquarters at Priory Lane. They were known for a while as Langney Sports FC before changing to Eastbourne Borough FC in May 2001.Their rise has been rapid and are now in the Blue Square Conference Premier of course. Talking to some of their officials, they told me that it is a well run club, debt free and they have plans to develop the ground further. As far as I know, QPR had never played them before but apparently there were a couple of friendly matches against Eastbourne United, maybe in the 1950’s ?
My previous attempt earlier this year, ended with the ‘Match Postponed’ signs displayed outside the ground as the rain poured down. This time however, the sun was shining and there was no sign of any rain. Also, Roger had decided to go and he picked me up at Watford Junction Station. We passed the site of Brighton’s new stadium at Falmer, part shell, part complete, which is scheduled to open next year and arrived at Priory Lane in plenty of time. The R’s line-up, which included some trialists, was as follows:-
Putnins, Rose, Fitzsimmons, Hibbert, Oastler, Brown, Voltz, Alberti, German, Parker, Balanta
Subs: Butler, Harriman, Olley, Bewick, Ehmer
I was disappointed to see Romone Rose at right-back but this was to be adjusted after the interval.
The first effort of the night came quickly from the home side, but shooting off balance, it ended up well wide of the target. The half from then on, was dominated by the R’s, with the lively Angelo Balanta and Josh Parker down the flanks, Eastbourne couldn’t cope with their pace. Three good goal scoring opportunities followed in quick succession, firstly Balanta brought out a good save from Barton, the next one was from German and the third came after a long ball down the right wing for Parker to run on to. His cross was then put wide by Antonio German. Our number 4, Jordan Hibbert, got a boot full in the face when attempting to clear the ball to safety from our penalty box. He was bandaged up and returned to the field.
Our left-back, Danny Fitzsimmons, was putting in some good solid tackles. Unsurprisingly, Rangers took the lead in the 18th minute when Angelo Balanta beat a couple of players, cut in and belted the ball into the roof of the net. A superb goal and he almost scored again when he raced through after German had headed on, weaved his way past a couple of defenders and his shot was deflected out for a corner. Good team movement resulted in a German effort being kept out courtesy of the keeper’s chest.
There was some concern when Josh Parker went down in pain following a challenge and when he went off, Angelo Balanta crossed over to take the free kick. As half-time approached, Romone Rose was booked and ‘Elvis’ Putnins made a great save when he went down well to palm away a fierce low shot from close range. After 2 added minutes, the score remained at 1-0.
After the interval, I was pleased to see that Rose was moved to the right-wing and Voltz then retained the right-back slot. Romone Rose was soon in action. A good run took him past two defenders and he then created one for Antonio German, when a lovely ball in was flicked just wide of the post. I think it was Voltz who tried his luck from just outside the box, but his low drive was saved. The action then reverted to the other end and Putnins was forced into making a very good save.
After 79 minutes, Alberti was replaced by Bewick. Three minutes added time was indicated and the R’s still looked like adding another goal. A good run by Voltz resulted in Sam Bewick shooting wide and then a header from Rose went close. As soon as the referee blew his whistle, Roger and I were on our toes out to the car park. The attendance was approximately 160 which included a sprinkling of Rangers fans around the ground. Thanks to Roger for the lift and for putting his foot down so that I made the last 258 bus to South Harrow.