Sunday 30 October 2011

Eastbourne Borough - Langney Sports Club

Eastbourne Borough FC
Langney Sports Club
Priory Lane
East Sussex
BN23 7QH

01323 766265
Official Website

Ground Number: 145
Friday 25th July 2009
Eastbourne Borough 0-1 Wycombe Wanderers
Garry Wilson Testimonial


The club was established in 1954 and were initially known as Langney FC, named after the area of the town in which they were based. Formed by a group of friends who were too old to play for a local youth team, they initially plied their trade in the Eastbourne & District League. Results were not a priority at the time - they just wanted to play football for the fun of it. A name change to Langney Sports followed in 1968 and a move to the Hastings & Eastbourne League followed soon after where they had a little more success. In 1983 they were founder members of the Sussex County League's third tier. Despite being labelled as a 'parks team' by some FA Officials, they took to the higher level well, never finishing lower than 5th. In 1987 they were champions and were promoted to Division 2. The repeated the trick the following year and now, in the top tier of the Sussex League, they continued their success, only once not finishing in the top half of the table. They finished as runners-up to Peacehaven & Telscombe in 1992, taking until the turn of the century to earn promotion as champions. 

Promoted to the Southern League D1 East, they lost out on the title on goal difference to Dorchester Town but were still promoted. They'd spend just one season in the Southern Premier for in 2004 they finished high enough to be elected to the newly-formed Conference South. Their first season saw a 5th place finish and progress to the playoff final but they would lose out to Altrincham in the decider to see which of the regional playoff winners would be promoted to the Conference National. A 2nd place finish in 2008 was good enough for another shot at the playoffs and this time, with the winner going straight up, they defeated Hampton & Richmond Borough 2-0 in the final. The 2008/09 season saw the club's highest ever finish of 13th in the Conference National. The next two seasons saw the side struggle and in 2011 the club was relegated for the first time in their history, back to the Conference South. A poor start to the season saw Boro sack long-serving manager Garry Wilson, the man who had served the club for 13 years and had taken them from the Sussex County League to the top table of non-league football. They've played in the Conference South ever since, but finishes have been moderate - ranging from 10th in 2014 to 18th in 2012 and 2018. 

In the FA Cup, Eastbourne Borough have reached the 1st Round on three occasions. The most notable of these was in 2005 when they took football league side Oxford United to a replay, losing out 3-0 after gaining a 1-1 draw. The game attracted the club's record attendance of 3,770, got the club on Match Of The Day and led to the £25,000 sale of Yemi Odubade to Oxford United, following his impressive performance in the tie. In the other FA competitions, Eastbourne Borough have reached the 3rd Round of the FA Trophy and the 2nd Round of the FA Vase. Local cup wins include the Sussex Senior Cup on three occasions, the Sussex Community Shield on three occasions as well as the Sussex Divison 3 Cup, the Sussex County League Cup and the Sussex Floodlit Cup.


This was the pre season game I was looking forward to the most at the start of that particular season as it was the one ground that I'd not been to yet. I drove down, giving mates Paul and Dale a lift to keep me company and help chip in with fuel costs. On the way down we visited grounds at Oakwood, Crawley Down, East Grinstead, Crowborough Athletic, Wealden, Eastbourne Town and Eastbourne United association. They were all fairly decent, probably my favourite was Crowborough Athletic, a tidy ground in a nice setting. We got to Eastbourne at around 6.15 and so we went in search of dinner before the game. The game was a testimonial for long-serving manager Garry Wilson and his assistant Nick Greenwood. Looking back, I don't know why I have no pictures of inside the ground and assume I must have lost them in the interim period.

The game was a fairly dull one, witnessed by around 700 people. Wycombe started with a strong team and being fairly late in the pre-season, there was no room for trialists. Wycombe had the better of the game but were not massively convincing. In the end, it was an 85th-minute goal from Chris Zebroski that won it. It was fellow striker Stuart Beavon who set it up, his cut back from the right finding Chris Zebroski who fired into the roof of the net.


I'd fancied a visit to Eastbourne Borough for a while, as it had been a long time since I'd last been and I'd hardly got any pictures. It would also give me an opportunity to update my blog where I'd hardly written anything about my last visit. Fellow hopper Anwar was also very keen to go and the Bank Holiday Monday game against Woking was ideal as it could be doubled up with an 11 am kick off in the Southern Combination. There were a number of former Wycombe players for each side - cult hero Sergio Torres was club captain whilst former defender Ian Simpemba was also in the squad.  For Woking, former midfielder Max Kretzschmar was the latest in a long line of former Chairboys to play for them. I tidied up my blog and researched Eastbourne Borough's history in preparation for the game.

From a cracking 4-3 win at AFC Uckfield v Langney Wanderers, we made our way towards Eastbourne. We stopped at Hailsham Town to get pictures, but it was well secured, so I didn't get many. From there we went to a chip shop called Calamar where I had a decent portion of chips for £1.80. Getting to the ground at 2, we parked up and got some pictures of the outside. It was £13 to go in and I also bought a programme (£2.50) old book called 'You Have To Love It' (£1) and some chips (£2.20). I then went and found Anwar and we stood along the side of the pitch, near the halfway line. The matchday DJ was playing some banging tunes before the game, which set me in a good mood for the match ahead.

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The game was just five minutes old when Max Kretzschmar emphatically dispatched a penalty awarded for a foul just inside the box - this giving Woking the lead. Woking continued to dominate with Eastbourne Borough relying on chances on the break. Former Wycombe man Torres was their heartbeat and he still had plenty of running in him, despite him being in the twilight of his career. The second half started with a great save from home keeper Mark Smith as he saved Kretzschmar’s goalbound header with his legs. This spurred on his team to a much better performance in the second half which they dominated. The equaliser came on 63 minutes when Kane Wills latched on to a good layoff from Yemi Odubade, using his pace to get away from the defence and finish well. After such a dominant second half performance from the hosts, they were dealt a sucker punch with an 88th-minute goal from Woking. A cross was put in for Kane Ferdinand to head home and keep the visitors top of the table. I had a good run home, dropping Anwar off at 7.10 and getting back myself in 25 minutes, just in time for Coronation Street.


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