Eastbourne Borough kicked off pre-season with a well deserved win over National League Aldershot Town at Priory Lane.
Mark Beard gave 22 players a run out in the Sports’ first friendly and they didn’t disappoint the 1165-strong crowd.
In the end it was a Trialist who scored the decisive goal just before half-time to give Borough a winning start.
The first chance of note went to Aldershot after ten minutes. Tommy Willard won possession high up the pitch after pressing well, but cutting onto his right foot he fired wide of the far post.
The Sports took their time in getting going, but grew into the half. Shiloh Remy forced Jordi Van Stappershoef into action before seeing an effort on goal blocked.
A long kick from Harrison Faulkes then looked to play in Decarrey Sheriff, who linked up well with Trialist A but saw his low drive go straight at the Shots keeper.
There was later concern on the Sports bench on two occasions as both Freddie Carter and Brad Barry pulled up injured inside the first 35 minutes.
However, the Sports broke the deadlock seven minutes before the break with the best passage of play of the first half.
From a throw in down near the corner flag, Archie Procter opted to play the ball short to Jay Beckford rather than cross it, and Beckford in turn picked out Trialist A in space and he slotted home from twelve yards.
The Sports named ten different players from the line-up that started the game in the second half, with only goalkeeper Faulkes retaining his spot.
Aldershot almost drew level shortly after the break, but Trialist F’s free-kick curled just over the top corner from 20 yards out.
But the Sports had more control of the second 45. Trialist D nearly flicked in Dan Quick’s knockdown from a corner before the hour mark, before Leone Gravata fired over when well placed after good work from Imran Uche.
Fletcher Holman then almost grabbed a goal but could only lift the ball wide of the near post with the Trialist goalkeeper off his line.
The young Shots keeper then pulled off a fine save to deny Uche from what would’ve been a memorable goal, the Trialist tipping the midfielder’s half volley over the top corner.
And after coming off at half-time, Trialist A came on late on and demonstrated superb skill to beat two defenders before setting up Holman, but off balance he fired over.
Overall, a great first workout for the Sports, who aside from a few injury concerns can be very happy with their first match together.