Eastbourne Borough got the new season off to a perfect start after seeing off Hampton & Richmond at Priory Lane.
Billy Vigar’s first half header proved the difference as The Sports picked up a 1-0 win in tough conditions.
It could and maybe should have been more comfortable for Mark Beard’s men, but in the end they had to defend well in the second half to secure all three points.
Borough started in a 3-5-2 having worked on it over pre-season, with Brad Barry lining up in the back three alongside Dan Quick and Alex Finney. Yaser Kasim played just in front of the defence, with Jack Clarke and Jay Beckford ahead of him whilst Shiloh Remy and Archie Procter were out wide. Decarrey Sheriff and Vigar led the line.
The Sports were dominant in the first half and started on the front foot. Sheriff fired wide early on before The Sports went in front. A superb cross from Remy picked out Vigar at the far post and his diving header gave Adam Desbois no chance.
Sheriff then went close to adding a second, before Remy curled an effort just wide as the Sports continued to play on the front foot. Desbois then kept Hampton in the game, saving from the impressive Remy, before Sheriff spurred another chance when he beat the keeper to a ball over the top, only for Luis Fernandez to clear off the line.
Clarke and then Beckford then had further chances denied by a mixture of the keeper and blocks from defenders.
One concern for Borough would be Procter having to be forced off with injury before half time after an impact injury – Leone Gravata coming on in his place.
But for all their chances, the scored stayed at 1-0 and Hampton were always in the game as the second half wore on.
Vigar nearly got a second eight minutes after the break, but was denied from a tight angle after good work from Beckford.
With twenty minutes to go Remy played in Sheriff, who with a clear shot at goal could only fire the ball straight at Desbois.
But as time wore on, the visitors sensed they could get back into the game.
Ben Seymour tested Ben Dudzinski with a low effort, and as the clock approached 90 Hampton got more balls into the box to test out the Sports defence.
Jordan Cheadle had their best chance late on, but could only head Sam Deadfield’s corner wide.
But overall, Borough defended well and held on to secure maximum points in front of a bumper crowd at Priory Lane.