TONY Stokes’ 100th goal for Concord Rangers was not enough to halt a Gavin McCallum inspired Eastbourne Borough’s march to victory.
McCallum scored two, the second a blockbuster, to guide The Sports to a 3-1 win at the Aspect Arena, with Richard Pacquette adding a third from the penalty spot.
Stokes’ late strike came too little too late.
Concord were dealt a blow inside the first ten minutes and it was a goal that could have been avoided. A quick freekick saw the ball played into Richard Pacquette, who squared to McCallum. The burly number 7 took one touch before striking low inside Butler’s near post.
Stung by the early goal, the Beachboys looked to strike back but it was the away side who created the next chance. James Walker evaded the attentions of Steve King and James White to shoot but Butler was equal to his effort.
It took the hosts 30 minutes to create an opening and it should have brought the equaliser. A nice reverse pass from Sam Collins found Jordan Chiedozie in the box. The ex-Bournemouth forward looked set to open his account for the Beachboys but Lewis Carey denied him with a sprawling save and Gary Ogilvie couldn’t convert the rebound.
And the Beachboys were made to pay moments later, when McCallum doubled his tally. The attacker was once again set by Pacquette and he let fly from more than 30 yards – leaving Butler no chance.
It wasn’t getting any easier for the hosts and it was 3-0 moments before the break. A cross was handled by Alex Woodyard, filling in at right-back and Pacquette scored the goal his play had deserved.
The second half saw fewer chances for both sides, as Concord pushed for a way back into the game. Steve Cawley came on and looked lively, having a chance within seconds of coming on. Stokes crossed for Cawley but Carey was again in the way.
However, when the two next combined it brought a goal Concord’s tenacious play deserved. Ogilvie and substitute Jacob Cleaver combined to set Cawley up for an acrobatic overhead. Carey did well to keep it out but Stokes was on hand to score his 100th goal for the Beachboys.
Concord Rangers: Butler, Woodyard, Glozier, Ogilvie, King, Goodacre, White, Chiedozie (Cawley), Collins, Gardner (Cleaver), Stokes Eastbourne Borough: Carey, Hamilton, Beale, Foot, Simpemba, Khinda John, McCallum, Sinclair, Pacquette, Johnson, Walker Elsewhere, Billericay went down to big-spending Margate and the tone was set after only 20 minutes.
Three quick-fire goals from Zac Attwood, Ryan Moss and Charlie Allen put the Kent side in charge inside 20 minutes.
Moss added another after the break before Halle scored a consolation for Town. Allen scored his second and Margate ran out 5-1 winners.
Canvey Island were indebted to late substitute Marlon Agyakwa after they went 1-0 down to a 20th minute penalty. John Sands scored his second of the season to draw the Gulls level and it looked as thought the points would be shared until Agyakwa scored with seconds left on the clock.
East Thurrock United trailed 1-0 at the break to Hendon but a goal from Sam Lechmere ensured a share of the spoils.
Great Wakering Rovers looked set for another tricky afternoon when they found themselves 2-0 down after six minutes. However, goals from Stuart Hapburn and Tony Jacobs brought Rovers level at the break.
Unfortunately Rovers couldn’t hold on and two goals after the break from Jared Small and Alex Read sent the north Essex side home happy.