Eastbourne Borough are on a collision course with the Sussex County FA over midfielder Andy Atkin.

Borough were poised to sign Atkin on a short-term contract last night so he would be available for their crucial trip to Weston-super-Mare tomorrow.

Atkin had been named in a 16-man Sussex squad to play in the South West Counties Championship final against the Army at Aldershot but decided he would rather help Borough's push for a play-off place.

As only non-contract players can represent the county Borough boss Garry Wilson decided to sign Atkin on contract to rule him out of the Sussex clash after his plea for the midfielder to be left out of the county squad fell on deaf ears.

Wilson said: "I was going to offer Andy a deal for next season anyway so I thought I might as well do it earlier so he is available for tomorrow's game.

"It was a difficult situation because Andy wanted to play for us and we wanted to use him but Sussex said he had to play for them in the final. If we had played Andy without signing him on contract they could have fined or banned him."

Contract Atkin joined Borough on dual-registration from Eastbourne United in March after being released from his contract by the County League side so he could play for Sussex.

He made an instant impact for the county scoring a hat-trick on his debut in the 3-0 win over Cornwall which booked Sussex's place in tomorrow's final.

Atkin had to wait a little longer to impress at Priory Lane but grabbed his opportunity when it finally came last Saturday with a solid display in the 1-1 draw with Sutton United.

With Ollie Rowland serving the final game of his three-match suspension and Danny Chapman and Danny Simmonds both struggling with calf injuries it meant Wilson was keen not to be without Atkin for the trip to Weston.

Atkin said: "I wasn't expecting to break into the Borough team this season but now I have I want to push on so it was quite an easy decision to make to pull out of the Sussex game.

"Obviously, it would have been nice to play in the final but it is a big game for Borough as well.

"I hope John Suter (Sussex manager) is not too disappointed and can understand why I made the choice."

Borough will need Atkin at his best against Weston tomorrow if they are to keep their play-off dream alive. A freak, late equaliser from Sutton goalkeeper Peter Trego at Priory Lane last week saw Wilson's side drop out of the top five and the Borough boss admits another defeat would leave them with a mountain to climb.

They trail Lewes by just one point in the final play-off place but there is a group of four teams gathering behind them - including Weston - who could force their way through with a strong finish.

He said: "It will be hard because they have got one of the best home records in the division and we have not been in the best of form in recent weeks.

"If we can get a point out of it then it keeps us in the hunt.

"It is going to be very tight for that last play-off place but we have two home games next week and if we win them both it should be enough for us."

Bognor can do Borough a massive favour by beating play-off rivals Bishop's Stortford tomorrow.

The Rocks will be without injured skipper David Piper as they look to boost their chances of finishing in the top half of the table.