GARY HART has been praised for the role he has played in a tricky season for Eastbourne Borough.

The former Albion favourite has started the last four games for Borough and played his part as they claimed a first home league win since November 17 on Tuesday evening.

A 2-1 success at home to Hayes and Yeading moved Borough four points clear of the Blue Square Bet south relegation zone.

Manager Tommy Widdrington believes increased competition for places – helped by the loan arrivals of young forwards Jonte Smith and Bayan Fenwick in the last ten days – was a key factor in turning good recent performances into a positive result.

But the Borough chief also reckons Hart’s contribution has been important.

The 36-year-old has only scored once for Borough this season but his experience has helped an ever evolving squad.

Widdrington said: “Gary Hart’s application from the time I arrived here has been excellent.

“He will be the first to admit he hasn’t always been 100% fit and we have had to manage that rather than his football.

“Over the last two months his performances on the pitch, which have coincided with him feeling better in his body, have been excellent.

“People around him are benefiting from that. I have nothing but praise for Gary who has had a fantastic career in the pro game and is now giving something back.”

Borough’s increased competition for places was highlighted on Tuesday by the experienced Anwar Uddin being left out of the 16. The former Dagenham and Barnet defender has lost his place in recent weeks due to the excellent form of Crystal Palace loanee Alex Wynter.

Fenwick has followed Wynter from Palace on an initial month’s loan and gives Widdrington another attacking option.

The 19-year-old, who joined Palace from Lewes last season, made his debut as a substitute against Hayes.

Widdrington is pleased with both his loanees.

He said: “Alex’s loan is up after the Bromley game next week but I would be really hopeful of keeping him longer than that. He has improved the dynamics of how we defend.

“Bayan is a good sized lad but very mobile. If Tuesday was a cameo of what is to come, we could all be licking our laps.

“He has to realise there is a job to do to earn the right to play the way he did. Our starting XI gave him the platform to do that. But he made a good first impression.

“He is a local lad, he lives near the ground and it is amazing he has not been involved at the club before.”

Chris Shephard is unlikely to be ready to return from injury when Borough entertain sixth-placed Boreham Wood today.