Andy Atkin is determined to remind people why he was once regarded as one of the most feared strikers in non-league football tonight.

Atkin was riding the crest of a wave just nine months ago when he bagged 30 goals to help Eastbourne Borough win promotion to Blue Square premier.

The 27-year-old looked like continuing in the same vein when he scored twice in the second match of the season but has managed just one league goal since as he struggles to adapt to life in non-league’s top flight.

To make matters worse Atkin has had to watch from the bench as Ashley Barnes and Dan Smith have taken his place as the fans’ favourite at Priory Lane while he has become something of a forgotten man.

Atkin has not started a game since the Plymouth duo arrived on loan back in November but gets his chance in the Sussex Senior Cup quarter-final against Crowborough tonight with Barnes serving a one-match ban for collecting five bookings.

He said: “I can’t wait to be honest. It has been a long time since I started a game and I am raring to go. It has been a difficult season but people have got to remember I was in the County League less than four years ago so playing at this level is a massive learning curve for me.

“No one likes sitting on the bench but I think it has been a useful experience for me.You can either sulk when you are dropped or you can watch and learn so you are ready when your chance comes.

“I have definitely been learning from Ashley and Dan. They have been brilliant since they came in and I can’t blame the manager for bringing them in as I wasn’t scoring the goals.”

Borough are still attempting to increase their firepower after being priced out of a move for Salisbury’s Matt Tubbs.

The 24-year-old striker was on the verge of joining Borough back in November only for Bournemouth to scupper the deal at the last minute by landing him on loan. Tubbs was expected to make his move to the Fitness First Stadium permanent this month but the dismissal of Cherries boss Jimmy Quinn on New Year’s Eve saw him return to Salisbury.

The Blue Square premier outfit are keen to offload the striker as they look to cut their wage bill but are demanding a “pretty substantial” fee for Tubbs.

Borough assistant manager Nick Greenwood said: “We made enquiries about Matt as soon as he went back to Salisbury but the committee said the fee they wanted was too much.”

Meanwhile, Jean-Michel Sigere has been told he has no future at Priory Lane after a permanent move to Horsham collapsed.

The striker has started just three games for Borough since joining from Lewes in the summer and switched to the Hornets on loan in November.

Crows are without Justin Harris and fellow defender Steve Hunt is also doubtful with a back injury.