Garry Wilson admits Eastbourne Borough have set themselves a tough act to follow next season.

Borough capped a memorable campaign by beating a young Albion Reserves side 1-0 after extra time to lift the Sussex Senior Cup for only the second time in their history.

Tipped as relegation fodder in most corners, Wilson’s men finished 13th in their debut season in Blue Square premier, a comfortable 16 points clear of the drop zone.

The season was already a success before yesterday’s cup victory which came courtesy of Nathan Crabb’s 96th-minute header.

But Wilson knows there is a lot of hard work to be done to ensure Borough do not suffer from second season syndrome.

He said: “If you had said to us before the season started we would come 13th in the league and pick up the Sussex Senior Cup we would have grabbed that with every hand we had. It caps a great season.

“Nick (Greenwood) and I will take a bit of time out now to reassess the season and see what we are looking for to make it better next year. Next year will be a year of consolidation again. It won’t be anything else and if anything it will be harder.

“There are better quality teams coming into the division, everybody will have sussed us out a little bit and I think we might be victims of our own success, because they will know when they come to Priory Lane they are in for a hard game.

“We were a little bit of the unknown this year but we will be better prepared for it.

“We were rushed into signing players last year so we will take our time now and see if we can get better players who will fit into system and we have already started that process.”

Holders Albion named a squad all aged 19 or under. Steve Cook was the only player with first-team experience and there were six first-year scholars and one schoolboy in the 16.

There were not too many bright points for watching first-team boss Russell Slade, although the performance of goalkeeper Mitchell Walker would have caught his eye.

Walker picked up the man-of-the-match award from a disappointing game for a number of saves, particularly in the first half when he denied Andy Atkin on 11 minutes, saved Ben Austin’s header midway through the half before holding on to Matt Crabb’s deflected shot.

Austin, with another header which Ollie Rowe cleared from under his own bar, and Allan Tait had further chances as Borough dominated.

The game, which had not been a classic in the first half, deteriorated in the second. Albion came back into it well without creating chances.

The deadlock was finally broken in the sixth minute of extra-time when Matt Crabb slung over a great cross from the left which younger brother Nathan Crabb met with a powerful header into the far corner.

Substitute Jack Jeffery went close to adding to the lead soon after while the Crabb brothers each had chances in the second period of extra time.

Albion finished strongly with a decent shout for a penalty when Jay Lovett appeared to handle, then a shot from Kane Louis which Lee Hook pushed around a post before the keeper held Steven Brinkhurst’s header from the resulting corner.

Albion director of football Martin Hinshelwood said: “In the first half we were like ten scared rabbits in headlights and we said to them at half-time they have got to be stronger, mentally and physically, and I felt in the second half we did okay. Their effort and commitment was 100%.”

Nathan Crabb has scored some vital goals for Borough this season and will have enjoyed this one as it was created by his elder brother.

Coach Greenwood joked: “They have practised that a lot in the garden at the Crabbs’ house, Matt crosses and Nathan scores!”

Albion Reserves: Walker; Cook, Pearson, Rowe, Smith; Royce (sub Barker 90), Wills, Ide (sub Thomson 91), Brinkhurst; Upton (sub Cooper 111), Louis. Subs not used: Wilkins, Godfrey.

Booked: Cook (105, foul).

Eastbourne Borough: Hook; Austin (sub Lovett 64), Baker, Pullan, Brown; N.Crabb, Armstrong, Smart, M.Crabb; Atkin (sub Jeffery 81), Tait (sub Harding 70). Subs not used: Wormull, Jordan.

Referee: Irvine Woodward (Seaford).

Attendance: 1,204.