Eastbourne Borough 3, Braintree Town 0.

Eastbourne Borough boss Garry Wilson hailed his side after they eased into the Blue Square south promotion play-off final with a 5-0 aggregate win over Braintree.

Allan Tait, Nathan Crabb and Andy Atkin scored in the second leg at Priory Lane to send Borough into the one-off clash with Hampton and Richmond at the rescheduled venue of Ebbsfleet on Thursday.

Wilson said: "We were nervy early on and didn't get going until the first goal and then I thought we were terrific. We controlled the game and produced some of the football we have been playing all season and in the end it was a very good win.

"We can now look forward to Thursday where we will have to be at our best again to have any chance."

Before kick off the odds were stacked in Borough's favour due to their 2-0 lead from the first leg and the visitors' crippling injury problems.

Braintree were forced to name a severely weakened side after having a staggering nine players out, five of which were first choice.

They gave a first senior start to youth team striker Chris Smith, while his strike partner Eugene Ofori was playing for the first time since November due to injury.

Despite their selection crisis, however, it was clear from the start that Braintree were not going to roll over easily.

They were fairly well organised and solid at the back and Borough struggled to break them down in the first half.

The home side had just one half chance in the first 15 minutes when Pat Harding had a goalbound effort from the edge of the box blocked at point blank range.

Borough had an injury scare moments later when influential defender Marc Pullan went down following a strong challenge with a shin injury. He was able to continue after treatment but was clearly not comfortable and it almost proved costly on 22 minutes.

Pullan uncharacteristically lost a header in the air and, from the knock-down, Ofori somehow fired wide from eight yards.

Tait, who netted both goals in the first leg, then went close at the other end a minute later with a dragged angled shot across goal.

Harding went close on the half hour when he forced a save from keeper Nick Morgan from a corner.

From the resulting goalkick, the visitors almost snatched the lead against the run of play when Borough keeper Lee Hook produced a reactional save to stop Chris Sullivan's header.

Wilson's side made Braintree pay three minutes before half-time to effectively kill off the tie. Darren Budd picked out Tait unmarked with a cross-field pass and the former Tottenham trainee rifled past Morgan from six yards.

Braintree surprisingly failed to show much adventure after the break and could have been further behind by the hour mark.

Tait side-footed over from just inside the box and was then denied by Morgan after he did well to find space for a shot in a crowded area.

Morgan produced an even better stop to leave Tait frustrated again on 64 minutes when he dived full length to tip the Borough striker's volley round a post.

Tait turned provider six minutes later when his superb flick released Atkin, who only found the side netting with a shot from an angle.

The impressive Tait caused the visitors problems again when he eluded his marker and saw his low drive blocked by Morgan's legs.

Braintree squandered the chance to give themselves some hope 13 minutes from time when substitute Louis Riddle missed a sitter. The striker outpaced the Borough defence, rounded Hook and, with the goal gaping, skied over the bar.

Borough wrapped up the tie with two goals in the last few minutes.

Substitute Nathan Crabb converted from close range following a corner in the last minute before Atkin beat Morgan with a powerful header in injury time.

Eastbourne Borough: Hook, Baker, Jenkins, Budd, Austin, Pullan, Harding, Armstrong, Atkin, Tait, M.Crabb. Subs: Lovett, Smart, N.Crabb, Ballard, Lightwood.

Braintree Town: Morgan, Burgess, Hawes, Chenery, Moran, Good, Smith, Shinn, Ofori, Sullivan, Deane. Subs: Acher, Cousins, Overall, Mark Jones, Riddle.