Eastbourne United AFC have gone out of a cup competition for a second Saturday running after a 2-1 defeat to Westfield in the RUR Charity Cup.
Charlie Osborne was handed his first ever senior start as Simon Rowland made three changes from the midweek draw with Hassocks, with Ben Farrant and Ashley Jarvis also coming into the side.
On the weekend where Eastbourne United turned 120 years old and the footballing fraternity took part in non-league day, there was little for the home supporters celebrate despite taking the lead when Mike Gardner scored his first goal for the club from close range after 23 minutes.
Five minutes later, Gardner was involved at the other end of the pitch as he was adjudged to have fouled Sam Willett inside the penalty area after colliding with the Westfield midfielder.
David Pugh stepped up and placed his effort past Adam Sargent to restore parity for the Second Division side.
United were forced into a substitution on the hour as Lucas Mann hobbled off to be replaced by debutant Kele Buay following a heavy challenge that went unpunished by the referee.
Dan Pollard had a glorious chance 10 minutes later to give United the lead, but his header from Wes Tate’s free kick was too high. On 81 minutes, Westfield took the lead.
A counter attack caught United short at the back and a drilled cross into the box was turned into his own net by the unfortunate Gardner under pressure from Pugh.
Jonno Melia and David Smart were brought on by Rowland in a bid to force extra time and Melia was involved in United’s last chance of the match as he burst down the right and dropped a cross at the back post, but it was just too high for Jason Taylor who got under the ball and lifted it over the bar as United found themselves on the end of a cup upset.
United return to action on Tuesday evening at The Oval as they take on Ringmer is the Peter Bentley League Cup (7:45).
See Friday’s Eastbourne Herald for all the latest news from the local football clubs