Two moments of poor defending – and some wayward finishing - cost Borough dear at the Dripping Pan on Friday evening.
Lewes, under former Borough favourite Simon Wormull, have put together an impressive squad that will have real hopes of Ryman Premier success, and they gave a thorough test to an Eastbourne side which, at last, is taking recognisable shape.
Previous friendlies had seen a swirling carousel of triallists as Tommy Widdrington performs major surgery on his new Borough line-up.
But on Friday for almost the first time – with minimal use of substitutes - there was a shape and pattern to Eastbourne’s play.
Starting with a recognisable 4-3-1-2, with Simon Johnson slotting in behind strikers James Walker and Charlie Adameno, Borough were tight and disciplined, if a little narrow in formation.
And on the balance of play this was a game that they should have won.
The shape changed to three at the back as Eastbourne chased the game, but they ran out of time.
Adameno – who played several games on a short-term contract at the end of last season - was a surprise inclusion, but with other clubs interested in the talented striker, Widdrington may be some way from securing his signature.
Meanwhile the boss will be looking for goals from Walker, a man who once commanded a £200,000 transfer fee at Southend, as well as from Gary Hart and David Knight.
Hart, a second half substitute, squeaked a couple of chances narrowly wide, and other chances went begging as Borough dominated the final half-hour.
But by then they were trailing to two pretty awful goals. Just before the break a rare lapse by Ollie Rowe let in Andrew Darhouse to give Rooks the lead, and a minute after the break, the left side of the Borough defence failed to cut out a Jack Walder cross which Nathan Crabb converted, from all of two yards, for 2-0.
Widdrington was not displeased afterwards, “This was the first game that I saw many of the things that I am looking for. We are on the right track.”
Borough (4-3-1-2): Potter; Hamilton, Uddin, Rowe, Cole; Gorman, Strevett, Shephard; Johnson; Walker, Adameno. Subs: Turpin, Hart, Knight.