Eastbourne Borough secured their third consecutive league victory to pull themselves further away from the relegation zone at Priory Lane tonight.
Ben Watson’s late penalty sealed the hard-fought victory against a dangerous Thurrock side whose performance belied their bottom of the table position.
Skipper Ollie Rowe opened the scoring for Tommy Widdrington’s side when he headed home Matt Crabb’s 19th minute corner.
Thurrock were a threat on the counter and Rowe showed his defensive qualities when he blocked David Knight’s powerful effort.
Thurrock were dangerous against a leggy Boro side still feeling the effects of their hard fought 2-1 victory against Woking on Saturday.
The Blue Square South basement side levelled in the 59th minute when Ahmed Deen’s cross was converted by the unmarked Knight.
On came Boro’ subs Gary Hart and Ben Watson and it was Watson who almost levelled when his 83rd minute shot was saved by Ross Kitteridge. Watson was bundled over as he went for the rebound but two minutes later the referee did award a spot kick.
Charles Ademeno was hauled down in the box and Watson scored confidently from the spot.
‘Keeper Mitch Walker then produced a flying save in the dying moments to deny Sam Cutler.
Widdrington’s men move up to 15th in the table seven points above the relegation zone.
The Boro boss said, “I will not say a bad word about these players tonight. Woking on Saturday took a lot out of them but once again they gave me everything.”
Eastbourne Borough: Walker; Baker (Hart 60), Lacey (Austin 9), Rowe, Cole; Johnson, Anderson, Smart, Crabb, Remy (Watson 60), Ademeno, Crabb.
Subs not used: Mason, Brinkhurst
Booked: Crabb 36, Hart 82
Thurrock: Kitteridge, Deen, O’Donnell, Goodhind, White, Thurgood, Terry, Cutler, Knight (Asante 82), Boylan, I’Anson (Ashton 70).
Subs not used: Nesbitt, Gilfedder, Hughes
Referee: N Lugg