A THIRD consecutive goalless performance from Eastbourne Borough rounded off a disappointing Easter weekend as they went down to a solitary goal at Chelmsford City.
The Sports have not yet scored a goal in April as they’ve suffered three defeats at the hands of Dartford, Welling United and Chelmsford, who are second, third and fifth in the table respectively.
Borough must now return to scoring ways as they face a crucial match at home to relegation rivals Hampton and Richmond Borough this weekend.
Eastbourne travelled to Chelmsford on the back of a 3-0 defeat to Welling United just two days earlier, which was the first time Widdrington’s men had lost by more than a one-goal margin during his time at the club.
Things didn’t get off to a good start at Melbourne Park though as after just 16 minutes, Borough ‘keeper Mitch Walker was brandished a straight red card for violent conduct. The shot-stopper had retaliated after a tackle from Chelmsford’s Ricky Modeste, who was also sent off for his efforts.
While both red cards were contentious, it meant the tie was still played out evenly with ten men a piece. However, Borough probably suffered the most from the incident as, without a replacement ‘keeper on the bench, defender Matt Smart had to don the gloves for the remaining 74 minutes.
Smart remained untested for large parts of the first half though as a strong Borough defence dealt with the hosts’ attacking threats. At the other end, Chelmsford ‘keeper Stuart Searle was called into action a number of times as Stuart Anderson, Charles Ademeno and Ellis Remy all tried their luck from long range.
Chelmsford did think they took the lead just before the break as Jamie Slabber put the ball in the net only for it to be ruled out due to a foul on Alex Lacey in the build-up.
The home side really piled on the pressure after the interval though, with Cliff Akurang hitting the woodwork after a flurry of chances.
And their efforts paid off on 78 minutes when an Akurang header found the target to take the lead and deny Eastbourne the point their endeavours deserved.
The defeat elongated a pointless spell for Eastbourne Borough, who could be considered unfortunate to have lost the last four games on the bounce after some encouraging performances against the top sides in the division.
Two days prior to their trip to Chelmsford, Borough hosted a Welling United side also challenging for promotion. There, another dubious decision handed the visitors a penalty from which Borough could not recover as they went down 3-0.
The Sports have to hope their fortunes change on the pitch as they head into their final three games of the season still not safe from the dreaded drop.
Eastbourne Borough: Mitchell Walker, Marvin Hamilton-Omole (Ben Austin, 46), Sam Cole, Matt Smart, Alex Lacey, Ollie Rowe (C), Simon Johnson, Stuart Anderson, Ellis Remy, Charles Ademeno (Gary Hart, 60), Matt Crabb (Ben Watson, 88). Unused Substitutes: Jason Mason, Gary Charman.
Sent Off: City: Modeste (16, serious foul play). Eastbourne: Walker (17, violent conduct).
Referee: Jake Hillier (New Barnet). Attendance: 835.