JOE Goldsmith saw red as Town’s run of three successive wins came to an end at Chatham on Tuesday night.
The suspended Ryan James was replaced by Matt Ferdinando as boss Danny Bloor kept faith with the rest of the squad that had played so well in recent weeks.
The hosts started the brighter and Goldsmith conceded a needless penalty early on to earn himself a yellow card that was to cost him dearly later in the game. He brought down Gary Ward in the Town penalty area but Kieron Thorp saved superbly from Tony Hogg to keep the scores level.
Town gradually started to find their feet and Evan Archibald headed straight at the keeper when well placed from a cross by Brett Patton, who himself saw a header from a corner well saved.
Chatham went ahead after a period of sustained pressure resulting in several corners and from one of these a superb inswinging delivery was met by the head of Aaron Firth and he nodded the hosts in front .
Firth saw a good volley saved by Thorp but there was little the keeper could do about the second Chatham goal on the stroke of half time.
Speedy winger Ward got away down the right flank, delivered a low cross that was dummied by Firth and the ball rolled into the path of Billy Shinners who fired the ball high into the net.
Town came out all guns blazing in the second half, with Peter Cooper and Brad Manton replacing Marvin Farrell and Archibald and it was not long before Town reduced the arrears.
Thorp played a long ball out of defence, it was misjuduged by Wilkins and fell to Sam Crabb who smashed it past the floundering Chatham keeper.
Town were now attacking at will and the Chatham defence were forced into some robust defending to keep the attackers at bay.
Cooper was chopped down on the edge of the Chatham penalty area, Brad Manton’s free kick looked to be heading into the net before a superb one-handed save denied Bloor’s side an equaliser.
Town were reduced to 10 men when Goldsmith recieved his second yellow card for a hard tackle on Craig Wilkins, but to their credit Town kept trying to find the elusive second goal .
However the warning signs were there for all to see and Chatham did catch Town on the break to extend their lead.
Shinners found himself in space and he calmly slotted past the advancing Thorp to seal a win which moved the hosts to within a point of Town.
• Ryman League Div 1 South: Chatham 3, Eastbourne Tn 1
TOWN: Thorp 7, Goldsmith 5, Kessack 7, Brooks 6, Elliott 6, Patton 7, Farrell 5 (B. Manton), Crabb 6, Archibald 6 (Cooper), Rivers 6, Ferdinando 6.
Subs not used Simmonds, Davidson, G. Manton .
MoM: Brett Patton - did his best to keep Town ticking in midfield.
Referee: D Blunden