BLAME the bobble of the pitch if you will but it was Eastbourne Town who wobbled and let three points fade into the night.
Town boss Danny Bloor frowned at the poor condition of the Saffrons, but even with the rub of the green the lob-sided attack would have struggled to find an opening.
In fact it took the accidental intervention of referee Ian Fissenden to gift early replacement Joe Goldsmith the home side’s first shot on goal in the second half.
A strong midfield of maturing Matt Ferdinando and composed Hassan Janneh gave Town a platform but a charging Dean Brooks header aside, Town were indifferent in front of goal. Corinthian Casuals struggled but might have made Town pay on the break if it had not been for a brave rush from goalkeeper Kieron Thorp.
Bloor, who denied any sense of disappointment, said, “The pitch affected us, it’s difficult to play on. We want to pass the ball and we drew away at Bognor and Met Police so we play better away from home, but that’s three games unbeaten.”
He added, “Football is about taking your chances and tonight was just one of those games. If it had been boxing we would have probably edged it on a points decision.
“It’s another point and we’ve got 38 now. My first target at the beginning of the season was to get 46 points so this takes us closer to that.”
A heavy-weight contest, this was not. More handbags than slugfest, neither side managed to gain a foothold to land a killer blow on a frustrating Wednesday night (March 23).
Town’s best chance in the first half came after Sam Crabb’s fluffed header was cleared from harm’s way into the path of Ferdinando. His cleverly weighted ball sat up nicely for Brad Manton haring into the box and - under pressure from a stubborn defence - his shot flew to the right of the goal.
Cries of ‘assault’ from the dugout were wisely ignored by Fissenden.
Frustration was brewing in the home side, scenting a win but unable to sniff out a goal, B.Manton was booked for a studs-up challenge.
Only Casuals’ Carlton Murray-Price proved a thorn in Town’s defence, playing a fine first half with his back to goal.
Just before the break Town leaked the ball to Saheed Sankoh who charged on into an inviting hole in the middle of the pitch.
The ball was fed to Glenn Boosey, who teed up Dave Hodges surging into the box, but the chance went begging.
Neither side looked likely to break the deadlock in the second half until Fissenden accidentally chested the ball down into the path of Goldsmith.
His long shot brought a comfortable save from ‘keeper Matt Mann.
The home side’s best chance came in the 65th minute when a corner found Brooks among the melee. His header thudded into the ground, rising goal-bound but ‘keeper Mann got enough of a hand to it, clipping the crossbar as it went behind.
Sankoh once again caught Town napping and a smooth one-two saw him in on goal with no defence in sight. Thorp was equal to the task and took a thunderous shot to the gut to deny a late win for Corinthians.
TOWN: Thorp 6, Davidson 6, Kessack 6, G.Manton (c) 6, Elliot (Goldsmith 7), Janneh 7, Ferdinando 7, Crabb 6, Brooks 6, B.Manton 6, Rivers 6
MoM: Goldsmith - intelligent ball-player filling an unfamiliar role. Ref: Ian Fissenden 8