Sam Beale hit a late winner in Margate as Eastbourne Borough recorded an impressive a 1-0 victory and extended their recent unbeaten run to five matches.
It was Margate’s first loss in eight matches as they were forced to play the last 35 minutes with 10-men after Charlie Wassmer was sent-off for two bookable offences.
The win lifts Tommy Widdrington’s men to ninth in the table on 39 points from 30 matches. They are seven points away from the play-off places but they have played two games more than fifth placed Dartford who they drew 1-1 with at a windswept Priory Lane last Saturday.
Margate, who are seventh in the table, didn’t start well but still managed to fashion the best of the chances, as Wassmer flashed a header just wide of the target from Danny Green’s corner.
Freddie Ladapo then saw a bending effort deflected just past the post, with Danny Green’s sharp shot towards the near post was kept out by Lewis Carey’s left boot.
Five minutes before the break, Borough squandered a huge chance when Wassmer was given his first yellow for a trip in the box. The referee awarded a penalty but home keeper Chris Lewington brilliantly saved at full stretch to his left and pushed Nat Pinney’s spot kick wide of the post.
This seemed to spur Margate on in the second half and a minute after the break Ladapo should’ve scored when he was found free in the box but he side-footed at Carey from close range.
The chances kept on coming as the Boro’ keeper did well to deny Danny Green’s shot from the edge of the area and Matt Johnson smashed an overhead kick inches over.
Wassmer was then given his marching orders for tripping Pinney and Eastbourne piled on the pressure.
Margate’s Nathan Green rattled the Borough bar with an excellent long distance shot but it was Borough who scored the decisive winner with five minutes remaining.
A ball from the right was sliced into Beale’s path and he advanced and hit a low shot that nestled into the bottom corner.
Margate: Lewington: Wilson (Jolley 85), N Green, M Johnson, Goodman, Wassmer, Hunt (B Johnson 65), Taylor, Ladapo, D Green, Moore (Wills 61). Subs not used: Rents, Phipps.
Eastbourne Borough: Carey, Sheppard, Stone, Simpemba, Beale, Buckley, Haysman, Bosma, Pinney, Evans, Romain.