Disappointment, despair and déjà vu

Tommy Widdrington's despair is evident after their FA Cup exit to Hendon.
Tommy Widdrington's despair is evident after their FA Cup exit to Hendon.

There was an air of disappointment, despair and déjà vu as the Eastbourne Borough fans filed out of Priory Lane having just watched their side suffer a 1-0 defeat to Sutton United.

For the loss was not just their sixth out of the last seven league encounters but it was also the fifth time this season that Borough have been undone by a goal in the dying stages.

It happened against Hendon on Tuesday where a goal with the last kick of the game dumped Borough out of the FA Cup. It happened just a week previous to that as Tonbridge Angels snatched a 2-1 victory, just as Weston-Super-Mare did days earlier with a 95th-minute strike.

This time, the late heartbreak that is becoming such an unwelcome and concerning regular occurrence was also inflicted in the fifth minute of injury time courtesy of Sutton’s Craig Watkins.

To pile on the misery for Borough, the result sees Sutton leapfrog them in the Blue Square Bet South table, condemning the Sports to a spot in the relegation zone.

Borough had almost enjoyed the perfect start to the match as referee Cook pointed to the penalty spot after just three minutes following a foul on David Knight by visiting ‘keeper Tom Lovelock.

However, Lovelock made amends for his mistake and produced a blinding save to deny Chris Shephard from the spot, keeping the sides level as they stayed for the remainder of an evenly-contested and frantic 90 minutes.

As the clock ticked down, it looked as if the teams would deservedly share the spoils, but the visitors had other ideas and cranked up the pressure.

In the 91st minute, Watkins saw his effort get superbly tipped onto the crossbar by Nick Jordan but the Borough shot-stopper could only be a bystander as the striker made no mistake second time round, rolling home in the 95th minute to steal the victory.

To top off a bad day, Charlie Gorman was stretchered off the field with a knee problem following a reckless tackle midway through the second half.

Borough: Jordan 6, Hamilton 6, Cole 7, Adelsbury 7, Rowe 7, Uddin 7 (Paul, 90), Johnson 7, Gorman 6 (Adams 6, 65), Knight 6 (Remy 5, 78), Lok 6, Shephard 6. Unused subs: Noone, Hart

Man of the match: Adelsbury

Referee: Mr D. Cook

Attendance: 618