Another cup dream is over for Eastbourne Borough after they were knocked out of the FA Trophy by the Maidenhead side they beat 2-0 in the league just a fortnight ago.
The visitors headed to Priory Lane with a point to prove after their domestic loss two weeks ago and were able to seek swift revenge thanks to a misfiring Borough outfit and a rare mistake from ‘keeper Craig Ross.
Take nothing away from the Berkshire outfit, though, for they turned up with a renewed determination and an in-form man between the sticks to triumph 1-0 in the third qualifying round tie and progress to the next stage at the Sports’ expense. The first 45 minutes proved a largely uneventful affair, with both sides enjoying their fair share of half-chances but neither managing to create any real clear-cut opportunities.
Darren Lok and Gary Hart both carved out shots but visiting ‘keeper Elvijs Putnins thwarted any signs of danger.
Things livened up in the second half, with Matt Aldred fancying his luck from 30 yards but his shot flew just over the bar.
Despite Borough being slightly on the front foot, the visitors took the lead in the 67th minute through their first real opportunity as Harry Grant slotted into an open net after Ross failed to hold on to a Richard Pacquette shot.
The goal - and the introduction of Tony Garrod and Elliott Levy, the latter in place of Aldred who hobbled off after a crunching 50-50 tackle with Alfie Mawson - seemed to spark the home side into life and they piled on the pressure in the closing stages.
Lok will have been disappointed with the chance he squandered, firing over the bar from close range, while Garrod, who scored when playing on dual registration for Three Bridges during the week, almost got his name on the Borough scoresheet with a pin-point header that seemed to be destined for the top corner before Putnins leapt into the save of the day to push it over the crossbar and further deny a frustrated Borough outfit.
Tommy Widdrington said, “I wasn’t disappointed with the way we played. We played some great stuff and had enough chances to win seven or eight games to be honest - it just seemed if we’d played until midnight, we probably wouldn’t have scored.
“The goalkeeper’s made an error that’s cost us a goal but you shouldn’t forget, we made a lot of errors at the other end of the pitch. I just felt my sparklers weren’t quite at it. That’s the way we play and we need them to be firing on all cylinders to play like that.
“No bones about it, I’m gutted, gutted to be out of the cup.”
Borough: Ross 6, Tallack 7, Simpemba 7, Watts 7, Raymond 8, Gorman 6, Johnson 6, Hart 7, Shephard 6, Lok 6, Aldred 6. Subs: Levy 7, Garrod 7, Deaman 6. Unused subs: Rowe, Stinson
MOM: Frankie Raymond