Eastbourne Town’s dismal run of form continued with a fifth successive defeat against an equally out-of-sorts Crawley Down side at The Haven.
In an effort to stop their poor run of results, Town’s boss, Danny Bloor, selected an experienced line up, with Sonny Cobbs playing at left back, George Hayward returned to the midfield and Danny Curd was the lone striker.
The opening chance fell to Luke Blewden on three minutes but his shot was saved by the legs of Josh Pelling in the visitor’s goal.
Town were unlucky not to take the lead on 17 minutes when, following an excellent overlap between John Lansdale and Steve May, Curd’s goalbound effort was turned over the bar by Craig Richards’ outstretched leg.
From the corner, home ‘keeper, Di Bernado spilled the ball but Ben Austin could only shoot wide of the goal.
Not for the first time this season, Town were undone by schoolboy defending on 22 minutes.
A static and square back line was caught out by a simple ball, straight over the top that allowed Luke Blewden the easiest of chances to lob Pelling to put Crawley Down in front.
As much as this inspired the home side, Town’s fragile belief was severely challenged and the hosts had by far the best of the rest of the first half.
Bloor’s words at half time must have had a galvanising effect on his charges, as they came out with a very positive attitude for the second period.
From the kick off, the versatile Steve May fired in a shot after more good work with Lansdale on Town’s right hand side.
Town had to replace the injured Cobbs after 52 minutes, introducing the pacy Richard Greenfield. Matt Crabb dropped in to play at left back.
Both were involved with Town’s equalising goal just three minutes later as Greenfield’s pass allowed Crabb to deliver a deep cross to the far post.
Once again, Di Bernardo fumbled the ball under a challenge and Lansdale had the chance to fire home. However, his shot cannoned off the post but fell kindly for Matt Geard who smashed home from 10 yards out to restore parity.
It was a good reward for Town’s enterprise and it swung the momentum the visitor’s way.
The lively Greenfield then flew past two defenders before driving into the box, however, his shot across the goal flew wide. Richards was booked for a foul on Geard by the very picky Referee but the free-kick came to nothing.
On 84 minutes, Town nearly fluked a goal as Di Bernardo’s clearance smashed against Curd’s foot and span towards the home goal but the ‘keeper recovered quickly to gather the ball up and save his blushes.
Town were dealt a devastating blow with just two minutes to go. Having worked hard to regain a foothold in the game, the visitors were caught out as a super ball forward found Odunaike in full stride and the quick and powerful forward was able to hold off Fogden’s challenge before firing into the roof of the net for the winning goal.
Town: Pelling 8*, May 7, Cobbs 6, Austin 6, Fogden 6, Elliott 6, Lansdale 6, Hayward 6, Curd 6, Geard 6, Crabb 6.
Subs: Greenfield 7 (for Cobbs 52 mins), Lockyer (for Lansdale 84), McCreadie (for Fogden 89)
dling, no chance with either goal.