Eastbourne Town boss Danny Bloor was happy with his two recent loan acquisitions after a dramatic draw away at The Worthing Football Stadium.
Bloor admitted it was a gamble but one that duly paid off after left-back Sonny Cobbs, on loan from Eastbourne Borough, swept home from three yards in the last minute of second-half injury time to earn his side a point.
“We had eight men missing through injury and suspension. But I know a lot about Sonny Cobbs. We go along way back as you see with his reaction after he scored coming screaming over to me. He’s a top player.”
His other loanee, Nytram Dixon-Baker, battled against Worthing top-scorer Ryan McBride throughout.
“I took a big gamble playing him. I’ve seen McBride play a lot and he’s one of the best centre-forwards in the league and Nytram marshalled him well.”
Worthing, who still are only to lose once this season, went ahead on 25 minutes when Tom Manton’s left-footed effort deflected its way past Town keeper Kieron Thorp.
This, however, came after Town forward Jordan Lang was sent off for a late challenge in the 12th minute.
Bloor wasn’t happy with the decision. “I thought it was awful from where I was. But I was a long way away. At best it was a caution.
“It made a huge impact on the game. To play 78 minutes with 10 is always going to be difficult.
“Fortunately we changed things around at half-time. I felt in the second half you wouldn’t have known we only had 10.”
Town, indeed, came out stronger in the second-half and immediately created an opportunity when Nathan Crabb pounced onto a weak header back by Matt Hurley to his keeper, only for the defender to recover and hook away Crabb’s lob.
As Town ventured higher up the pitch, however, Worthing looked to counter and went closest to doubling their lead on 58 minutes. Tom Lawley found space in the box but Thorp reacted quickly and deflected his effort onto the far-post.
And so it was stand-in captain Scott Kirkwood, who with seconds remaining, unleashed a 25 yard piledriver which keeper Dean Ruddy did well to prevent finding the bottom left corner, but in doing so, presented it to debutant Cobbs who dispatched it into the roof of the net.
Bloor was full of praise for his men. “Credit to my players. To have eight missing and give a spirited performance like we did was magnificent.”
Eastbourne Town: Thorp 8, Davidson 8, Cobbs 8, Elliot 8, Dixon-Baker 8, May 8, Kirkwood 8, Crabb S. 8 (Lusted 76), Crabb N. 8, Freeman 7 (Greenfield 43), Lang 5. Subs not used: Kessack, Simmonds, Godfrey
Booked: Elliot, Cobbs
Referee: David Richardson
MoM: Scott Kirkwood – tireless display in a superb team performance