Eastbourne Town were beaten 2-0 away to table-top flyers Dulwich Hamlet on Tuesday night at Champion Hill.
Town went to the South-East London side hoping to capitalise on Dulwich’s surrender of their unbeaten league run and top-spot to Maidstone United at the weekend.
However, Dulwich were unperturbed and came out comfortable winners over a determined Town side.
It could have been very different, however, when in the 25th minute, an Adam Davidson cross was met by Nathan Crabb whose header crashed against the bar and came back awkwardly so that he couldn’t adjust to apply a finish.
Then, from the following goal-kick and a breakdown in play, Dulwich forwards, Frankie Sawyer and Kevin James, broke towards the Town goal.
And when James found himself in space, having forced himself past Baker-Dixon, he calmly netted past the onrushing Kieron Thorp in the visitor’s goal.
This sparked Town into life, looking to utilise the pace of wingmen, Nathan and Sam Crabb.
However, Town were unable to produce any significant chance on goal from this period of pressure.
Dulwich, moreover, continued to look dangerous on the counter-attack, and doubled their lead on 31 minutes when a Thorp punch fell to Sanchez Ming 30-yards out.
The midfielder, who still had a lot to do, produced a superb right-footed cross-volley which left Thorp and his defence helpless as it riffled past them into the net.
After the break, Town were brighter. Steve May produced their best opportunity when, in the 51st minute, he reacted to a ricochet off a Dulwich defender but sent his volleyed effort wide from just outside the box.
Sam Crabb continued to look dangerous after moving to the right but Town were unable to create substantial pressure on the Dulwich goal.
As Town pressed on, Dulwich were able to counter. Kieron Thorp remained busy and produced good saves throughout the second-half, his best a tip over from a 25-yard rasper.
Boss Danny Bloor said Nathan Crabb was unlucky again not to score but says his side needs goals.
“Ultimately, we’ve got to start putting the ball in the back of the net. If it had gone in from Nathan’s header, it may have been a different game.
“But, make no mistake, there’s no disgrace losing to Dulwich. They’re one of the best sides in the league and they’ll be there come the end of the season.”
Eastbourne Town: Thorp 7, Davidson 6 (Lang 65), Cobbs 6, Dixon-Baker 6, Fogden 6, May 6, Kirkwood 6, Crabb S. 6, Crabb N. 6, Lawrence 6, Elliot 6
Subs not used: Brooks, Kessack, Legate, Percival Bookings: ET: Elliot
Referee: John Pike Attendance: 231
MoM: Kieron Thorp – produced a series of fine stops on a busy night