The craziest game of the season at Eastbourne Borough

Nick Wheeler was man of the match
Nick Wheeler was man of the match

Never leave a game until the final whistle has gone!

That was the belated New Year resolution being made by Borough fans after the craziest game of the season at Priory Lane on Saturday.

When young sub Stephane Bomelenga ended a fine run with a glorious finish in the 90th minute to put The Sports ahead at 3-2, just about everyone in the stadium thought he had scored the winning goal. Suddenly Priory Lane was smiling.

But the smiles turned to looks of sheer disbelief as, two minutes into stoppage time, James Kaloczi broke the hearts of 10-men Borough with a last-gasp equaliser.

The hosts had been a man short for well over half the game with Dean Cox shown a red card for a reckless challenge on Tom Bender.

Cox’s dismissal made it a double blow for Borough with Kiran Khinda-John having limped off in the 18th minute.

The visitors had taken the lead in the 11thminute when Joe Laciofano was left with a tap-in following a cross from Taylor Miles.

Nick Wheeler somehow managed to scoop the ball over the bar from six yards. but from double that range levelled the scores three minutes later.

Almost immediately afterwards, Cox was sent for an early bath, a rare occurrence for the talented midfielder.

The 10 men defended valiantly against heavy St Alban’s pressure in the second half. Twice the visitors had the ball in the Borough net, but on both occasions, the linesman’s flag was up. Then keeper Franco Ravissoli went down bravely at the feet of Laciofano to avert more danger.

But Borough had their moments with Charlie Walker a foot wide from just outside the area after breaking clear of the defence,

A pivotal moment came in the 76th minute when a handling offence in the area resulted in a spot-kick which Tom Bender managed to put nearer to Priory Road than the back of the net.

Amazingly the resultant goal-kick was seized on by Greg Luer who rounded the keeper before slotting into an empty net. Little wonder that Bender was left holding his head in his hands in the centre circle - Instead of 2-1 to St Alban's it was 2-1 to Borough

But the see-saw continued as City drew level in the 83rd minute with Sam Merson hitting the back of the net from close range.

However, this was one game when the drama was to last until the final whistle. Bomelenga, who had replaced Walker in the 67th minute, immediately impressed with his pace which took him free of the City defence to net what everyone thought was the winning goal. After all, it was the 90th minute.

Deep into stoppage time, however, two points were snatched from Borough’s grasp when James Kaloczi fired home from close range to end an entertaining but frustrating game.

While Borough could not be faulted for their fighting spirit with a man short, they will be disappointed at not beating a side in deep trouble at the wrong end of the table.

Borough: Ravizzoli, Adebayo-Rowling, Campbell, Wills, Khinda-John (Adebowaie 18), Cox. Luer (West 80), Wheeler, Walker (Bomelenga 67), Ferry, Gale. Unused subs: West, Hanson, Gharbaoui.

Referee: Jack Packham. Att: 431. MoM: Nick Wheeler.