Eastbourne Town were soundly beaten on Saturday at the hands of table toppers Dulwich Hamlet, despite taking a first-half lead.
Dan Bolwell’s second goal in as many games had given Danny Bloor’s men a one-nil advantage and hope of a first Ryman League win since October but four goals in the space of 15 second half minutes put paid to that, before a late Matt Crabb penalty restored some respect to the score line.
Town came into the game fresh from their midweek Senior Cup success but made five changes to the side that beat Crawley Down. Josh Pelling was recalled in goal, whilst John Lansdale and Ben Austin lined up in defence. There was also a start for Steve May and top scorer Danny Curd returned to the starting eleven.
Dan Bolwell gave the away side the goal their first half display had deserved. Sonny Cobbs rose highest to head the ball back across goal from a Ross Sutton cross and Bolwell was on hand to convert the easiest of close range headers.
Town headed into the half-time break a goal to the good and looking comfortable.
However, all that was to change in the opening 20 minutes of the second half. Nyren Clunis bagged himself two goals in the space of 10 minutes to turn the tie on its head.
There was worse to come for Town and they were left shell shocked by a third goal in the space of 13 minutes. The home side attacked in numbers and Daniel Carr found himself alone in the box to smash past a helpless Pelling.
Fifteen minutes after the equalising goal Clunis embarked on a mazy run, turning Sutton inside out, before unselfishly squaring for Erhun Oztumer to calmly find the bottom corner and make it 4-1.
Town pulled one back from the spot in the 77th minute after a trip on Ben Austin. Crabb stepped up and gave the keeper no chance with a well taken penalty into the top left corner.
TOWN: Pelling 6, Lansdale 6, Sutton 6 (Pogue - 6) Cobbs 6 Austin 7* Elliot 6, Greenfield 5, (Geard - 6) May 6 Curd 6, Bowell 7 (Lockyear - 6) Crabb 6.
MOM: Ben Austin -a consistant performer