Eastbourne Borough need late goal to secure 2-2 draw with Chippenham

Despite facing 10 men for most of the game, Eastbourne Borough needed a dramatic 90th-minute penalty to salvage a point at Priory Lane on Saturday.

Eastbourne Borough and Chippenham players await a delivery / Picture: Andy Pelling
Eastbourne Borough and Chippenham players await a delivery / Picture: Andy Pelling

It could almost be called a red-letter day. Off the field many spectators were wearing red to commemorate the 40th anniversary of St Wilfrid’s Hospice. And on it, visiting skipper Kieran Parselle was shown a red card after just a quarter of an hour for bringing down Charlie Walker who was free on goal. Unfortunately for Borough, James Hammond’s resultant free-kick was superbly turned over by keeper Will Henry.

It was Danny Bloor’s men who set the early pace and they were ahead after just six minutes. A great cross from James Ferry on the right was superbly headed home by Charlie Walker at the far post. With the Bluebirds on the back of two successive defeats and Borough fresh from a 2-0 win at previously unbeaten Maidstone, home fans were confident of maximum points that would keep them among the play-off candidates.

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But as the late Jimmy Greaves once said, “football is a funny old game’ and so it proved. After Parselle’s departure, the Bluebirds' 10 men seemed to lift themselves, fighting for every ball as if their lives depended on it.

Eastbourne Borough v Chippenham action / Picture: Andy Pelling

The Sports were stunned as the visitors levelled from the penalty spot. Jack Currie was penalised for bringing down Ricky Aguair and Harvey Bunker sent Lee Worgan the wrong way. It was a needless challenge by the home defender as Aguair was going nowhere. After the interval Borough went all out for the winner, but a combination of poor finishing, desperate Chippenham defending and a fine display by keeper Will Henry kept them at bay.

They suffered another stunning blow in the 66th minute when Mitch Dickenson was harshly judged to have handled a fierce shot inside the area and once more Bunker stepped up to complete a penalty brace. Sadly VAR has not reached the level of the non-league game. But Borough had their chances to take the points as Charley Kendall came on and might have had a hat-trick. Twice he was one-on-one with the keeper and then failed to get enough power to his shot when well placed.

It was all hugely frustrating for Borough who were finally thrown a lifeline in the 90th minute when Josh Oyinsan was fouled by Spencer Hamilton in the area and stepped up to confidently convert the all-important equaliser. While there was huge relief among the Borough ranks, two points dropped against 10 men for such a large proportion of the game must be seen as a bitter disappointment.

Borough: Worgan, Beresford, (Oyinsan 78), Elliott, Dickenson, Currie, Ferry, Hammond (Towning 22), Luer, Whelpdale (Kendall (57), Hutchinson, Walker. Subs not used: Holter, Rollinson.

Eastbourne Borough and Chippenham played out a draw at Priory Lane / Picture: Andy Pelling

Referee: Tom Danaher.

MoM: Charlie Walker.

Att: 705