Eastbourne Borough fell to a narrow defeat at Chelmsford City, with missed chances again costing the Sports.
Jermaine Francis’ effort proved to be decisive at Melbourne Community Stadium.
But six games into the new season, the story of missed chances is a familiar one for Borough who feel frustrated not to have got something out of the game.
Mark Beard rotated his squad after Saturday’s loss to Truro. There was a return to the starting line up for captain Brad Barry, whilst Freddie Carter, Archie Procter, Jack Paxman and Billy Vigar all came in. Alex Finney and Stefan Vukoje missed out altogether after injury in the 1-0 loss on Saturday.
Borough fashioned the first opportunity ten minutes into the first half. Sam Beard whipped in a good cross from the left and picked out Billy Vigar, who got in front of his man but couldn’t get enough on his header to really trouble Joshua Oluwayemi in the Chelmsford goal.
Beard then saw a free-kick go just wide of the bottom corner, before the Sports were given a huge let off.
A loose pass out from defence was pounced on by Mo Dabre who struck the ball low across Ben Dudzinski, but only to see it come back off the post and into the arms of the grateful keeper.
Both teams looked to keep hold of the ball, but in doing so did little to trouble the opposing defence as half-time came with the deadlock still firmly intact.
The Sports had done well to restrict the Clarets to few opportunities in the first 45, and the visitors started on the front foot after the break.
Beard whipped in a free-kick from the left and after Oluwayemi came for it and got nowhere near it, Vigar couldn’t direct his header on target.
The Arsenal loanee then saw his downward header scrambled away after Leone Gravata picked out the forward, before the Sports saw a big chance go begging.
Great play from Borough saw Paxman release Gravata down the left. His low ball in ran to Decarrey Sheriff at the far post, who had time and space but could only fire his first-time effort over the bar from inside ten yards.
However, The Sports were made to pay for their missed opportunities just after the hour mark. Ben Brookes took a quick throw from the left and Samir Carruthers flicked the ball across to Charlie Ruff. The substitute’s skewed shot fell fortunately into the path of Francis who fired low past Dudzinski from close range.
But there were question marks over the goal. Barry was hauled over off the ball by Adam Mills and although the referee saw it, and later booked Mills for the incident, decided to wave play on and allow the goal to stand.
Borough were then aggrieved again moments later when Vigar headed just over before being clattered by goalkeeper Oluwayemi. Despite admitting contact, the referee waved play on.
The Sports pushed and pushed, and three minutes from time almost got their just reward.
Paxman was fouled just outside the area and the playmaker took the free-kick himself, getting the ball up over the wall but at full stretch Oluwayemi was able to tip the ball onto the post and wide.
That proved to be the closest Borough would come to getting the goal that was the least their efforts deserved, but it proved to be the same old story of failing to take their chances.