Eastbourne Borough continued their unbeaten start to the new season after earning a point at Farnborough.
Substitute Stefan Vukoje scored midway through the second half to earn the Sports a draw at Saunders Transport Community Stadium.
Mark Beard’s side had gone behind at half-time after Alfie Pavey headed in, but they showed character to fight back in the second half and could have won the game themselves late on.
The Sports made three changes from the team that beat Hampton on the opening day. Freddie Carter, Leone Gravata and Jack Paxman all came in, with Archie Procter and Yaser Kasim out and Dan Quick on the bench.
It was a cagey start to the game in North Hampshire, with the Sports buoyed on by a good travelling support who had made the journey.
Rather than goalmouth action, the highlights came in the form of the referee’s notebook, with Robert Ablitt booking four Borough players in the opening 45, as well as boss Beard.
The first effort came courtesy of the hosts, with Joe Partington whipping a free-kick just wide of the post from a central area before Ricky Holmes forced Ben Dudzinski into a comfortable save.
Borough grew into the half having taken time to get going. Jack Turner claimed Gravata’s low cross bound for Billy Vigar before Jack Clarke played a great ball through to Shiloh Remy who broke through on goal, but one on one with Turner saw his effort saved by the keeper.
Jay Beckford then fired a low ball into the near post, but Remy couldn’t direct his effort on target after making a good run.
Freddie Carter’s left footed cross from the right then picked out Vigar at the far post, but he couldn’t get enough on his header to trouble the keeper.
But just before the break, the Sports were dealt a blow. Holmes’ corner from the left picked out Pavey at the far post who rose highest and headed home.
After a delay to the second half due to a medical emergency, the Sports looked to get back into the game. Remy had an effort blocked in a crowded penalty area, before Vukoje and Imran Uche were introduced from the bench.
And the duo combined to get Borough level after 65 minutes.
Uche drove at the Farnborough defence before finding Vukoje, and the forward turned away from his marker, shifted the ball onto his right foot before firing low into the bottom corner from just inside the area.
The Sports continued to threaten as they bid to take in the lead, with Vukoje’s ball across blocked with Decarrey Sheriff waiting to pounce, whilst Clarke took the ball past three defenders before being denied by the home defence.
Gravata then lifted the ball to the lively Vukoje at the far post, but with the angle against him he couldn’t get his volley on target.
However, as time wore on the game opened up, and the hosts came close themselves to regaining the lead. It took a great save from Ben Dudzinski to keep it at 1-1 with seven minutes to go, getting down low to turn substitute Connor Cullen’s downward header away from goal.
The game could have gone either way at the death, with Paxman producing a goal-saving challenge to deny Holmes a shot on goal as the points were shared.