Ten-man Eastbourne Borough fell to a frustrating defeat at home to Torquay United on Tuesday night.
Calum Dolan opened the scoring for the visitors after 14 minutes, before Brett McGavin doubled Torquay’s advantage midway through the first half.
Lucas Defise then saw red to compound the Sports’ misery, although they got back into the game through Callum Kealy’s penalty in the second half.
However, McGavin’s second and then Ash goals saw the visitors run out 4-1 winners.
The Sports made three changes from the narrow defeat at Hemel three days earlier, with Freddie Carter, Lucas Defise and debutant Louis Collins coming in to the starting line up. Leone Gravata was also back fit – but only enough for the bench.
Both teams were coming into the game on the back of losses at the weekend, and the Sports made an encouraging start – keeping the ball well in the early stages.
However, Torquay grew into the game and went close after ten minutes when Jack Stobbs’ cross picked out Brad Ash in the centre, but he glanced his header wide.
That was a warning for the Sports, who then fell behind with 14 minutes on the clock. Calum Dolan picked the ball up on the edge of the area and was given room to take the shot on, and saw it rocket beyond Harrison Foulkes and in off the post.
And one soon turned to two, as the visitors took control. Brett McGavin found himself a pocket of space 20 yards out and he fired low past the diving Foulkes.
Any hopes the Sports had of getting back into the game were given a further blow on 26 minutes. After already picking up a harsh yellow card, Defise committed a foul in midfield and was given a second booking in six minutes and was sent off.
United then saw more of the ball as the Sports looked to keep the deficit at two going into the break.
Dolan linked up with Ash before sending a volley just wide, before Stobbs saw an effort from 30 yards come back off the bar before half-time.
Borough, though, had half a chance prior to the break, with Collins finding Fletcher Holman on the left. He cut inside, but pulled his effort wide of the near post from outside the area.
Mark Beard made a double change at the break, and the Sports came out with intent despite their numerical disadvantage.
They moved the ball well and with purpose, and were given a lifeline on the hour mark. Gravata – a half-time sub – hooked the ball in and Freddie Carter was pulled down by Archie Harris to give the referee no hesitation but to point to the spot.
Up stepped Callum Kealy, and his strike from 12 yards just about did enough to beat Mark Halstead to bring the Sports back into the game.
Billy Vigar then came off the bench and almost had an instant impact midway through the second half when he headed a crossfield ball down into the six yard box, but it was scrambled away before Collins could get on the end of it.
However, Torquay dealt a telling blow with twenty minutes to go. McGavin lined up a free-kick right on the edge of the penalty area and rifled his effort in off the underside of the bar, giving Foulkes no chance.
A frustrating night was completed with 11 minutes to go when Ash fired in a 30-yard strike that beat Foulkes and dipped underneath the crossbar to make it 4-1.