There was no pre-Christmas cheer for Eastbourne Borough after a controversial moment saw Yeovil Town steal all three points at Priory Lane.

Referee Jack Bloxham failed to allow the Sports possession from a drop ball inside their own half, and the Glovers took advantage to score what proved to be the decisive goal in the first half.

And despite their possession in the second half, Borough couldn’t break down a resilient defence as Yeovil extended their lead at the top of the National League South standings.

Mark Beard made two changes from the win at Welling, with Scott Leslie and Leone Gravata coming in for Decarrey Sheriff and the injured David Sesay.

In a tight affair on the eve of Christmas Eve, Borough started on the front foot as Sam Beard fired a low ball in across the face of goal but no home shirt could get on the end of it.

Yeovil, with the gusty breeze on their backs in the first half, then created their first opportunity when Frank Nouble kept the ball alive on the left and he pulled it back to Sonny Blu Lo-Everton on the edge of the box, but his strike was turned around the post by Harrison Foulkes.

Jack Paxman then created half a chance for himself when a great solo run saw him work his way inside the box from the left hand side, but he couldn’t get his shot away.

Great defending from Freddie Carter cut out Matt Worthington’s ball across bound for Rhys Murphy, before the game’s major talking point just after the half hour mark.

Play was halted by referee Bloxham after Jordan Young went down holding his head, although if there was any contact it was with his chest. The referee restarted play by telling Carter that play would resume upon his first touch, but he hadn’t touched it by the time Murphy took the ball off him – and the forward teed up Nouble to fire beyond Foulkes.

The Sports were rightly bemused by the decision, and looked to get back on level terms before half-time. Leslie tried his luck from outside the area, but his deflected effort went just away from both Louis Collins and Callum Kealy in the area before Foulkes had to be alert to deny Yeovil a second before the break.

Young slipped in Murphy down the right, but his first time strike across goal was kept out by the outstretched leg of the Borough keeper.

The Sports had half a chance early in the second half, with Collins helping a ball forwards into the path of Kealy, but he fired just wide of the near post from outside the area.

The hosts were to enjoy more possession after the break, as Yeovil started to drop deeper and deeper in defending their lead. And it took brave work from Jake Wannell to keep the visitors in front as he threw his body in the way of Gravata’s goal-bound strike on the hour mark.

Buoyed on by a crowd in excess of 1, 700, it was proving to be a case of close but not quite for the Sports. Great link up play on the left saw Gravata look to play in Kealy, but the forward couldn’t get that clinical touch to send the ball on target.

Fletcher Holman was introduced midway through the second half, and the young forward almost had an immediate impact but saw his first-time effort swerve over the bar after a good pass from Jack Clarke.

Yeovil then went close to doubling their lead with 16 minutes to go, but Young’s curling effort looking for the far corner went narrowly wide.

Holman then had an effort saved by Joe Day, before what proved to be the final half chance fell to Decarrey Sheriff, but the substitute couldn’t quite get on the end of a dangerous cross in from Beard.

Despite the increase in attacking intent as time wore on, the visitors held firm to frustrate the Sports and inflict their first defeat in December.