Eastbourne Borough failed to close the gap to National League South safety after surrendering the lead and falling to a frustrating defeat against Aveley.
It’s the third time in as many games the Sports have gone ahead since Adam Murray took charge, but they couldn’t hold on to it in a game marred by horrid conditions at Priory Lane.
Aveley have enjoyed their first season in the National League South – coming into the game in the play-off places – and went close early on, but Jalen Jones headed over.
Despite playing against a wind of almost 50mph, it was the Sports who drew first blood after just eight minutes. Jack Clarke fired in a free-kick from the right and Moussa Diarra got on the end of it and glanced the ball into the far corner.
Archie Procter then sliced wide when well placed, before the visitors looked to get back into the game with Manny Ogunrinde pulling a shot wide from a good position before Joseph Gbode could only fire into the side netting after running onto a ball over the top.
Razzaq Coleman De-Graft then couldn’t find the bottom corner with a low drive across goal, but just when it looked like the Sports would take the lead going into half-time the visitors struck in a moment of controversy.
Ogunrinde was offside when tangling with Procter as the ball was played over the top, and the winger went for the ball before leaving it to Arjanit Krasniqi. The linesman put his flag up, but was dismissed by Shelby Elson as Krasniqi ran through on goal and fired past Ben Dudzinski.
The Sports were incensed, but could’ve found themselves behind at half-time but Coleman De-Graft saw his goalbound header come off his own player on the line as he met Ikechi Eze’s corner.
With the wind behind them in the second half, Borough looked to get on the front foot but Siya Ligendza could only help Leone Gravata’s low cross wide of the near post.
But they were dealt a sucker punch on the hour mark when Procter was adjudged to have fouled Ogunrinde in the area, and Elson was quick to point to the spot. Siju Odelusi stepped up, and sent Dudzinski the wrong way to give Aveley the lead.
Borough huffed and puffed to get back into the game, but in testing conditions struggled to test Jonathan North in the visiting goal. Ligendza did hit the post in stoppage time, but was flagged offside as the hosts were condemned to defeat.