Euan Clark’s second half strike saw Eastbourne Borough suffer a frustrating defeat at Bath City.

The Sports were worth a point in their battle to avoid the drop, and they had looked on course for just that until the home winger fired home with twelve minutes to go.

But then Adam Murray’s side had chances to get back on level terms, but ultimately couldn’t convert at Twerton Park.

Borough made three changes from the team that won against Farnborough last weekend, with Jake Hutchinson and Alfie Bendle coming in for their second debuts after re-joining on loan, whilst Archie Procter missed out after picking up an injury during training.

Bath were out of the traps quickly and almost went ahead inside thirty seconds. Joe Raynes whipped in a cross from the right and picked out Scott Wilson, but Ben Dudzinski did well to tip the ball over the bar at full stretch.

The Sports looked to press forwards with Siya Ligendza firing over, but they were fortunate not to go behind when Danny Greenslade’s cross picked out an unmarked Cody Cooke, but his looping header rebounded back off the crossbar.

Dudzinski then did well to react to hold onto Scott Wilson’s effort after he diverted a Dan Hayfield piledriver on target, but the Sports defence stood firm and started to push back.

And the visitors had half a chance themselves just before the interval when the Borough keeper lifted in a free-kick and Moussa Diarra helped it on to Ligendza, but his shot inside six yards was blocked by a lunging defender.

The Sports then started a scrappy second half on the front foot, with Dan Quick’s penalty appeals waved away before Jack Clarke found Ligendza on the right, but his low ball across goal went in between Hutchinson and the far post.

Hutchinson, who joined on loan from Queen of the South this week, then forced Josey Casa-Grande into a save at his near post, before the young Bath keeper did well to gather the ball after Diarra got on the end of Sam Beard’s inviting delivery at the far post.

However, the hosts then broke the deadlock with 78 minutes on the clock. Cooke showed desire to win the ball in midfield and release Clark in space on the left, and his low shot across Dudzinski picked out the bottom corner from inside the area.

The Sports pushed for an equaliser, forcing a succession of corners that they couldn’t take advantage of, before substitute Finn Ballard McBride was denied by Casa-Grande after Clarke clipped the ball through.

But Borough’s best chance would prove to be their final one. The ball came in from the left and found the feet of Ballard McBride, who was allowed to turn in a crowded penalty area before seeing his shot spilled by the keeper. Pierce Bird was first to the loose ball, but couldn’t direct his effort on target with the goal gaping.


Bath: Casa-Grande (GK), Raynes, Dyer, Parselle, Greenslade, Clark, Hayfield, Russe, Thorn (Smith 62), Cooke, Wilson (Alabi 69).

Subs: Batten, Frear, Lines.

Sports: Dudzinski (GK), Olarewaju (Carter 58), Diarra, Bird, Quick (Gravata 80), Bendle, Beard, Sesay, Clarke, Hutchinson, Ligendza (Ballard McBride 72).

Subs: Sheriff, Uche.