Jack Clarke’s first goal of the season gave Eastbourne Borough a point on Tuesday night, but Adam Murray will feel they should have got more.

After going behind early on to Dover Athletic, The Sports fought back and missed chances to draw level before Clarke’s deflected effort three minutes from time.

But on top of those missed opportunities, there were also referee decisions that didn’t go their way – including a strong handball appeal.

Murray made two changes to the team that beat Hemel Hempstead, with Freddie Carter and Imran Uche coming in for Dan Quick and the suspended Brad Barry.

The Sports started on the front foot, but were dealt an early sucker punch. Scott Holding played the ball forwards and George Nikaj broke through the defence. Out on the left, he cut inside onto his left foot and his low drive had too much on it for Harrison Foulkes at his near post.

The hosts needed a response, but it took a good save from Foulkes to deny Iffy Allen from doubling Dover’s lead 15 minutes in.

Yahya Bamba then got Borough on the front foot, but saw his low drive go wide of the post from just outside the area before Alfie Bendle couldn’t head Carter’s cross on target.

The crossbar then denied the Sports as Matthew Rowley turned Bendle’s inswinging corner onto the frame of the goal and over, before Dover survived two goalmouth scrambles in a matter of minutes.

Two Sam Beard corners caused mayhem in the Whites’ penalty area, but neither Decarrey Sheriff, Imran Uche or Pierce Bird could bundle the ball home from close range, much to the hosts’ frustrations.

Borough then felt they should have been given a penalty when Sheriff looked to get to the ball before Rowley before being tripped by the Dover keeper, but referee George Laflin waved away the appeals.

And the hosts almost went 2-0 down just before the break, with only a superb save from Foulkes keeping out George Wilkinson’s piledriver from 25 yards.

With the wind behind them for the second half, the Sports looked to get on the front foot soon after the break.

Beard forced Rowley into a smart save at his near post, before Carter was denied by the keeper after Sheriff flicked on Bird’s looping cross.

Bendle’s free-kick from the left then somehow evaded everyone as it went just past the far post, before another set-piece from the midfielder was helped on by Bird to Carter, but his header went narrowly wide.

Then just after the hour mark, a controversial moment. Bendle played a great ball through to release Sheriff, who took the ball away from Rowley, and with defender’s on the line saw his strike come off the arm of Dylan Pepe, but somehow the referee waved play on.

The pressure was becoming relentless. Jake Hutchinson, fresh after coming on as a substitute, bundled wide before Sheriff was just off target with his low drive from 18 yards.

Despite the visitors looking to slow the game down at every chance, they couldn’t stem Borough’s attacking momentum. Sheriff glanced a header wide before Borough’s number 11 ran onto a good ball from Yahya Bamba but pulled his low effort wide of the far corner.

However, Dover then almost made the points safe four minutes from time. Dontai Stewart led a counter attack down the left and he played the ball across to Luke Baptiste, who looked set to score but a superb challenge from Beard denied him.

And the Sports finally got their breakthrough just moments later.

After being found by Bamba, Clarke drove into space on the edge of the area and saw his shot on target take a slight deflection to wrong-foot Rowley and find the back of the net.

Not content with just a point, Borough kept pressing the Dover goal, and had one last chance in stoppage time but Sheriff’s downward header from Bendle’s corner went the wrong side of the post.