Eastbourne Borough gave their survival chances a boost after wrapping up back-to-back home wins for the first time this season.

Debutant Yahya Bamba got the only goal of the game to see off ten-man Hemel Hempstead Town at Priory Lane.

The three points reduces the gap to safety to five points and gives the Sports momentum to take into a busy week ahead.

Adam Murray made two changes from the narrow loss at Hampton four days earlier, with Dan Quick and Bamba coming in to replace the suspended Freddie Carter and Leone Gravata – who left for York City on Friday.

Borough looked to get on the front foot early on, but it was Hemel who had the first effort of the afternoon. Alfie Matthews picked out Joe Re with a low ball across but his drive was saved by Harrison Foulkes at his near post.

It was a scrappy start on the Sussex coast, but it was the hosts who took a deserved lead just before the half hour mark.

Decarrey Sheriff raced onto a ball from Jack Clarke down the left, and he fired the ball across to Bamba who after signing on Friday got in front of his marker to fire into the roof of the net.

Hemel went close to drawing level when Tarrelle Whittaker hit the outside of the post, before the hosts went close to doubling their lead. Great build up play saw Bamba thread the ball through to Sheriff down the right, and he played it across and found Alfie Bendle, but his first time strike was kept out superbly by Jonathan MacAuley.

The last four games have seen Borough pick up four red cards – but on this occasion the shoe was on the other foot when Hemel were reduced to ten men before half-time. Kombe Kawimbe was shown a second yellow card after fouling Clarke in midfield.

Bamba then went close to doubling Borough’s lead, but could only clip the bar with an effort from outside the box just before the break.

The Sports searched for a second goal, and nearly got it shortly after half-time when Sam Beard’s cross was only cleared as far as Bendle, but on the volley he saw his effort blocked by Chris Smith on the line.

Alex Finney had a header cleared off the line as he met Beard’s corner at the near post, before Pierce Bird fired wide when well placed after good work from Brad Barry.

However, despite being a man down Hemel weren’t without their chances. Matthews swung in a free-kick to Kyle O’Connor-Ajayi at the far post but he could only fire wide.

The dangerous Sheriff then went close after a fine run inside from the left, his right-footed strike rose just over the bar.

Hearts were then in mouths for the Sports when Matthews saw his free-kick from the left hand side come off the bar, but the hosts held firm to seal a third win in the last four home games on top of only a third clean sheet all season.