Eastbourne Borough advanced to the fourth round of the Sussex Senior Cup thanks to Lloyd Dawes’ injury-time winner against Horsham at Culver Road on Tuesday night.
Borough, who are chasing a play-off spot in the National League South, were made to work all the way by Horsham who are flying high in the Bostik League South. The hosts didn’t help their cause, however when Kieran Lavery was shown a straight red card on the hour for a high and late challenge on Borough’s Sergio Torres.
The kick-off was delayed by 15 minutes due to heavy traffic but Borough began well and created the first chance on five minutes when Adam Liddle’s cross found Tobi Adebayo-Rowling who fired wide of the post with his left foot.
Borough saw plenty of the ball early on but struggled to break through a resolute Horsham defence.
The hosts also became a threat going forward. Good build up play from Lee Harding found Lavery but his shot from 10 yards was well block by Harry Ransom.
Horsham had a decent spell and Borough were let off the hook when Harding fired over after a deft flick from Lavery and George Hayward then had an effort from the edge of the area that deflected narrowly over the bar.
Borough youngster Andrew Briggs tried his luck from 30 yards and brought a fine save from Josh Pelling but Horsham had the best chance just before the break.
Hayward played in Rob O’Toole but one-on-one, he saw his effort well saved by Smith.
Both sides had their chances and after the break substitute Kristian Campbell whipped the ball in from the left and Kane Wills’ glancing header was well saved by Pelling. O’Toole then fired off target for Horsham when well placed but the game changed in Borough’s favour when referee Jacob Miles had no hesitation in dismissing Lavery for his poor challenge on Torres.
The visitors pressed forward and Tom Gardiner was just wide with a header after Wills’ well placed freekick. Dawes, easing his way back from a hamstring injury, came on to replace Walker with 15 remaining but it was Gardiner’s threat in the air that caused problems once more. Wills whipped in a corner and Gardiner rose highest but his firm header crashed back off the cross bar. Pelling may well have got a crucial touch to keep the scores level.
Borough finished strongly and on 90 minutes Cambell beat Will Hoare on the left and crossed to Torres but the former Crawley Town man headed agonisingly wide.
But Borough finally got their winner in the 94th minute. Wills’ lofted pass found Dawes and the striker nipped behind Dylan Merchant and finished well beyond Pelling.
Tough on Horsham, who played well and more than matched their higher ranked opponents but they were not helped by playing the last 30 minutes with 10-men.
Borough return to league action on Saturday as they welcome Billericay Town to Priory Lane while Horsham will look to continue their push for promotion as they travel to fellow high flyers Hythe Town.
Horsham: Pelling, Metcalf, Sparks, Harris, Shelley, Merchant-Simmons, Hayward, Hoare, O’Toole, Lavery, Harding. Subs: Hyde Taylor Baxter Smith Richardson-Brown
Eastbourne Borough: Smith, Adebayo-Rowling, Martin, Wills, Ransom, Gardiner, Briggs, Torres, Liddle, Walker, Rollinson. Subs: Cambell, Dawes, Cox, Hall,