Leatherhead 0 Eastbourne Town 1

The Tanners' less-than-impressive season run-in continued with a lacklustre performance against an Eastbourne side who, although sitting comforting in mid table, were comprehensively beaten in the last two meetings between these sides.

Bob Langford started with holiday returnee, Steve Goddard, on the bench, and Jason Henry making way for Tony Cuff.

Sacha M’Baye partnered Iain Hendry in central defence in place of the injured John Cartledge.

The home started promisingly enough. Within the first two minutes, Tony Cuff played in top scorer, Tom Hutchings, who could only find the in form Russell Tanner in his way.

In fact, Leatherhead had by far the better of the opening exchanges but their final ball lacked the quality needed to unlock a good defensive display from the East Sussex side.

The first and only goal of the game brought any hopes of a dominating home performance to an early end.

On the break, a throughball from an impressive Greg Manton found James Norwood in space.

His low shot gave Chris Lewington little chance and, against the run of play, Town took the lead.

To their credit, the Tanners continued to press forward causing Eastbourne to defend in numbers.

Unfortunately, there were too many balls in the final third of the pitch that gave the Tanners forwards time and space to create very much worthwhile.

True, Tom Hutchings did work hard to create scoring chances but with the visiting defence holding firm he was not able to hit the target.

Neither side were able to create too many goal-scoring chances but on the odd occasion that Eastbourne did find themselves with chances, they found Iain Hendry in dominany aerial form and Chris Lewington on hand to make one or two fine blocks.

The second half started very much the same as the first. Within a minute of the restart, a typically tenacious Hutchings run saw him evade the attentions of five visiting defenders.

As had happened so often during the afternoon, his pull-back from the dead ball line was cleared and the opportunity came to nothing.

Norwood could have doubled his tally when highly promising centre-back Sacha M’Baye misjudged a through ball but the lively Norwood screwed his shot wide.

With the game slipping away from his side, Bob Langford took the unusual step of making a triple substitution, replacing John Wilfort, Kev Terry and Ben Shannon with Steve Goddard, Henry and Jason Turley.

The replacements did give the Tanners added impetus and Goddard was unlucky to find Russell Tanner in inspired form in the visitors’ goal, when his far post header brought a point blank save to keep the one goal differential.

Earlier, Tanner had foiled Goddard with a more routine save from a shot that was fired straight at him.

With the clock running down and a highly frustrated Stewart Holmes seeing his endeavours rewarded with a yellow card, the home side dropped yet another three points from a single goal defeat.

The Tanners are probably safe from relegation but such a disappointing performance will need to be rectified if they are to finish the season on a positive note.

Tanners: Lewington, Williams, Palmer, M’Baye, Hendry, Holmes, Cuff, Wilfort (Goddard), Hutchings, Terry (Turley), Shannon (Henry).