Tom Shaw came on as a late second half sub at Eastbourne Borough today and played a big part in salvaging an un-deserved point for the Harriers. In fact it was a double rescue because if Borough had managed to hold on to their first half lead, through a strike from Richard Paquette, then that would have been our first defeat since away at Barrow back in mid January.
We were up against a team that had shipped nine goals in their last two games and we needed to make sure of a win to keep in touch with the rest of the play-off pack. With Shaw dropping to the bench to allow the return of Keith Briggs to the side we were putting out the same team that had grabbed a draw at Grimsby last week. Eastbourne were also on the verge of relegation before todays game and this draw eventually confirmed that.
We started the first half slowly and never really got going. We were the first to try something but Sean Canhams header from Matty Blairs corner was easily taken by the Boro keeper Rikki Banks. Boro answered with a chance for Simon Johnson but Paquette inexplicably deflected the ball way over the goal. A few minutes later the Harriers keeper, Danny Lewis, was crudely challenged by Eddie Hutchinson from a free kick but the referee waved play on.
Our first real chance of the half came from Lee Vaughan but his strong thirty yard strike was just off target. Apart from that we weren't performing very well considering what was at stake. A minute later and Eastbourne went into the lead.
Pacquette, with his back to goal, was allowed time to turn twenty five yards from goal and let fly a shot past the Harriers keeper. That lead was to last until fifteen minutes from the end of the game.
Boro seemed content with the lead and gave the impression that would be enough to keep us at bay and to keep them up. We tried a bit harder to get back into the game with chances falling for Blair and Nick Wright but nothing came off for us and we went into the break a goal down and not playing too well.