Nine-man Loxwood concede ‘gutting’ injury-time equaliser at Eastbourne

Loxwood's Harrison Hilfiker seconds before his red card on Saturday. Picture by Joseph Knight
Loxwood's Harrison Hilfiker seconds before his red card on Saturday. Picture by Joseph Knight

Nine-man Loxwood had to make do with a point as Evan Archibald’s equaliser four minutes into injury-time rescued Eastbourne Town.

The visitors finished the Premier Division clash with a stand-in goalkeeper and just eight outfield players as Harrison Hilfiker was sent-off late in the second half for denying a clear goal-scoring opportunity outside the box.

They were also unable to replace Yassin Raman, who was forced off, with what has turned out to be a broken wrist, with 13 minutes to go, as they had already used all three of their substitutes.

Town, however, struggled to fashion any decent openings and it looked as though Loxwood would hold out before the late drama.

The result saw the Magpies extend their unbeaten run to ten games and boss Mark Beard said: “We had played so well and I had just made my last sub when literally 30 seconds later Yassin went down under an innocuous challenge.

“We were down to ten men and then Harrison got sent off and Mark Cave had to go in goal. We defended for our lives and then literally in the last minute of the game they equalised. After we had held on for so long, it was gutting.

“With 13 minutes to go, I would have taken a draw and it was coming, but still we defended really well.”

Charlie Pitcher opened the scoring just before the quarter-hour mark as he calmly lobbed the ball into the far corner over Greg Nessling.

The Magpies held firm in the second half even when Hilfiker was dismissed and Cave had to take over in between the sticks.

Town pressed and pressed and finally got the rewards as a Harry Ducatel cross was headed home right at the death by Archibald to pinch a point for the home side.

Loxwood: Hilfiker, Jacques, Lovett, Scally, Dollery (Enticknap 80), Raman, Cave, Napper, House (Jee 80), Pitcher (Daniel 69).

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