Broadbridge Heath took encouragement from an improved display, despite a somewhat flattering 4-1 score in favour of Eastbourne Town at the Leisure Centre.
The score suggests this was a fairly comfortable afternoon for promotion hopefuls Eastbourne Town but the main difference between the two sides on this occasion was some clinical finishing by the opposition strikers.
There was a familiar face in the Heath line-up with striker Tiago Andrade back at the club that he first joined in 2012 before leaving last season for spells at Horsham, Haywards Heath, Loxwood and Shoreham. Another player making a welcome return was Stuart Chester back from a hamstring injury for his first appearance since December 9.
In torrential rain, the visitors had the first sight of goal in the 10th minute when Layton Schaaf failed to hit the target, putting his first-time effort wide. Midway through the half a Tom Bold corner was cleared as far as George Cousins on the edge of the area, but his shot was blocked on the goal-line.
Andrade then split the Eastbourne defence with an inch-perfect through-ball into Cousins who shrugged off a defender and slotted past Eastbourne keeper Greg Nessling but the ball went wide.
Chris Cumming-Bart then tried his luck with a free-kick for Eastbourne in a similar position to Andrade’s but at the other end but he too picked out Michael Chester who saved comfortably.
A minute before the break a mix-up in the Heath defence between Michael Chester and Jamie Robinson saw Cumming-Bart stretch out a leg and knock the ball into the empty goal.
Heath still had time to respond before the break when Andrade’s free kick from 20 yards dipped over the wall but was saved on the line.
Heath were soon back on level terms when play resumed with Robinson scampering down the left flank and playing a superb ball into the penalty area where Javlon Campbell met it in his stride to hammer home.
Town hit back in the 55th minute when Evan Archibald got on the end of a long ball to place a header past Chester. Andrade then hit the top of the bar with a header from a Bold corner, before Layton Schaaf made it 3-1 to the visitors when he ran with pace at the defence before unleashing a shot that gave Chester no chance.
The visitors completed the scoring deep into time added on by which time the pitch looked in a sorry state, the ball was played along the ground to Michael Chester but it held up in the mud and Aaron Capon finished.
Heath: M.Chester, Martin, Robinson, Findlay, Flack, Howard-Bold, S.Chester (Griffin 75), Weller (Fuller 80), Cousins (Nezval 82), Campbell.