Paul Reid was disappointed after watching Whitehawk slip to back-to-back defeats at Eastbourne Borough on Boxing Day.
In an eventful game at Priory Lane, the Hawks went 1-0 and then 2-1 up before seeing goalkeeper Lucas Covolan sent off for violent conduct – an incident which changed the game.
After having a change of keeper themselves due to injury, Borough came back and goals from Ryan Worrall, Mark Hughes, Nathaniel Pinney and Jamie Taylor gave the hosts a 4-2 win.
The 708-strong crowd were witness to a rarity – with outfield players in Brian Dutton and Reece Connolly ending up in goal for either side as a result of injury and the red card.
Hawks joint-manager Reid said after the game: “The sending off killed us today – it’s a different game completely after that.
“I thought it would be our day, with their keeper off injured and going a goal up, but no one could predict what was to happen after that.”
In an end-to-end first half, the Hawks should have taken the lead twelve minutes in when Sergio Torres’ low ball across goal found Danny Mills, but with the goal gaping he saw his effort blocked superbly on the line by a lunging Craig Stone.
The striker was then off target with a low drive, before the Hawks forward should have at least tested Charlie Horlock when firing over from ten yards.
Centre-back Dutton was then forced to put on the gloves when Horlock landed awkwardly after trying to prevent a corner, but the substitute’s first task was picking the ball out of the net as the visitors went ahead.
Marvin Hamilton was the first to a loose ball following a corner, and the former Borough defender hit a cracking drive from 25 yards that gave Dutton no chance.
However, the lead lasted just five minutes when Worrall picked up the ball from a similar distance and picked out the top corner with a fine strike.
Whitehawk were then reduced to ten men before the break when Covolan was sent off for violent conduct after he was fouled by Hughes, with forward Connolly replacing him between the sticks.
The striker produced a great save to keep out Taylor before the break, only for the Hawks to go back in front after the interval.
Dan Harding burst down the left, before cutting inside well and driving the ball beyond Dutton and into the far corner.
This time the lead lasted just three minutes – with Miguel Baptista’s great ball in picking out Hughes who headed past Connolly.
And Borough were ahead after the hour, with Pinney curling the ball past the keeper from the edge of the area.
Mills was then off target as the Hawks looked to get back on level terms, only for Taylor to seal the win late on. Connolly pulled off a great save from Pinney, who was one on one with the make-shift keeper, but only for the ball to fall to Taylor who tapped in the loose ball.