St Albans City fought back to claim a 1-1 draw at Eastbourne Borough on Saturday to remain just outside the play-off places in the National League South.

Ian Allinson’s side suffered the worst possible start after conceding a goal within two minutes of the kick-off.

But the Saints equalised in the second half through Rhys Murrell-Williamson to come away with a hard-earned point from the match in Sussex.

Defender Harold Joseph was handed a start for the visitors in place of Tom Gardiner.

But Joseph was caught out at the back for the opener, misjudging a cross, which enabled Kane Willis to net the opener.

City had an escape shortly afterwards when Ian Simpemba headed Sergio Torres’ cross narrowly over the crossbar.

The visitors’ first effort on goal came through Tom Bender after he launched a powerful run and shot which was saved by goalkeeper Mark Smith.

The Saints came agonisingly close to an equaliser just after the hour mark.

Murrell-Williamson sent in a cross and Charlie Walker’s diving header was parried by Smith before a defender cleared the danger.

City continued to apply the pressure before the break and were only denied a goal by another impressive save from Smith to keep out Murrell-Williamson’s strike.

But St Albans were rewarded with a deserved equaliser eight minutes into the second half.

There was a degree of fortune on the visitors’ side though, as Murrell-Williamson’s shot took a deflection off Torres and gave Smith no chance in the home goal.

City came close to taking the lead soon afterwards when Bender’s header was cleared off the line by Gavin McCallum.

After the hour mark, Eastbourne enjoyed a spell of pressure with Lloyd Dawes firing in a low shot which was blocked by Tarik Moore-Azille.

The hosts threatened again through Dawes but he wasted the effort as his shot flew wide of the target.

Eastbourne finished the game with ten men after James Haran was sent off late on.

Haran was already on a booking for a challenge on Charlie Walker and he was dismissed after appearing to stick his head into Harvey Bradbury.

The Saints were also reduced to ten men late on when Watford loanee Bradbury, already booked for a lunging challenge on Torres, received a second yellow card after the clash with Haran.

It was an eventful end to the match at Priory Lane as Allinson’s side came away with a point.

The Saints are just one point and place outside the top seven after their draw.

City host mid-table East Thurrock United this Saturday.