Manager Garry Wilson could not hide his anger with Sacha Opinel after he collected the 11th red card of his career as Eastbourne Borough went down at Moss Lane.

Opinel was only playing his second game since joining on month’s loan from Farnborough and will now be banned for three matches.

The defender saw red on the stroke of half-time after retaliating following a challenge by Chris Denham.

Borough were already trailing 2-0 at the time through goals from Peter Doran and Denham but had been given hope after Doran was dismissed for a foul on Joe Benjamin.

Wilson said: “We had a great opportunity to get back in the game after they went down to ten men but what Sacha did was ridiculous.

“It was only a little tackle he received but he then got his hands on their player’s throat and had to go. If we had got in with a man advantage at half-time I thought we stood a chance but having Sacha sent off really flattened us.

“We also had a goal disallowed just after their man had been sent off. If it had been 2-1 and we had an extra man then we could have got something from the game.”

Borough handed a debut to Albion goalkeeper Mitchell Walker after signing him on loan yesterday with Danny Knowles ruled out by a combination of illness and injury.

The deal was so last minute that the team coach had to stop en route to Altrincham to fax over Walker’s registration to the Football Conference.

The 18-year-old who signed pro for the Seagulls this season made a confident start saving from Nicky Clee at his near post and collecting a couple of corners as the home side dominated but was picking the ball out of his net in the 17th minute.

Altrincham broke down the right and when the ball was squared to Doran he was allowed too much space to curl a shot into the top corner from the edge of the area.

Borough looked vulnerable every time Altrincham attacked and after Shaun Densmore had rattled a post they went 2-0 up in the 28th minute.

It was poor defending again as Denham was left totally unmarked to tap home at the far post from five yards.

The home fans were furious when Doran was shown a straight red after catching Benjamin late four minutes before the break but referee Darren Bond was back in their good books when he disallowed a header from Gary Elphick for a foul on the goalkeeper.

If that had gone in the momentum might have turned but then Opinel’s moment of madness wiped out Borough’s numerical advantage.

Borough went 3-4-2 for the second half in the hope of getting back into the game but any chink of light was extinguished in the 67th minute when Marc Pullan pulled down Denham in the box and Chris Senior made no mistake from the spot.

Altrincham: Saunders, Smith, Kearney, Young, Densmore, Denham (Moyo-Modise), Clee (Brown, 75), Williams, Danylyk, Senior (Little, 87), Doran. Subs not used: McAliskey, Carden.

Eastbourne: Walker 6, Austin 5, Elphick 5, Pullan 5 (Baker, 71), Opinel 3, Taylor 6, Armstrong 5, Johnson 5, M Crabb 5, Benjamin 5 (Smart, 56), Enver-Marum 5 (N Crabb, 73). Subs not used: Weatherstone, Lightwood.

Attendance: 590.

Referee: Darren Bond (Lancashire).