Scott Ramsay showed Lewes what they missed out on as Eastbourne Borough took the derby honours at Priory Lane.

The big striker struck a goal in each half to sink a side who tried to sign him last summer.

Lewes made Ramsay an offer to switch to the Dripping Pan but he instead decided to accept a new contract with Borough.

Yesterday's double - a header on the stroke of half-time and a disputed penalty six minutes from time - lifted Ramsay into double figures for the season and took his overall record to 116 in 223 appearances for the club.

More importantly for Borough it stretched their unbeaten run to five games in all competitions and lifted them above Lewes in the race for Conference south play-off places.

Garry Wilson's side have lost just once at home this season and, with that sort of form, there is no reason why they cannot finish in the top spots.

Wilson said: "Since we have been out of the FA Cup (at the end of September) we have only lost one game and that was to Havant and Waterlooville in a very tight, hard-fought encounter. That is decent form.

"One of the big things we said at the end of last season was we were poor at home last year and we wanted to get the home form sorted out.

"Lewes had a little bit more possession, a bit more of the ball but it is all about what you do with the ball."

Wilson was pleased with Ramsay who, playing alongside makeshift striker Andy Atkin, was a real menace for the Lewes defence.

He said: "The pair of them are big and strong, they get lot of knock-ons between them and they have done well in the last couple of games.

"That was a good battle between them and the Lewes defenders."

The game itself was a good battle in front of a Boxing Day crowd of 1,148 and was played in a better spirit than recent clashes between these teams.

Unhappy Lewes were unhappy with the penalty and their manager Steven King felt they were worthy of something from the game but, on clearcut chances, Borough deservedly took the points.

Rooks' 17-year-old goalkeeper David Blackmore made two good first-half saves to deny firstly Atkin and then Paul Armstrong, the latter being particularly impressive as he threw himself full length to keep out a shot that looked destined for the bottom corner.

Blackmore was eventually beaten in the final minute of the half when Ramsay met Adam Wilde's left-wing cross with a powerful header which deflected into the net off Leon Legge.

For all their neat approach play, Lewes created only one chance in the first half and failed to threaten in the opening 20 minutes of the second period.

Jamie Cade eventually got in a shot which drew an excellent save from Lee Hook and the former Crawley forward also hit the bar with 18 minutes remaining.

Lewes did seem to be getting stronger in the closing stages until they conceded an 84th-minute penalty when Legge was adjudged to have handled an Armstrong cross.

Cade almost immediately reduced the deficit to set up a grandstand finish, which even saw Blackmore go up for a 94th-minute corner, but the penalty proved to be the decisive moment of the contest.

King showed restraint by ushering his players away from the referee at the final whistle but was clearly upset by the decision and took Legge's muddied shirt into the officials' dressing room at the end, trying to prove the ball had hit the defender's chest.

He said: "The referee was 35 yards away, Leon had his back to him, the linesman has not given it - the linesman has confirmed that to me - and it has ended up costing us the game.

"It was a bad decision and if the assessor was there he should rip into the referee for that.

"I felt the game was pretty even but I was a little frustrated with my team's performance up until the 70th minute. We kept the ball well in midfield, played it around well but without a cutting edge, certainly in the first half."

Ramsay certainly gave the hosts a cutting edge and he will have to continue to do that if Borough are to maintain their play-off challenge.

Eastbourne Borough: Hook, Baker, Jenkins, Smart, Austin, Pullan, Lovett, Armstrong, Ramsay, Atkin (sub McArthur 79), Wilde (sub Tait 73). Subs not used: Agutter, Lightwood.

Lewes: Blackmore, Robinson, Perpetuini (sub Johnson 73), Wormull, Simpemba, Legge, Drury (sub Farrell 79), Holloway, Sigere, Kadi, Cade. Subs not used: Goodwin, Elliott, France.

Referee: Mr. I. Cooper (Rochester).

Attendance: 1,148.

Man-of-the-match: Scott Ramsay.