Eastbourne Town continue their good run at The Beacon

Lewis Westlake in action against Eastbourne Town
Lewis Westlake in action against Eastbourne Town

Eastbourne Town tend to enjoy games with Hassocks and that proved to be the case once again as the visitors to the Beacon picked up three precious points to keep their promotion hopes alive.

Only once in the past 13 years have the Robins tasted victory against Town, a 2-1 win in March 2017 being their sole success in 12 attempts.

For that reason alone, Hassocks would probably be quite happy to see Town claim the runners up spot behind champions-elect Chichester City and the expected promotion to the Bostik League that will come with it.

This 2-0 triumph keeps them in the race to do so. John Lambert’s side sit two points behind second-placed Horsham YMCA with four games of the season left and the Robins could yet offer a helping hand to Town in the promotion battle as they travel to Gorings Mead to take on YM next Saturday.

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Another bumper crowd that was swelled by a sizable travelling contigent from Eastbourne were treated to an entertaining game in beautiful conditions.

It was settled by two goals in the space of eight first half minutes and most disappointing for Hassocks, they were both preventable.

Tom Vickers got the first from the penalty spot with half an hour played.

The second arrived shortly after when Will Broomfield and Josh Green got in a bit of a muddle, leaving Dan Perry with an open goal to roll the ball into.

Both sides came into the game in good form and that translated to a fast start.

Town were eager to get on the front foot from the first whistle and Hassocks were only too happy to let them as they looked to play the counter attacking game that has paid such dividends for them so far this season.

Also paying dividends is the fact that Mark Dalgleish finally seems to have a settled squad – he made just one change from last week’s draw with Langney Wanderers, Dan Jacques coming for Jordan Badger at the heart of the defence.

Town forced a couple of early corners with both Jacques and Broomfield having to be alert to prevent the dangerous Simon Johnson getting a sight of goal with Green then claiming bravely under pressure from Perry.

Hassocks’ best chance of the game arrived before Town’s opener as Liam Benson played in Phil Johnson, but the Robins’ top scorer’s powerful drive cannoned off the post and across goal, much to the relief of Town goalkeeper Jason Tibble and right back Marcus Goldsmith who could only watch on with fingers crossed.

Up the other end and referee Chris Britton was soon pointing the spot with Vickers convincingly beating Green.

That goal rocked Hassocks and Town dominated the next 10 minutes or so, Broomfield making an important block from Aaron Capon with Green denying the same player with a sprawling save.

The pressure on the Hassocks goal meant it was no real surprise when Town doubled their advantage, neither Broomfield nor Green being able to deal convicingly with a long ball over the top with the end result being Perry nipping in to beat them both to it.

Johnson went close with a couple of half chances in the second half but that was it really as far as Hassocks were concerned, although there was one positive for the Robins faithful with the return of Harvey Blake from injury after a month on the sidelines.

Hassocks: Green; Tighe, Broomfield, Jacques, Whittingham; Enticknap, L Westlake, Stokes; Johnson, Benson, Brown.

Subs: Blake, Littlejohn, Mills (used), Slaughter, Bull (unused).