HAILSHAM Town returned to winning ways on Saturday after the previous Tuesday night’s Division Two Cup exit.
Against a Steyning side, who they had beaten 3-0 at The Shootingfield, Hailsham started strongly, with early chances for Danny Leach and the busy Jamie Salvidge. As the half wore on, it seemed like just a matter of time before Hailsham would open the scoring, but when it did come on 25 minutes, the first goal went to the visitors – Hailsham failing to deal with a near post corner to go one behind through Phil Williamson. Three minutes later though, the Stringers were back on level terms, a neat interchange on the edge of the box between Steve Dallaway and Leach seeing the latter unleash a thunderous drive into the roof of the net that gave keeper Jack Grimstone no chance. Whilst there would be further chances for both sides, including what looked like a certain penalty for Hailsham not given before the break, it would be five minutes into the second half before Hailsham took the lead, Shane Saunders – who started in an unfamiliar centre half position – rising highest to head home from a corner. Hailsham then carved out several more chances, before, midway through the second half, Leach turned in the box to rifle a third for the Stringers. Things very nearly got worse for Steyning minutes later, Leach striking the inside of the post from a corner which he took on the left, and the unfortunate Grimstone – who made some excellent reflex saves throughout – then allowing a Leach ball to slip under his foot, before recovering just in time to hook the ball away. With Hailsham seizing the iniative, Ryan Cavalier would twice go close, whilst sub Jaz Walder, making his senior debut, could have made it four but was closed down very quickly inside the box after good work by the excellent Leach. A fifth goal of the game would come – but for the visitors – on 88 minutes, tyhe ball swept in from close range from Adam Burton. But the expected Steyning onslaught never materialised with the hosts instead looking the likelier to add to their tally as the match drew to a close. Hailsham faced their final midweek trip of the season on Tuesday night, as they travelled to Bexhill United, before welcoming Oakwood to The Beaconsfield tomorrow (Saturday). Man of the Match was Leach, who led from the front with a wholehearted display and scored two fine goals
TOWN: Tanner, Dean Stevens (Ransom 82), Jacob Stevens, Saunders, Richardson, Alexander, Salvidge, Jarvis (Capt), Leach, Cavalier (Walder 82), Dallaway. Unused sub: Turner.