IAN BROWNE'S job as Worthing United first team boss is now on the line. The Liverpudlian's spectacular rise from nowhere to promotion-winning, then first-division consolidating manager could be curtailed by a surprising threat from above.

Chairman Rob McAlees and his deputy Gary Downing have told Browne that Saturday's home match against Three Bridges may decide his future at the club with one of the smallest team budgets in the senior divisions.

Although minutes from beating Littlehampton days earlier, their Senior Cup exit on Saturday was their eighth match without a win. It was Bridges they last defeated, 4-0 away on October 16. United began the season by winning seven of their opening 10 games.

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Browne has made no secret of his need to sign another goalscorer to cap his team's confident approach work and the demise of Vic Short's burgeoning reign at East Preston means that some exciting names have become available.

He has asked to speak to striker Lee Farrell, defender Jim Smith, and midfielder Matt Huckett while also requesting to approach Dan Stimpson, the Arundel left-back.

Short himself, though, is available, too.

United at Hailsham were ahead within three minutes through Dave Scheider's 10th goal of the season and the first half was theirs. Steve Webb hit keeper Danny Hunt with a one-on-one effort.

Leon Legg (51min) and Peter Cooper (80) then booked Hailsham's journey to Crawley Town of the Conference in the next round. Centre-half Legg smashed in a wonder strike from 40 yards, then Cooper found a devastating near-post header on a counter-attack.

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Steve Pickles, the sweeper now back in midfield for United, smacked the Hailsham angle of post and bar from outside the area, then Simon Hancock was too slow when given just Hunt to beat from six yards.

UNITED: Fuller; R.Raynsford, O'Sullivan, Bone, Keech; Brown, Pickles, N.Shelley, Webb; J.Shelley, Schneider. Subs: Hancock (Schneider inj 61), Moses (Raynsford inj 65), Browne (N.Shelley inj 85). Att: 95.

EX-WORTHING Senior Cup-winning keeper Phil Reid set up Lancing's second back-to-back pair of wins, both away from home this time, and their third match without defeat.

From his fingertip save in the opening minute to his low stop in the bottom corner from a shot deflected, he equalled all Midhurst threw at him. Only Miles Hamilton beat him, to equalise Warren Levy's 14th-minute first goal for Lancers.

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Midhurst stayed on top but Lancing sneaked away with Adam Burton's 33rd-minute retort, his 13th since becoming a Lancer, and Wesley Lopez' long cross-shot from the left, on the hour, clinched it.

Lancers boss Mark Cox said: "In this form, Phil will be back in the Sussex side. Mike Riley was also superb with his timing of tackles around the box and his commitment."

LANCING: Reid; Mtambara, Riley, Bailey, Ettridge; Rhodie, McDonald, Thompson, Lopez; Levy, Smith. Subs: Dixon (Thompson 58), Willis (Levy 78), Plummer (McDonald 88), Bicho gk. Att: 74.