Five star Town maintain pressure on leading pack

Eastbourne town battled to victory against Lancing and followed that with a rousing 5-1 win at St Francis
Eastbourne town battled to victory against Lancing and followed that with a rousing 5-1 win at St Francis

Eastbourne Town fired on all cylinders and boosted their title hopes with an emphatic victory at St Francis on Wednesday night.

John Lambert’s men were at their best as they hit five goals at the Colwell Ground to crank-up the pressure on the County League One pacesetters.

The Saffrons outfit are fifth in the league table on 52 points from 24 games, six points behind leaders Dorking but Town have two crucial games in hand.

Pagham are second on 56 points from 26 played, while third placed Littlehampton have 55 points from 24. In-form Newhaven are a point above Town in fourth but have played three games more.

It could scarcely be tighter at the top but Lambert feels his side have every chance, especially if they continue to bang in the goals as they did at St Francis.

He said, “We were excellent at St Francis. I really thought we were back to our best. That was us on Wednesday night, that’s what I knew we were capable of and I’m delighted that we delivered that performance and got that result.

“To be honest, St Francis were lucky it was just the five. We could have had double figures.” St Francis beat Town 1-0 at the Saffrons during the reverse fixture in September thanks to a 45th minute goal from Luke Leppard.

But Lambert’s men began well and never looked in danger of taking anything less than maximum points from this midweek encounter.

Left winger Joe Dryer opened the scoring on 15 minutes and despite dominating proceedings, they had to wait for Dan Smith to strike on the hour for their second.

Max Hollobone swooped for a third on 70 minutes with Matt Darby bagging the fourth after 77 minutes.

Striker Kenny Pogue, making his return from Hastings United, completed the scoring in stoppage time.

Pogue was at Town at the beginning of the season but returned to The Pilot Field in September. He scored nine goals for the U’s, including a memorable hat-trick against Guernsey in October.

Pogue found his opportunities limited lately, though, having only started three of United’s last nine Ryman Football League Division One South games.

Lambert added, “Having Kenny (Pogue) back was a real boost for us. He and Dan Smith were a real handful for their defence all night long.

“The whole team were great from start to finish. There was a tempo and a hunger about us that I had not seen since before Christmas. That’s six points from our last two outings and I’m delighted with that.”

TOWN: Nessling, Henson, Axell, Keehan, Turner, Sutton, Hollobone, Darby, Pouge, Smith, Dryer.