Peacehaven heaped misery on their promotion rivals with a solid 2-1 home win against a spirited Chipstead side.
Despite their lowly league position, Chipstead were a constant threat as they went in search of valuable points to ease their relegation worries.
Fielding a tall target man in the impressive Will Turl, and two on-rushing forwards posed difficulties for the home side all afternoon.
Birthday boy, Charlie Walker almost got an early present when he latched onto a poor back pass. His shot hit the post and back into the relieved hands of the keeper.
Captain Dan Moody for Chipstead then embarrassed the Haven defence when he stood up his cross brilliantly, for Turl to head firmly towards the bottom right hand corner. Only to be matched by Anthony DiBernardo, who pushed the effort away to safety.
A rare casual ball forward out of defence by Jon Marzetti was blocked, and fell conveniently at the feet of Moody. In on goal, Moody looked nervous as DiBernardo rushed out, making himself a big target. Luckily for Marzetti the shot went wide.
Attacking the area midway through the first half, Josh Jones benefitted from some good fortune as the ball rebounded and ricocheted off several defenders, falling back at his feet. From there he dispatched his shot under the bar to open the scoring.
Four minutes later, Chipstead’s Jordan Berry scored the goal of the game. From a throw in, Turl used his height advantage to good effect, to edge the ball back to Berry outside the area. His rasping volley gave the keeper no chance, and drew respectful applause from the knowledgeable home crowd.
With the reliable Craig Richards suffering an injury, the versatile Dan McLaughlin slotted into central defence for the second half.
The game continued to be a tense affair with both sides looking to find the winner. As with so many times this season, Peacehaven ultimately won the game through their forward pairing of Walker and Jamie Brotherton.
On 68 minutes, Walker’s trickery on the edge of the box turned two defenders inside out. With his back to goal, he crossed to the far post where Brotherton rose to head the winner.
At this stage of the season, performances can get lost as matches become all about results. On a day when three of the chasing pack faltered, Shaun Saunders’ team importantly picked up yet another three points at Piddinghoe Avenue.