United back in Vase and Baitup continues to curse Newhaven

Liam Baitup
Liam Baitup

Eastbourne United were reinstated to the FA Vase as last Saturday’s opponents Guildford fielded an ineligible player.

Guildford, who top the Combined Counties League Premier, won 2-1 thanks to a 93rd minute winner from Jack Battie. Unfortunately for the hosts, Battie was signed on loan from Farnborough and loanees are not permitted to compete in the FA Vase.

United boss Tobi Hutchinson, “We are obviously delighted for a number of reasons. They are the most unpleasant bunch we have come up against.”

Jamie Bunn put United 1-0 up but a disputed penalty and a controversial winner saw the hosts to a narrow win.

Hutchinson added, “The penalty for handball was debatable to say the least. Jack’s (Divall) hands were by his side when the ball deflected and made contact. For their winner Dave Smart was down with head injury, he was forced to go off and wasn’t allowed back on to defend the corner and they ended up scoring.

“They didn’t so much celebrate their winner as rub our noses in it. Their behaviour was shocking. Half the Guildford players apologised to me because they were embarrassed by their own players. That for me says it all.”

United will face Southern Counties East League Premier table toppers AFC Croydon Athletic on September 24 at the Oval in the second Qualifying Round.

United’s Vase fortune capped another good week’s work for Hutchinson’s men. Two late goals from Liam Baitup denied Newhaven Town victory at the Oval Tuesday night.

United took the lead through Jamie Salvidge but Newhaven went 2-1 up thanks to strikes from Connor Sidwell and Callum Connor.

Newhaven though were haunted by Baitup once again. The striker netted late against them earlier in the season to force an FA Cup replay. In the replay Baitup blasted a 90th minute winner. Once again, for the third time in quick succession, the United man hit the target in the dying seconds to secure a 3-2 triumph.

“It’s quite remarkable and Newhaven always seem to be on the end of it. We heard them (Newhaven) say at halftime that Liam isn’t causing problem. We relayed that to Liam, he gave a little nod of recognition and did the business. We have had three very close games against them this season and luckily we have come out on top in all of them.”

United are fourth and have lost just once in the league this season and that was to big spenders Haywards Heath. On Saturday they are at Lancing. Dave Smart (concussion) is an injury doubt and Dean Stevens is unavailable.