Eastbourne United boss Paul Daubeney has vowed to stick by his ‘keeper Grant Fitzgerald despite missing the Bank Holiday derby match at Hailsham.
Fitzgerald arrived 10 minutes after kick-off at the Beaconsfield and had to watch from the sidelines as stand-in keeper Ray Collier produced a string of fine saves to keep United in the match.
United went on to lose the derby clash 1-0 and tomorrow (Saturday) face a daunting trip to County League division one champions Crawley Down for the final game of the season.
Of Fitzgerald’s late arrival boss Paul Daubeney said, “It was not ideal to be honest. Grant arrived late because he forgot where he left his car the night before. I asked if he’d had a few and he just looked at me sheepishly.
“It meant Ray had to step in at the last minute but for me, he was man-of-the-match. He pulled off some great saves.
“Grant has not blotted his copy book too much. He has been tremendous for us this season and has had to put up with a lot.”
Defender Matt Sellick could also retain his place in the side after impressing the boss against Hailsham.
Sellick relished Monday’s duel with prolific Hailsham striker Shane Saunders. Daubeney added, “We asked Matt to do a job. Shane never liked playing against Matt during his United days.”
Crawley Down could represent a tough test for Daubeney’s young side but the manager insists these games will stand his young side in good stead for next season in division two.