Hailsham get off to a disastrous start in Division One

HAILSHAM TOWN got a brutal welcoming to life in the Sussex County League Division One after conceding 11 goals in their opening two matches.

Hailsham were eager to get their new season under way after comfortably securing promotion from Division Two last season, but their return to the higher tier quickly turned into a nightmare as they suffered two consecutive, thumping defeats.

The first, a 7-0 drubbing at the hands of last season’s Division Two champions East Preston, brought them promptly back down to Earth and a second comprehensive defeat, 4-1 to Lingfield on Tuesday night, piled on the misery.

Boss Kenny McCreadie was far from impressed and voiced his frustrations about the lack of resources at the club.

“If you’ve not got a budget, this is what will happen. I’ve had five players lined up to come over, but good players come for money so obviously they’re not going to come.

“You’ve got to speculate to accumulate. We came second last year and when you’re doing well, that’s when you should add. I’ve lost two quality players in Russell Tanner and Paul Richardson, and then they cut the budget.

“There’s nothing the manager or coaching staff can do about that; that’s down to the committee to raise funds. All I can do is try to get these boys fitter and more organised.”

Hailsham found themselves a goal down within just eight minutes of their opening match as East Preston skipper Joe Shelley nodded home a free header to start proceedings.

East Preston were three-up by half-time through Shaun Charles and Jordan Clark.

However, things did not improve after the break. Matt Axell and Shelley added to the tally.

Two late goals from Joe Stokes and Billy Rayner completed the rout for East Preston, while the only hope Hailsham could take from the match were promising displays from Danny Leach and Jamie Morgan.

Things didn’t get much better when they hosted Lingfield on Tuesday night. A Josh Cowlson hat-trick for the visitors, including two penalties, did the damage as the home side went down 4-1.

Danny Leach did get his name on the score-sheet and also had an effort ruled out for offside, providing glimmers of home for the Division Two newcomers.

The Stringers take a break from domestic duties this weekend when they host Greenwich Borough in the FA Cup.