Jack Divall hit a second half brace as Eastbourne United AFC kept alive their promotion hopes with a 3-1 victory over league leaders Littlehampton Town
Divall and United’s second half performance was one of the best they have produced since the turn of the year and it came at exactly the right time as the SCFL Division Two season edges towards its completion.
On an afternoon that saw persistent rain falling at The Oval, United were without Adam Sargent, Adam Davidson and Pete Featherstone, with Lee Daubeney, Grant Harrison and Rory Newby coming into the side.
There was also a recall for Pete Cooper in place of the ill Gianluca Del-Gaudio.
League leaders Littlehampton knew that a point was all that they required to secure promotion to Division One and found themselves ahead after fifteen minutes when a corner could only be cleared as far as Ross Mckay who fired a thumping volley past a helpless Daubeney. Despite going into the break a goal down to a side that had only conceded 17 league goals before the fixture, there was a sense of optimism as the second half began and the fans who braved the weather were rewarded two minutes after the resumption of play.
A quick free kick from the by-line by captain Danny Simmonds caught the visiting defence off-guard, but Baitup was alert to steer the ball past Hendrick and give United a deserved equaliser.
United got the goal that their second half display merited on 69 minutes Cooper broke into the channel and produced an inch perfect cross that was met by a pounding header by Divall.
The game was secured with eight minutes remaining as Jamie Bunn surged forward from central midfield as he teed-up Divall to curl the ball past Hendrick for his 14th league goal of the season since joining United in October.
The result keeps United third in Division Two on 61 points with three league matches remaining.
United: Daubeney; Simmonds ©, Harrison (Miszkiewcz), Sherriff, Newby, Stracey, Mclean, Bunn, Cooper, Baitup, Divall