On a fine autumn evening at The Beaconsfield Hailsham Town earned a good win to reach the last 16 of the John O’Hara League Cup, defeating Division Two rivals Oakwood 3-0.
The Stringers handed a debut to new boy Josh Phillips at the back, with Jamie Salvidge and Ashley Jarvis also returning to action.
After kicking off 10 minutes late due to visiting players being delayed, a slow start saw Oakwood have the first real chance of game, Tanner being forced to make a smart stop from close range.
Hailsham then gained the initiative with some good football. Shane Saunders, looking sharp as always, were among those having chances cleared off the line while great work from Jamie Salvidge was almost rewarded when the winger, back from honeymoon, wormed through only to be denied by a late block. Hailsham also hit the bar in a first half they dominated with a succession of good corners from Alex Atrill causing problems.
After the break though Hailsham did make the pressure count – Ryan Fletcher bursting through from midfield to open the scoring on 51 minutes.
Two minutes later, Shane Saunders lashed home a second after being put through.
Although continuing to enjoy good possession, the game became a little scrappy, with Oakwood firing a couple of half chances well wide as time drifted on.
Kenny McCreadie made substitutions on 71 minutes with Ashley Jarvis and Jamie Salvidge being replaced by Jacob Stevens and Liam Beckett, the latter seeing a shot from distance dip just over.
Finally, Danny Leach netted with a hooked finish from an acute angle after a deep cross into the box to round off a good win on 73. minutes.
Hailsham face Redhill away in the last 16, but return to league action on tomorow, travelling to Southwick in a 3pm kickoff.
The reserves are at home in the first round of the Reserve Challenge Cup, also to Southwick, kicking off at 3pm.
Hailsham: Tanner, Dean Stevens, Atrill, Earley, Phillips, Fletcher, Salvidge (Jacob Stevens 70), Jarvis (Skan 83), Leach, Saunders, Hall (Beckett 70)
MoM:Ryan Fletcher - Excellent performance, capped with a fine goal
“It’s great to keep winning these cup games” said boss Kenny McCreadie afterwards.
“The cups are a good distraction and one of the things I was most happy about after this win was the clean sheet. Five goals for and none against in two games, You can’t argue with that.”