Hailsham Town progressed to the second round of the John O’Hara League Cup on a wet and windy Tuesday evening at The Beaconsfield.
With much of the early play dominated by sweeping rain and a fierce wind, Hailsham’s best chance of the first half saw Shane Saunders fire wide from 25 yards before Paul Richardson flashed a header wide from a corner.
The rain and wind both died away during the half-time break and Hailsham began to win the lion’s share of possession, with Ryan Fletcher (Pictured) Ashley Jarvis and Saunders all close.
The breakthrough came at 75 minutes when Fletcher was pulled down in the box and Steve Early fired home the spot kick. Four minutes later, it was two as powerhouse midfielder Fletcher rifled home an effort from the edge of the D to set up what looked to be a comfortable finish.
Another minute later it could have been three an excellent cross into the box from Steve Earley somehow evaded Saunders and substitute Jacob Stevens.
Lancing made the game interesting in the dying moments when they pulled a goal back but McCreadie’s men held firm and progress to face Oakwood at home in Round two on Tuesday, September 20.
Hailsham: Tanner, Earley, Ottley, Richardson, Lewis, Fletcher, D Stevens, Jarvis, Saunders (Skan 85), Beckett (J Stevens 65), Atrill (Norman 85)
MOM: Ryan Fletcher - A powerhouse in midfield, capping his performance with a fine goal. Att: 38 Ref: N Baker
Mac hopes Leach returns for Vase clash
Boss Kenny McCreadie will hope to have top-scorer Danny Leach back in the side for their FA Vase clash with Epson and Ewell on Saturday.
The visitors from the Combined Counties League are sixth in their division and the Hailsham boss expects a stern test.
“I’m sure they will be a decent side. They are going ok in their league but we have home advantage and we have to make that count.”
Leach, who has 12 goals to his name so far this season missed Tuesday night’s clash as he was unwell.
McCreadie added, “We hope to have him back. He is in top form at the moment and we hope he is feeling better by Saturday.”
Last weekend at East Preston Hailsham lost their unbeaten record and dropped to fourth in the division two table. East Preston top the league having won six from their seven games.
McCreadie is delighted with his side’s start to the campaign but admitted he was irritated by the first half performance at Preston and to lose their unbeaten record.
“We were dreadful in the first half and there were too many players not at the races.
“But overall we have had a good start to the season and if you had offered me this position after the first month I would have taken it.”