Resilient Stringers hold on to deny title chasers

Sam Divall

Sam Divall

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Hailsham Town’s future as a Sussex Division One club is going down to the wire after a battling draw at home to title chasing Littlehampton Town.

Fourth-bottom Stringers are now locked on 34 points with Ringmer, who beat East Preston on Saturday and occupy the final relegation pace.

With just two game remaining, Hailsham’s vastly superior goal difference means two wins will all but guarantee safety.

Next week’s test at Dorking Wanderers up will be tough but few would have given Hailsham a chance against Saturday’s illustrious opponents before a Danny Leach free-kick put them in charge of the clash after just two minutes.

Leach has been prolific all campaign and his latest 25-yard strike that nestled into the bottom corner was his 21st of a 
superb season.

Littlehampton had scored 111 themselves prior to kick-off though, and a response was inevitable as Joe Shelley muscled his way through to equalise in the 28th minute.

And they took the lead through Kieron Pamment 10 minutes after the break. Hailsham remained resilient, though, and were content to attack on the break.

They got their reward with 20 minutes to play through Sam Divall, who unleashed an unstoppable volley from the edge of the area.

They were up against it for large parts of the rest of the game but the defence beat off wave after wave of attack as they held out for what could well be a crucial point.

Hailsham: Young; Williams (Saunders), Lee, J Divall, Snashall; Stracey, Salvidge, Norman (Vinyl), Pout; Leach, S Divall.