Daniel Smith scored a hat-trick on Tuesday night to reignite Eastbourne Town’s slim promotion hopes.
Town hosted East Preston in midweek producing a confident team performance, scoring two goals either side half time to boost their hopes of an unlikely promotion from Division One.
John Lambert’s men headed into Tuesday’s match 11 points off a promotion place, picking up only one win in their last six league games, with three points much needed for Town in their hopes of an end of season push.
The Saffrons outfit wasted no time as they took the lead in the sixth minute. Smith converting a penalty after an East Preston player produced a high boot on Layton Schaaf in the 18-yard box.
Town’s lead never looked in doubt as they controlled the game for large parts of the first half. The home side then doubled their lead in the 23rd minute through Smith’s second of the night.
The second half was much the same and Town went further ahead in the 55th minute when Schaaf received the ball in the penalty area, firing a low shot into the bottom corner.
The visitors night turned from bad to worse midway through the second half when ex-Town striker Richard Greenfield received a second yellow for leaving the field of play without the permission of the referee.
Lambert’s men showed why they’ve been such a threat in the dying minutes of matches, with Smith picking up his third, in the fourth minute of added time. The Town striker latched onto a long ball before neatly slotting home.
After the match Lambert said, “It was a good performance from the lads, and the clean sheet has been a long time coming.
“East Preston weren’t great but we kept going until the last minute. Something I can’t fault the team for.”
TOWN: Nessling, Duncan, Henson, Keehan, Turner, Hollobone, Ellis, Darby, Smith, Schaaf, Dryer