Town can’t afford to slip up says Lambert

Striker Liam Baitup is in fine form
Striker Liam Baitup is in fine form

John Lambert says his side can afford no more slips if they are to win the Sussex Division One title this season.

The Eastbourne Town boss takes his side to local rivals Hailsham Town on Saturday on the back of a surprise home draw with lowly Chichester City.

Their game at Loxwood last week was called off and fellow title challengers Dorking Wanderers took full advantage to knock them off top spot before widening the gap further with victory at Town’s weekend opponents on Tuesday night.

“ Every game is very important now,” said Lambert.

“We can’t afford to slip up as you let your rivals in when you do. We slipped up against Chichester and we can not afford to do that again.

“Dorking have put a bit of pressure on us now but we do have two games in hand.

“That’s all well and good but the simple fact is we have to win those games.”

Lambert’s side have not played a competitive game since the Chichester clash on 6 December.

In a bid to keep the players focussed, Town went to Westfield for a friendly on Tuesday night, and they looked every bit as sharp as they have done all season, duly despatching of their Sussex Division Two opponents 5-0.

Dan Smith opened the scoring before Dominic Clarke and Jack Turner found the net, while Liam Baitup came off the bench to score a brace.

Baitup has been in fine form in recent weeks and is obviously keen to keep the momentum going as he scored six goals for the reserves last week in the absence of a first team fixture.

Hailsham, meanwhile, have their own prolific striker in the ranks. Danny leach is the division’s top scorer with 15 goals, he has 11 in his last five games alone, and Lambert knows he has to be weary of the Stringers’ front man.

“I know all about Danny,” he added.

“I’ve come across him for the past eight or nine years on the county football circuit.

“He’s a predator, much like Baitup. He scores goals, so we will have to be mindful of him.”

Kick off (weather permitting): Saturday, 3pm at the Beaconsfield