PETER Cooper ensured Eastbourne United returned to winning ways at Mile Oak after a closely fought encounter on Saturday afternoon.
Two second-half goals from Cooper gave United three much-needed points as they cemented their mid-table position in division two.
After a first-half where both teams effectively cancelled themselves out, United quickly took the initiative in the second-half when Josh Grimes’s shot rebounded off the post, before Cooper was on hand to slot home and give the away side the advantage in the 53rd minute.
The victory was sealed after a good run from Cooper was halted inside the penalty area in the 75th minute. Cooper stepped up to cooly put away the penalty and give United breathing space with just 15 minutes remaining.
United boss Paul Daubeney admitted the difference between the two sides was his sides’ ability to take their chances resulting in a welcome away win for United.
“To be fair to Mile Oak I felt the game in terms of possession was 50/50, and in the first-half both teams cancelled each other out.In the second we both went out and attacked each other looking for that all-important goal.”
Daubeney reserved special praise for Jamie Bunn and Josh Grimes for their role in his side’s win.
Daubeney said of the duo, “That is the best substitute appearance from a player who has played under me, let alone Bunn’s best since he has played here!
“He was simply faultless. Grimes also impressed me, he came into his own in the second-half and linked up really well with Cooper up front.
“That’s also the best I’ve seen of him since he’s been at the club.”
United travel to Wick next in the league, ahead of tough fixtures against table-toppers East Preston and second place Hailsham Town over the festive period.
Daubeney added, “We are quietly optimistic travelling to Wick we can get something from the game. With the games we have after, I think it’s important we can get at least a draw there, if not more.”
UNITED: Daubeney, Lee, Featherstone, Jules, Hughes, Goodwin (Bunn 45), Trickett (Brand 88), Catt, Barden, Grimes, Cooper
ATT: 34 REFeree: Duncan Baker