Eastbourne Town boss John Lambert praised the fighting spirit of his players after their dramatic RUR Cup final triumph against Loxwood on Tuesday night.
Town were 1-0 down against 10-man Loxwood at Lancing with just nine minutes remaining after Shaun Findlay had given them an 81st minute lead.
Dan Smith pulled Town back into the game with an exquisite volley into the top corner on 87 minutes before Jack Turner claimed the winner with the very last kick of the game in the 93rd minute.
It was Town’s first triumph in a Sussex cup competition since 1986.
Lambert said, “I thought we were toast when they scored but the lads were tremendous. They never gave up and they got their reward in the end.
“We never do things the easy and I’m sure these lads will be the death of me but we found a way to get over the line.
“I’m delighted for all concerned with the club. It’s not easy to win these competitions so we have to be pleased. The club and the supporters that stand by us deserve it.
“Loxwood are what I call a very tough, uncompromising side. They are difficult to play against and are direct and cause you problems.”
Loxwood were reduced to 10-men with 30 minutes remaining when Familton, as the last defender, hauled down Town striker Smith as he advanced towards the penalty box.
Lambert added, “I did feel for Loxwood at the end, of course I did. They worked so hard with 10-men and I think they just ran out of steam in the end and we were able to capitalise.
I thought we were toast when they scored but the lads were tremendous, they never gave up and they got their reward in the end.John Lambert
“When we got the second the goal, they barely had time to re-start and the ref blew for full-time.
“They were devastated at the end. But it has happened to us before. We were knocked out of the FA Trophy this season by a last minute goal.
“But this time it was us that had that bit of luck when we needed it. The ball rolled kindly for us on this occasion.
“I said to players before the match that these opportunities don’t come around to often, so make the most of it . Some of the younger players might have thought they will get another chance, another time.
“But that doesn’t always happen, so I’m delighted the players took the chance. It is something they will always remember.”