Backs to the wall as injuries hit United

Whisper it, but Eastbourne United boss Paul Daubeney wouldn’t mind a snowfall tonight.

Temperatures in the town are due to slip below freezing again and snow is forecast for the weekend. The weather is set to wreak havoc across the county, but a dusting at the Oval wouldn’t cause too much disappointment.

It’s not that Daubeney and United are losing any fight – far from it – but the manager has seen his squad decimated in recent weeks and will face a battle just to fill the teamsheet for tomorrow’s scheduled home clash with Crawley Down.

“To tell you the truth, it’s hard,” he admitted. “We’ve got so many people away and injured, it’s backs to the wall.

“A lot of people have got this flu that’s going around. Maybe by January we’ll be all right but before then I think we’re going to struggle a bit.

“We’ve also lost a physio, so me and (assistant) Paul Sargeant are doing everything at the moment. It’s getting a bit tiring. I could really do with the match being off.”

Opponents Crawley top the table and have not lost all season, while United remain winless and bottom.

Daubeney admits the recent performance against Eastbourne Town in the Sussex Senior Cup gave his side confidence, but the injury situation is holding the players back. And recruiting new talent is also proving difficult.

He said, “A lot of people see where we are and say they’ll come next season. It’s just a case of carrying on, otherwise you get a bit depressed. Hopefully we can get everyone back because it’s going to be a hard fight, we just don’t want to finish bottom.”

Manager’s son Lee Daubeney could continue in goal after his man-of-the-match performance against Chichester last Saturday.

Free-scoring Stringers

Hailsham Town might be sitting in the lower reaches of Sussex County League division one, but boss Kenny McCreadie reckons his side are inviting envious glances from their rivals.

The Stringers have found scoring easy in recent weeks and also boast a squad which, at its strongest, can match many of the top sides.

Ahead of tomorrow’s clash with fourth-placed Chichester City at the Beaconsfield, McCreadie has some tough decisions to make when it comes to selecting a team.

Ben Putland, Sam Schaaf, Jamie Salvidge and Mark Goodwin are all in line to return to the side.

McCreadie said, “These are four experienced players that would get in any County League side, so I’ve got big decisions to make. The boys that are in there have done well, but they know it’s a squad game.

“I might just put the decision on Russell Tanner, my assistant! But joking aside to have those four back in the dressing room, that’s great. What a problem to have.”

Schaaf and regular strike partner Shane Saunders have been absent in recent weeks, but those who have replaced the prolific pair have taken on the mantle, to help Town pick up three wins on the trot.

McCreadie added, “Over the last 12 games we’ve scored 39 goals, you show me another senior team that’s scored that, there won’t be very many. We’ve opened up, we’re missing a couple of players up top but the other boys have stepped up.”

Chichester ran out 1-0 winners when the sides met in September and it is a match the manager has not forgotten.

“We got a raw deal when we played them earlier in the season,” he said. “So hopefully we can account for that and beat them this time.”