Desperate Daubeney can only live in hope

HOPE and pray is all manager Paul Daubeney can do as his beleaguered Eastbourne United team make the journey to Sidley to take on high-riding Rye on Monday night (7.30pm).

Rye’s ground is unavailable following a fire which left the sports pavilion at the Salts gutted back in August, so Gullivers will be the destination as United prepare for what on paper seems a near impossible task.

Boss Paul Daubeney could have done with the big freeze lasting just a few days longer as his uni students are not due to return home until Tuesday.

The biggest loss is that of Ashley-John Baptiste, while Matt Sellick is banned following five yellow cards.

Skipper Tony Russell has an ankle injury and keeper Grant Fitzgerald a back problem. Lee Daubeney or Ray Collier will deputise between the posts.

“Anything we can get from Rye would be good,” admitted Daunbey. “We desperately need an out-and-out striker but it is not easy when there is no money to offer.

“I have spoken to a couple of players and one may be getting back to us. I have also texted a third and am waiting to hear.

“I have even spoken to Garry Wilson (Borough boss) and Danny Bloor (Town) but they are finding things hard too.

“Apart from the blip at Three Bridges we are matching sides, but can’t turn the screw.”

In addition to players, United need a physio and a reserve team coach. Julie Phillips is standing down after seven years as physio. The club will pay for her successor to go on an FA coaching course. Anyone interested should contact the club on 726989.

Hailsham Town boss Kenny McCreadie’s biggest hope for his team’s home game against Peacehaven on Monday morning is a strong ref.

“Managers these days first look at who the ref is rather than the teams.” said McCreadie. “If the ref has a good game it’s a fair bet that the fans will get a good game.”

With recent postponements and continuing involvement in the Sussex Senior and John O’Hara cup competitions, it promises to be a busy New Year for Hailsham and McCreadie is hoping his team will carry the form of 2010 into 2011.

After an awful start with below-strength line-ups, Hailsham have developed into one of the league’s most attractive sides with only Chichester, Pagham and league leaders Crawley Down having scored more goals.

Maximum points against Peacehaven should see Town head towards mid-table respectability – and the prospect of an above halfway finish to the season.

With the exception of injured striker Shane Saunders, McCreadie hopes to have a full squad to call upon.