Stringers eye a derby day surprise

Danny Leach
Danny Leach

Hailsham Town manager Ian Stevens insists his side have turned a corner ahead of Saturday’s crunch clash with neighbours Eastbourne Town.

The Stringers were flat and lucky to lose by only three goals at the Saffrons in August but the new boss says his side will be a different proposition at the Beaconsfield.

“You won’t see that from us now,” Stevens said.

“We are a changed side. We’re full of confidence and we’re a match for anybody in this league.”

Stevens won his first four games in charge but the honeymoon period came to an abrupt end with defeat by Steyning Town in the cup. And they lost their first league game under Stevens’ stewardship at home to league leaders, and Eastbourne Town’s main rivals for the Sussex Division one title Dorking Wanderers on Tuesday night.

Jamie Salvidge and Joey Pout were on target for a depleted Hailsham as they lost 5-2 at home.

They were missing top scorer Danny Leach and Marcus Whiteman but Stevens ha signed defenders Pat Mixzkiewicz and Alex Saunders to help with numbers.

“I know we’ll compete on Saturday,” the boss added.

“I expect a battle, it’s a local derby, there a good side and we’ll be under no illusions but we’re looking forward to it.”