Table topping Eastbourne Town welcome back attacking options Bailo Camara and Nathan Crabb as they travel to Arundel tomorrow (Saturday).
Town sit proudly on the summit of the Southern Combination Premier by one point from Horsham following their comprehensive 9-0 victory against St Francis last Saturday.
Title rivals Horsham had the chance overtake Town at the top but they blew a two goal lead at Loxwood in midweek as they drew 2-2.
With Horsham travelling to third placed Lancing tomorrow (Saturday), Eastbourne Town assistant manager Jamie Podmore is determined not to slip up at Arundel’s Mill Road.
“It could be an interesting week for the top of the table as Horsham play Lancing. Something has got to give there so we just have to make sure we do our bit against Arundel.
“I’m sure there will be plenty of twists and turns but we are in the final stretch now and it is all about getting results.
“How we play or how we get wins doesn’t really matter now. All that matters is getting the three points.
“The lads have put themselves in a great position and we have confidence that we can see it through.
“We are a good group and the attitude is superb and that gives us the belief that we can do it.”
Eastbourne Town last won the County League title in the 2006–07 season. Managed by Ady Colwell and featuring key players John Piercy and Danny Simmonds, they were crowned champions on the last day of the season, as they beat Oakwood 6–1 away from home. They pipped Whitehawk at the post, and gained promotion to the Ryman League division one south.
Manager John Lambert and assistant Podmore delivered silverware last season as they claimed the RUR Cup. They were also in the running for the league title and promotion but their challenge faded as postponements and loss of form cost them dearly in the closing stages of the season.
Podmore added, “Winning medals and titles in senior football is not easy.
“Plenty of very good players go their whole career and don’t win anything. The lads have a great chance to go on and do that now.”
Town are further boosted by the return of Camara as he’s recovered from a long-term knee injury and Nathan Crabb could also feature after a hamstring problem.
Podmore added, “To win 9-0 and then have the option to bring in the likes of Bailo and Nathan is great for us. Bailo had a knee opertion and we knew it would take some time. But having him now, at this stage of the season, is like a new signing for us.”
Arundel are not the type of side to role over and make it easy for Eastbourne Town. When Eastbourne United played their earlier in the season their manager Tobi Hutchinson complained of ‘numerous off the ball incidents’ and said they were over physical as his United side were beaten 4-1 by Arundel in January.
Arundel are 11th in the table and have won their last two league fixtures against Worthing United and AFC Uckfield.
Podmore said, “We know it will be difficult, it always is against Arundel but we will be ready and prepared for whatever they throw at us. If you are going to win titles then these are the challenges you will face.
“Games at Arundel are always tough. Whether you are have a good season or a bad one a game against Arundel is difficult.
“Littlehampton, who we have next Saturday, are the same. Both are going to be battles and we know what to expect.”
On Tuesday night Eastbourne Town welcome East Preston to the Saffrons.
See pages 86-87 for the latest league tables.