United aim to spoil Town’s party in crunch local derby

Eastbourne Town celebrate a late winner
Eastbourne Town celebrate a late winner

Eastbourne Town manager John Lambert admits local rivals Eastbourne United will be determined to spoil their title chances on Bank Holiday Monday.

Town continue their quest for the Southern Combination Premier title tomorrow (Saturday) at lowly Wick and Barnham but on Monday, at the Saffrons (11am), they face a stern challenge against Tobi Hutchinson’s in-form Eastbourne United side.

United, who have chalked up five consecutive wins, are in action at the Oval on Saturday against Arundel before turning their attentions to the eagerly-anticipated local derby.

Hutchinson’s men are the form team of the Southern Premier and their recent results have seen them rise to seventh in the table, with Liam Baitup scoring nine goals in the last five games.

Eastbourne Town manager John Lambert said, “We can’t wait for the match. It’s a Bank Holiday, we are hoping for a good crowd and atmosphere and it’s another chance for us to gain three points.

“They (United) are going very well and you have to say that they are one of the form teams in the division.

“We know they will be out for us, they probably don’t want us to win the title and get promotion because they lose a local derby if we go up. But that’s fine by me, it’s all part of it. There will be a few players with a point to prove so I’m sure it will be a hard match.

“It’s a derby and the form book goes out the window. ”

Horsham, who are Town’s main rivals for top spot, welcome Worthing United tomorrow (Saturday) to Gorings Mead and on Monday they also have a derby showdown with their neighbours Horsham YMCA.

Lambert added, “It’s going to be a tough weekend for us both but we have to concentrate on what we do.

“If I’m honest, I can’t see Horsham dropping too many points between now and the end of the season so we have to make sure we take care of our business. And, to be fair to the lads, they have risen to the occasion. It’s getting closer, we can taste it, but we have to keep working and improving.”

Wes Tate is a doubtful with a hamstring injury and Andy Henson is out with ankle ligament damage.