United eye cup clash with Hailsham

Eastbourne United could set up a local derby cup clash with Hailsham Town if they manage to see off East Preston at home tomorrow.

The team have received a double boost ahead of the fixture, with Shaun Lee returning to the starting line-up after family commitments kept him out of the 3-3 draw with Storrington last weekend.

Also, Lee Jules’ suspected broken toe is not as serious as initially thought and it is expected he will play through the pain barrier.

Eastbourne manager Paul Daubeney is ‘quietly confident’ ahead of their Challenge Cup tie with East Preston, despite the away side currently sitting at the top of the Sussex County League Division 2.

“It’ll be a tough tie but this is a cup we can go for. We travel to Whitehawk on Tuesday night in the Sussex Senior Cup and I can’t see us having much joy there, so it’ll be nice to progress in this one.

“We’re looking quite good. I expect us to have the same line-up as last week, with the exception of Shaun returning in place of Adam Brand. We could face Hailsham in the next round, which would be good, but we still need to get past East Preston first.”

Hailsham beat Rustington 6-0 almost a fortnight ago to progress into the next round, where they await an opponent.

East Preston are currently the league’s top scorers by some margin and Eastbourne will be hoping to hold a tighter defence than last Saturday.

In a frustrating game, they conceded three goals and twice surrendered a two goal advantage in a 3-3 draw against Storrington.