Logically you would think that the inspiration of not tasting defeat would be the motivation and confidence to go all season, but we all know what a “team of the month” award does to a team, right?
After Eastbourne United’s heroics in the FA Cup, it was the turn of league leaders Hassocks to come to the Oval and face Anthony Storey’s football machine in the SCFL premier division.
In the event, it took just 94 seconds for United to take the lead, Bailo Camara’s effort cannoning off a defender and the ball converted by Callum Barlow.
Camara had been presented with a 100 appearances trophy before kickoff while Barlow had picked up the August player of the month award.
The truth is, the weight of this success seems to bounce right off this young United team.
Barlow causes havoc everywhere he goes, never stopping talking, cajoling, encouraging.
If you were to give him a hi-vis before the match you get the impression that every car in the car park would be perfectly positioned in colour order.
Camara lends gravitas to the team - he’s seen it all in a long and successful career.
This season Hayden Beaconsfield has been added to the mix, replacing the popular George Taggart, and he has taken the chance with both hands.
Beaconsfield and Barlow started the day with seven goals each at the top of the scoring chart and both looked determined to add to their totals for the remaining 88 minutes.
Hassocks kept trying to unpick the United defence without much real success.
A classy save from James Broadbent and an upright kept out the evergreen Pat Harding, but the score remained at 1-0 at half-time.
The second half was more pedestrian as United looked to seal the win, Tigana Quebe terrifying the Hassocks defence, but it was another of those youngsters, 16-year-old Ed Ratcliffe, who finished offHassocks with two stunners.
The first was a solo run through half the team to bury a blistering shot into the net, then he scored from an impossible angle following a short corner, deceiving the keeper at his near post.
As referee Dan Cooper blew the full-time whistle, United edged past the former leaders and in the top three. Attention turned straight away to the Sussex Senior Cup match at Peacehaven on Tuesday and that brought more success – a 3-1 win on penalties after a 0-0 draw.
Next – this Saturday in fact – comes a different competition, the small matter of the FA Cup second qualifying round and a home tie with Berkhamsted, who play two leagues above United. Don’t write off Storey’s men just yet – this season is already following a path that nobody expected.
A goal by Evan Archibald was enough to give Eastbourne Town a 1-0 SCFL premier victory at Haywards Heath, leaving them fifth in the table.
In midweek Town lost 3-2 at home to Horsham YMCA in the Sussex Senior Cup.