'Complete' display sees Shoreham open up five-point gap

Luke Donaldson struck twice in Shoreham's win over Eastbourne United on Saturday. Picture by Kyle Hemsley
Luke Donaldson struck twice in Shoreham's win over Eastbourne United on Saturday. Picture by Kyle Hemsley

Shoreham Football Club boss Bryan O’Toole hailed a 'complete' display as his side opened up a five-point lead at the Southern Combination League Premier Division summit on Saturday.

Luke Donaldson’s brace, coupled with strikes from Kieron Pamment, Rob O’Toole and substitute Scott Packer ensured Mussels sealed an emphatic 5-0 home success over Eastbourne United.

Along with Shoreham’s win, second-placed Haywards Heath Town suffered 3-0 defeat at the hands of place-below Chichester City, with the pair finding themselves five points off the pace.

Mussels boss O’Toole felt it was the perfect weekend for his team but admits his squad still have a lot to do in the final seven games.

He said: “I was a little nervous going into Saturday as I felt a sense of complacency. I put a point across to the players’ before kick-off and they produced a complete display.

“I’d say it was the best performance we have served up all season from start, to finish. We were exceptional throughout and if we had scored ten or 11 I don’t think Eastbourne could have had any complaints.

“It just seemed to be wave, after wave of attack from us and it was pleasing to see. We’re on a brilliant run at the minute, in the previous four games we’ve scored 17 goals and conceded just one.”

Joe Shelley missed a trio of early headers, while Pamment slammed a strike against a post before Shoreham finally went ahead.

Winger Donaldson was played through and he slotted past Philip Hawkins to make it 1-0 on the half-hour.

Pamment made up for his earlier miss a minute prior to the break to add a second. The three points were all but wrapped up ten minutes after the restart with Donaldson rifling into the roof of the net.

Rob O’Toole made it four 20 minutes from time, then substitute Packer struck a minutes from the end as Shoreham sealed a comprehensive victory.

Following Haywards Heath’s defeat, Mussels now know 17 points from their final seven matches will be enough to see them crowned Premier Division champions this season.

After a trip to AFC Uckfield Town on Saturday, Shoreham host Heath in what could be a crucial battle a week later.

Despite edging closer to the title with a 26th win against Eastbourne United, Mussels boss O’Toole does not want his players’ to look too far ahead.

He added: “We know what we need to do in these final seven matches.

“It’s all about focusing on the next game and not looking too far ahead.

“We’ve put ourselves in a great position but every single game between now and the end of the season is going to be a battle. We just need to stay focused.”

SHOREHAM: Heyburn; Hartley, Pearson, O’Hagan, Dryer; Donaldson, Shelley, J.Keehan, R.O’Toole, Cradock; Pamment. Subs: Burton (J.Keehan), Deen (Pamment), Packer (Cradock), Kneller, Denyer.

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