Hollington boss praises players after dramatic title triumph

Hollington United celebrate after winning the Macron East Sussex Football League title.
Hollington United celebrate after winning the Macron East Sussex Football League title.

Hollington United Football Club manager Scott Price heaped praise on his players after completing a ‘double double’ in thrilling fashion.

The Lions won the Macron East Sussex Football League Premier Division and Hastings & District FA Intermediate Cup for the second successive season.

Hollington United Football Club assistant manager Andy Thomson, manager Scott Price and president Tim Martin, of the club's main sponsor Martin & Bowles.

Hollington United Football Club assistant manager Andy Thomson, manager Scott Price and president Tim Martin, of the club's main sponsor Martin & Bowles.

Price said: “The players deserve the credit. Their heads didn’t drop once and as well as a never-say-die spirit, when you’ve got quality players in your team, it just takes a bit of magic - and that’s what it’s been.

“Four goals in the last two games would win the goal of the season competition any other season and to get them in the last two games is remarkable.”

The title looked to be heading to Battle Baptists when they led Hollington 2-0 heading into added time on Wednesday, last week, but Hollington struck twice in the six additional minutes to rescue a 2-2 draw and keep their hopes alive.

That result meant they needed a victory in their final game at home to Sidley United on Saturday. Hollington were again in trouble at 3-2 behind after 83 minutes, but three goals thereafter earned them a 5-3 victory.

“In all the years I’ve been involved in football I’ve never known an end to the season like that,” continued Price. “Towards the end against Battle I was getting prepared to congratulate them and against Sidley I thought there’s no way in a million years we can get out of jail again.

“Three of the five goals we scored (against Sidley) were worthy of winning anything. I’m not normally that emotional, but even I was running on the pitch.”

Hollington have made a habit of producing late fireworks this season having netted added time equalisers against Rye Town and Bexhill Town, and twice won from losing positions against Sedlescombe Rangers.

The Gibbons Field-based club, whose matches against Battle and Sidley were watched by more than 300 and 250 people respectively, lost just one game all term in the four competitions they entered and won every single away fixture.

Hollington are now looking forward to the likely prospect of progressing to the Southern Combination League next season.

“We’ve got a meeting with the league to clarify a few things, but as far as we know we’re there,” added Price. “It’s massive for the club and we know we can definitely compete at the next level.

“The club’s moving forward fast. We want a community-based football club and we want to move on.

“When I took over there was one team. This year we’ve got a second team, under-21s, under-18s and under-16s, and next year we’ll also have under-7s, under-8s, under-9s, under-10s and possibly a girls’ team.

“People are also coming to me interested in sponsoring the club. It’s exciting times really.”

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