For the first time in the club’s history, Easington Sports will be playing premier division football in the UHLSport Hellenic League next season.
Sports will go up as Division One West champions following their final day victory at Addison Road. Craig Robinson grabbed the only goal of the game as Sports beat Cirencester Town Development 1-0 in front of a bumper crowd.
One goal always looked as though it was going to be enough on a roasting day, on a drying pitch which made it difficult to create chances from open play. And it was from a set-piece that Robinson, who hit the winner last week, produced what proved to be the game’s decisive moment in the second half.
Up to that point both sides had struggled to create openings with defences on top and neither keeper seriously troubled although Sports were always the side looking most likely to break the deadlock.
Sean Snelling blazed over from Callum Convey’s low cross, while Dan Watkin went on a typical marauding run before exchanging passes with Tom Smith only to shoot straight at Connor Whitlock. Joe Coleman released Andrew Stidder, Whitlock’s clearance hit the striker but went wide.
Sports broke the deadlock on the hour mark when Convey’s near post corner was headed home by Robinson.
Sports twice went close to doubling their advantage with Whitlock being caught out both times. Joe Eyre was foiled by Max Arnold after beating Whitlock to a loose ball and Owen James just failed to take advantage of the keeper’s error when his goal bound shot was blocked by Sam Walsh.
Sports should have made the points safe when they were awarded a late penalty but the referee should have played the advantage when he blew too early for a foul on James before the ball entered the back of the net. Stidder stepped up but Whitlock kept his spot-kick out.
That set up a tense final few minutes but Sports should have been awarded another penalty when James was clean through. Walsh brought him down inside the box, the assistant took up a position for a penalty but the referee awarded a free-kick just outside the box and sent Walsh off.
In the end, it was Robinson’s goal which proved decisive and the final whistle signalled jubilant scenes at Addison Road.