Littlehampton Town Football Club were forced to work hard for their home Southern Combination League Premier Division triumph over East Preston last night.
First half strikes from George Gaskin and Ryan Bell earned Golds a 2-1 success over rivals EP.
East Preston forward Daniel Huet got one back for his side 20 minutes from time but the home team held on for all three points.
Golds boss Ady Baker admitted it was far from a vintage performance and was pleased to take the win.
He said: "I don't think we'd have won that game last season, so we are showing signs of improvement.
"We didn't play anywhere near aswell as we could but we took all three points. East Preston are a good, young team that like to pass the ball and caused us problems.
"It's all about winning, we managed to get the three points, so I'm satisfied."
Golds were ahead after 17 minutes courtesy of Gaskin's goal. East Preston's defence were caught square, with Gaskin chipping over the onrushing Chris Cook.
Jared Rance went through one-on-one, only for his strike to come back out of a post three minutes later.
Littlehampton doubled their lead five minutes prior to the interval. Bell went racing clear, then chipped over Cook to make it two.
Huet's flicked header from Rance's free-kick found the bottom corner to set-up an intriguing final 15 minutes.
East Preston piled on the pressure in the closing stages but couldn't find an equaliser.
EP boss Bob Paine was left wondering how his team team came away with nothing to show for their efforts and said: "I'm really not sure how we have not managed to win this game. I am so proud of my young players, some of the football we played was excellent and we deserved to win.
"We were the better team by a country mile but sometimes you don't get what you deserve. All we have to do is keep believing in what we are doing and the luck, which is short of supply at the moment, will come."
Golds host division-higher Bostik League South strugglers Chipstead in an FA Cup first round qualifying clash on Sunday (3pm), while EP go to fellow SCFL Premier Division Peacehaven & Telscombe for a Sussex Senior Cup first-round encounter.
LITTLEHAMPTON TOWN: Hutchings; Wiggans, Zydonik, Farrell, Chaplin; Playle-Howard, Bell, Kempson; Garnham, Gaskin, Gray. Subs: Noble (Playle-Howard, 45), Charles (Kempson, 75), M.Bromage.
EAST PRESTON: Cook; DaCosta, Lyne, Stevenson, Jacob Parazo; Gilbertson, Bull; Hunter, Franzen-Jones, Rance; Huet. Subs: Herbert (Hunter, 67), Purkis, Hallett, Laughlin, Josh Parazo.
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