Littlehampton Football Club player-boss George Gaskin admitted his side had to work hard to take the derby honours against Wick & Barnham United on Saturday.
Rob Hutchings, Shaun Charles and substitute Sam Leggatt all netted as Golds edged the Southern Combination League Premier Division clash 3-1 at The Sportsfield.
It all looked to be plain sailing for Gaskin’s side as strikes from Hutchings and Charles put Golds 2-0 up at the break.
However, former Littlehampton forward Ben Gray pulled one back three minutes after the interval to set up a nervy second half for the home side.
Leggatt sealed Golds’ win on the break late on and Gaskin said: “Derby games are always tough and almost like cup matches.
“It was nice to get the victory and make it two straight wins. We were really good in the first half but conceding so early in the second half made it tough.
“Wick were on top for a 20 minute spell after getting back into it but we managed to stay solid at the back.
“With games at Shoreham and East Preston to come over Easter, it gives us a chance to go on a little run.
“It would be nice to finish the season on a high now.”
Hutchings opened the scoring on the half-hour mark with his second goal in as many matches.
Golds’ control of the clash then strengthened when Charles made it 2-0 three minutes before the break.
Wick stuck at their task and former Golds forward Gray pulled one back for the travelling side on 48 minutes.
Golds were under pressure for the next 30 minutes but managed to weather Wick’s barrages of attacks.
Littlehampton secured the three points five minutes from time when substitute Leggatt netted from a breakaway.
Wick joint boss Richard Towers felt his side could have snatched a point but admitted they failed to take advantage when they were on top.
He said: “I said to the boys at half-time we had given ourselves a mountain to climb but getting that goal so soon after the break was massive.
“We were dominant for a good spell but, yet again, didn’t have that killer instinct. It’s something we’ve struggled with all season and we did again. They are a good young side but on another day we could well have got another goal back.
“We’ve got a tough little run coming up now, with Eastbourne Town at home and Arundel away.
“We’ve got three home games left and after Eastbourne we face Hailsham Town and East Preston at home so, hopefully, we can win those.”
LITTLEHAMPTON: Hendrick; Wiggans, D.Hand, McKay, M.Hand; Janman, Packer, Charles; Ball, Gaskin, Hutchings. Subs: Leggatt (Charles), Barnett.
WICK & BARNHAM: Nash; Eyres, Playle-Howard, Madden, Dunlop; D.Towers, Noble, Chick; Forry, Simmonds, Gray. Subs: MacIver, Menzies.
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