Billingshurst climbed off the foot of the Division 2 table at the first time of asking as they put in a hugely-improved display against Oakwood on Tuesday night.
Goals from Nick Tilley, Jake Chadwick and Jordan Stalibrass gave the Jubilee Fields side a 3-2 win and saw them climb to third from bottom, above Southwick and Oakwood.
It was Hurst’s first win since December and manager Chris Simmons said: “It was a big improvement on Saturday, the players looked sharper and there were some great performances. Having Tilley back was a real bonus as he was my man of the match, he held the ball up well and caused Oakwood trouble all night.”
Hurst went ahead on 25 minutes as Ollie Joels found Stalibrass, who laid off to Tilley to finish. Oakwood got back into the match on 40 minutes as they were awarded what Hurst felt was a dubious penalty against Ryan Carse, which Scott Faber put away.
Billingshurst pressed straight from kick off and a minute before the break, Chadwick drove the ball home to retake the lead. The home side started the second half well and grabbed a cushion on 68 minutes when Chadwick crossed for Tilley, whose shot fell to Stalibrass to tap in.
Hurst had to finish the game with ten men as Chadwick went off with a dead leg with all three subs having been used. Oakwood pulled a goal back with six minutes to play as Jack McNab netted with Hurst appealing for offside.
Simmons added: “Again it was disappointing to concede just before half-time, we seem to have quite a record for this but the heads didn’t drop and to go back in front before half-time was critical. We should have killed the game off and the last few minutes were a bit tense as it was backs against the wall after going down to 10. I think we easily could have had five or six, but the win was the important thing.”
“We now go into another important game at home on Saturday against Storrington. Hopefully, the lads legs will recover after two games in four days when the hadn’t played for 10 weeks.”