Broadbridge Heath manager Steve Painter saluted their Sussex Senior Cup opponents Mile Oak, saying they could easily be a mid-table Premier Division side.
The Bears boss was quick to praise the division-lower outfit as Heath knocked them out of the Sussex Senior Cup in the first round on Tuesday.
Goals from Jake Holmes (two) and Dan Attwater, who was later sent off, gave them a 3-1 victory at the Leisure Centre against a side that had won nine of their last 11 games.
Painter said: “I’ll pay them the biggest compliments. They would be a side that would be mid-table in the Premier Division as it stands.
“They are a good young side and, to be fair, for the first 20 minutes they were passing it around and we struggled.
“Technically, they have good players and five or six could easily step up now. They play football the right way and I said to their manager after the game, he has a good, good side there.
“I would not be surprised if they win their league as they are strong at the back and young all over the park.”
After an even opening spell, Heath went ahead from the penalty spot after Enzo Benn felled a forward and Holmes slammed home the resulting penalty.
Holmes then made it two right on half-time when he was quickest to react to a loose ball.
With an hour on the clock, Oak keeper Aaron Stenning hauled down a Heath player with another penalty given and Attwater made no mistake. Attwater was then sent off for a clumsy tackle in the middle of the park, which Heath felt deserved a yellow at worst.
Oak had a spot-kick of their own 20 minutes from the end following handball by Jamie Robinson, which Joseph Benn scored.
Painter said: “Dean Wright was brilliant for us, absolutely brilliant and deserved a goal. Since we brought him in from YM, he has done nothing wrong and is my type of players – honest and puts a shift in.”
Heath: Chester, Swaine (Robinson 65), Attwater, Maxwell, Holvey, Moore, McDermott, Findlay, Holmes (Maher 80), Andrade (McNabb 70), Wright. Unused subs: Weller.
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