The Magpies were at home on a mixed autumnal afternoon where they welcomed Hailsham Town, who, whilst bottom of the table had been putting together improving performances over recent weeks and as such couldn't be taken lightly, and so it proved. There was only one change to the starting line-up that did so well at AFC Uckfield the week before, with Jay Lovett replacing Harry Bachelor who took a knock in training.
The game was a thoroughly uninspiring affair to begin with as the hosts struggled to get a foothold in the game and looked a shadow of the side that were so impressive the week before, however in the 13th minute they nearly took the lead when Joel Colbran put Michael Wood away down the inside right channel and his cross found strike partner Toby House, but his snap shot was well turned away at the near post. Just two minutes later Colbran was involved again, this time linking with Sam Beard, with the latter cutting in from the right before releasing a stinging shot that could only be parried by Sheldon Levett in the Hailsham goal but House was unable to capitalise on the follow up. The young striker nearly atoned for it in the 17th minute when he curled a delightful ball into the far post but Rhyan Ramsey couldn't stretch enough to open the scoring.
Ironically, after the hosts had finally looked like taking charge of the game it was the visitors that took the lead. As the Magpies played the ball across their backline, Lewis Scally dithered and got caught in possession by the ever threatening Sam Dival and the visiting skipper took the opportunity to drive into the box before firing low into the corner. The Magpies should have been level 2 minutes later when House receive a quick throw-in and hooked the ball to the far post where Beard was waiting, but his volley was skewed wide of the far post.
After a period of frustration for the hosts, they did eventually pull level in the 32nd minute when Colbran set House away and there was no mistake this time with a cool finish across the 'keeper to ensure he had scored for the 5th start running and it was only 5 minutes more until he turned provider. Beard set Wood away and followed his ball with a run into an area to ensure that when the resulting cross was set back by House he was there to thrash the ball home from 10 yards.
Both sides could have had another goal in first half added time as first Ramsey beat his man down the right before crossing low into House, but his shot only hit the base of the post and from that Hailsham went straight down the other end, releasing Dival again and after holding off a challenge he shot across goal but it just evaded the far post.
The visitors had the opening chance of the second half when a free kick from 25 yards was blasted into the wall by Sam Colony but the rebound was blazed well over the bar. Five minutes later Beard had more joy cutting in from the right but this time his shot also comfortably cleared the woodwork. This did spark a prolong period of pressure for the hosts though, firstly with House having another shot on goal in the 57th minute but Levett could only parry the ball again, but he was alert enough to knock the rebound away from the onrushing Wood. However, 4 minutes later he was beaten when substitute Tom Summerfield took off from the right back position at pace, exchanging rapid one-twos with Byron Napper and then Wood before getting to the ball ahead of the 'keeper and prodding home for his first of the season.
In the 68th minute it appeared that the Magpies had made the game safe as Scally made up slightly for his earlier error by putting House through on goal, as the visitors hesitated amidst a stuttering, but ultimately non-materialising, offside call from the assistant, the striker calmly knocked the ball past the 'keeper and then tapped home to reach double figures for the season. The fourth goal spawned a period of complacency though as first Clyde Jacques had to react swiftly to snuff out a very dangerous ball into the box by Dival and then in the 79th minute Hailsham got a second. Napper was adjudged to committed a foul 25 yards out and Ross Markham cleverly slipped a ball down the side of the wall where Billy Crittenden was waiting to finish past Hilfiker into the far corner to give the visitors a glimmer of hope.
House nearly snuffed this in the 85th minute but he took a touch on a ball in from Summerfield when he probably should have gone for the first time finish and subsequently he was crowded out and his hat-trick chance had gone. Beard, however, didn't pass up the opportunity to claim his second of the game in stoppage time. After being fed by Zach Haulkham on the edge of the area he duly turned his man three times before firing left footed past Levett from the edge of the box and finish the scoring for the afternoon in a game that threatened at times to turn out a lot worse for the hosts. As it happens, this victory means that the current unbeaten run extend to six matches and the Magpies continue their rise up the SCFL Premier table, now sitting in eighth. Team: S Beard, Cave, Colbran (Summerfield 46), Hilfiker, House, Jacques, Lovett, Napper, Ramsey (Raman 73), Scally & Wood (Haulkham 73) Subs unused: Camp & French