the below is courtesy of Ollie Berry at the West Sussex County Times...
Alfie Gritt’s goal six minutes from time saw the Magpies overcome ten-man Eastbourne United 1-0 on Saturday to cap a spectacular end to the campaign.
The Club sat ninth when Dave Cocoracchio retook over the manager’s job from the outgoing Mark Beard in March, 15 points behind the then fifth-placed opponents they overcame at the weekend. Cocoracchio has been clear since taking charge that they wanted to clinch a top-six spot, but also start building for next season - where they are eyeing big things. He said:
“We were delighted, you always know when you come up against one of Tobi Hutchinson’s team they will be well organised. They are a decent team although their recent run has not been as good as they would have wanted.“To achieve our objective we set the players nine weeks ago, when I think we were 15 points off Eastbourne United, to have that run and finish sixth is a great feeling.“Nine weeks ago, we wanted to start our pre-season early in these final games. The rest of the season was about getting a collective group as a management team and players and a cohesive unit in the trenches.“It was important we would look a team on and off the pitch and that has gone to a whole new level. That momentum has gone onto the pitch and the confidence is sky high.”
In a fairly drab affair on Saturday, the visitors had Harry Ducatel sent off for a two-footed over-the-ball lunge on Tom Frankland just after the half-hour mark. From then chances were few and far in between until a move involving Byron Napper and Adrian Todd saw the latter cross to Matt Daniel who laid the ball off for Gritt, who slipped the ball under the keeper in the 84th minute.
Cocoracchio added: “The game was very tight and there were not a lot of opportunities. We did have the better of it, and pretty much controlled, the game. It should have been easier after they had a player sent off after half an hour, but to be fair, they played better with ten than 11, it was that age-old chestnut. “We had two objectives before the game. One was application and commitment as a team and we managed that. Next was a clean sheet as it is not often we do not score, so would have a good chance of winning the game.”
Team: Carruthers, Colbran, Davis (Todd 64), Frankland, Gritt, Holvey, Moore, Napper, Scally, Warren (Daniel 77) & Wood (House 71) Subs not used: Bachelor & French