Newhaven Football Club have been promoted to Division One of the Sussex County Football League after a 3-2 win at Bexhill United on Tuesday evening.
Having lost by the same scoreline in their previous two games, the Dockers were finally able to clinch the points needed for a first return to the top division since 1995.
It completes what has been an incredible two years for the club – two years that includes an Intermediate Cup trophy, as well as back-to-back promotions following last season’s Division Three success.
Newhaven conceded after two minutes at the Polegrove as Paul Rogers got on the end of a free-kick. But the Dockers came fighting back and went ahead themselves thanks to goals from Ryan Knight and Mark Probert.
Rogers again levelled the scores from a corner before Probert got his second of the game and the goal that finally saw Newhaven over the line.
The visitors made two changes to the team that had started the defeat at Loxwood on Saturday.
Ryan Knight made a full return from an ankle injury replacing the departed Luis Freitas. Lucas Mann also returned to the side in place of Luke Duchossoy, who was on the bench.
Newhaven, perhaps still reeling from the injury time defeat at Plaistow Road, got off to the worst possible start.
Just two minutes had been played when a free-kick in to the box was flicked towards Rogers and he fired across Jake Buss in to the far corner.
The Dockers took a couple of minutes to settle but, once they had, they found a leveller. A whipped Terry Gacias free-kick was headed in to the far corner by Ryan Knight.
Another five minutes past before the visitors got themselves in front. Lee Robinson and Probert combined, just as they had on Saturday, with the latter finding the net via a deflection.
The match calmed down after the frantic start with Newhaven playing the ball around well. Sean Breach was close to finishing off a cross in to the box but he was denied by Gavin Bourne in the home goal.
United looked dangerous from set-pieces and it was from a corner, ten minutes in to the second half, that they found an equaliser.
Rogers was on hand to bundle the ball in as the Dockers let a 2-1 lead slip for a third straight game.
However, unlike the two previous games, it was Newhaven that scored the fifth goal. Mann’s ball in to the area was turned in to the net by the head of Probert, much to the despair of the home side who felt Probert was offside.
Bexhill pushed on looking to level the scores but some stubborn defending and goalkeeping kept the hosts at bay.
Newhaven had an excellent chance to put the game to bed when Probert was bundled over in the penalty area resulting in a spot-kick to the visitors.
Dave Altendorff’s penalty was on target but was a nice height for Bourne who beat away the ball away to his left.
The Dockers saw out the remaining few minutes and could celebrate a second consecutive promotion.
Jake Buss, Freddie Beale, Scott Edwards, Ryan Knight, Daniel Murray, Terry Gacias, Dave Altendorff, Sean Breach (c) (Ebou Jallow), Lee Robinson, Mark Probert, Lucas Mann.
Man of the Match: Mark Probert