WORTHING United Football Club secured promotion into County League Division 1 with victory over Bexhill on Saturday.
Goals from Sam Blundell, Paul Elliott, Wayne Joseph and Mark O’Regan were enough for Mavericks to open up a 12-point lead at the top of Division 2 and ensured an immediate return to the top division.
United’s next aim will be to clinch the title and they need just one point from their remaining three matches, after second-placed Wick & Barnham crashed to a 4-0 home defeat against Saltdean United.
Mavericks boss Nigel Geary spoke of his delight as his side’s hard work over the season has now been rewarded.
He said: “It’s been something that has been on the cards for a while but you can’t celebrate until promotion is guaranteed.
“We’ve led the way for most of the campaign, so it’s pleasing to finally get over the line. Everyone at the club has been absolutely brilliant, from my coaching staff to the physio and the players.
“We asked the boys to go out there and get off to a quick start and that is exactly what they did.
“The early goal really helped us as, in the second half, we took our foot off the gas a little but, in the end, it was a really convincing win.
“It’s been a long season but now we have been rewarded for our efforts with promotion.
“With Wick losing, we now need just one point to clinch the title and that is our aim now.
“It’s been a really great first season for me at this club and we are looking forward to the challenge that lies ahead in Division 1 next season.”
The home side went in front on 17 minutes when Jacob Schilt’s through ball found Blundell, who coolly slotted home.
Bexhill should have levelled ten minutes later when Chris Cumming crossed for Scott McDonald, who shot wide.
Joseph’s free kick found Elliott, who toe-poked home 18 minutes later to give United a two-goal lead.
The Mavericks were awarded a penalty on 52 minutes when Chris Cumming handled in the area and Joseph scored from the spot. Bexhill were then reduced to ten-men with 25 minutes left when Marc Munday received a second yellow card.
The visitors went close to getting a goal back, before Mavericks added a fourth a minute from time when substitute O’Regan beat two defenders and fired into the top corner.
United travel to Saltdean on Saturday.
UNITED: Grimstone; Gilmour, Philpott, Hasan, Taylor; Edwards, Joseph, Schilt, Elliott; Blundell, Hunt. Subs: Wotherspoon (Elliott), MacNeill (Joseph), O’Regan (Wotherspoon), Evans, Stideford.