Langney Sports are the new kings of the County League after showing the resilience of true champions last night.

Sports relieved Burgess Hill of their treasured Unijet title after twice coming from behind in their rivals' back yard. John Snelgrove wrote himself into Langney folklore by scrambling the winner 80 minutes into a pulsating clash at muddy Leylands Park.

But it was a superb goal from the game's two outstanding players, defender Tony Burt and playmaker Daren Pearce, which set up a night of wild celebration.

Hillians were still clinging to their crown, thanks to Dave Stevens' 30 yard chip over his former Saltdean team-mate Dean Lightwood, when Sports were awarded a 75th minute free-kick on the right.

Pearce, who drove his side forward from midfield all night, whipped in the set piece with pace and a bit of bend and Burt powered an unstoppable header past a startled Richard Waters.

Hillians were still reeling from that body blow when Adie Downey was tackled on the edge of the area. Home defenders half expected a free-kick but referee Martin Hollands, who had a fine game, saw nothing wrong, Matt Allen got away down the right, rolled the ball across goal and Snelgrove somehow forced home his momentous winner.

Quarter of an hour later, Langney were back in that goalmouth, hurling themselves head first through the mud as the title festivities got underway.

Boss Garry Wilson, who joined their celebration dive, declared: "This is my proudest moment because it's the first time I've won a league title. It's a dream to come here and win it. I couldn't think of a better place to do it.

Wilson could not resist a parting shot at his opposite number Gary Croydon, whose remarks in the run-in had irritated the leaders. He said: "We've taken those comments on the chin and kept working, but I thought Burgess Hill rolled over when we went ahead tonight."

Croydon paid tribute to the new champions and added: "We wish them all the best, but they won't play in a better game than this one when they are in the Dr Martens Eastern Division."

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