Crockenhill 0 Rusthall 6
THE Rustics secured promotion to the Premier Division of the Southern Counties East Football League after this demolition of -Crockenhill on Easter Saturday.
Their ascent was confirmed after a few nervous moments waiting to hear the result as their title rivals Kent Football United surrendered a 3-1 lead at home to Holmesdale and ended up losing 4-3.
Rusthall kept up their form in what has been a remarkable season and will now be playing at a higher level than the club has ever done before in its 118-year history.
The rise up the ranks will also mean that they can look forward to local derbies against the likes of Crowborough, Tunbridge Wells and Sevenoaks.
The visitors took the lead at Crockenhill on 14 minutes when veteran Joe Fuller forced the ball over the line. The hosts claimed he had fouled the keeper but the referee awarded the goal.
Four minutes before half-time they scored again when Dan Powell slotted the ball home from just inside the area.
Rusthall continued to dominate in the second half and John Sinclair made it 3-0 on 65 minutes.
At the same time news came through that Kent Football United had gone 3-1 up, meaning the champagne would have to go on ice. The visitors kept battling and on 79 minutes Ian Parsons scored with a superb free-kick from 25 yards.
Then the ever reliable Andy Constable found the net twice, in the 85th and 87th minutes, to make it 17 goals this season since he arrived from Sevenoaks Town in October.
The players learned that Holmesdale had scored twice in as many minutes to make it 3-3, then went ahead. The party could now start in earnest.
In Monday’s meaningless game at Holmesdale, the home side won 1-0 after Alex Rich saw his penalty superbly saved by the keeper.
With the new season set to start on August 5, the focus now turns to the massive project to level and drain the pitch at Jockey Farm.
In the Premier Division Tunbridge Wells recovered from 2-0 down to draw at home to Beckenham thanks to second-half goals from Luke Hackett and Brad Potter.