A BRACE from leading scorer Connor Hughes set Daisy Hill on the way to a 3-2 home win against promotion chasing AFC Blackpool in their North West Counties League First Division North clash on Monday night.

The strikes from Hughes, and a brave diving header from Jordan Hussey, were the highlights of a disciplined and battling performance from Daisy at a foggy New Sirs, and manager Leighton Mills was full of praise for his side afterwards.

“That is a huge result for this football club,” said Mills.

“We beat the seventh-placed team in the league on Saturday, and now we’ve beaten the fourth-placed team who had been on a good run.

“I thought in the second half, particularly, we were really good, we’ve led three times, and okay, the winning goal took a deflection, but we’ve had a few of them against us this season.

“It was a tough night for us, as we had a makeshift team to start with and lads playing out of position, and just like on Saturday at Nelson, I had make enforced substitutions because of injuries.

“We had players playing with niggling injuries, and Jake O’Brien shouldn’t really have played but gave me 70 minutes before he came off, because he was unwell.

“It just shows the togetherness that this squad has got, with players playing through pain and everyone pulling in the same direction.

“Six points from back-to-back games is a great return, and I’m really pleased with the performance of the squad.”

The evening started well for Daisy, as they took the lead with just over one minute on the clock.

A delightful chip from Jordyn Fitton over the top of the Blackpool defence sent Hughes through on goal, and the Daisy skipper let the ball bounce before coolly slotting past the advancing Blackpool keeper Daniel Hall.

AFC Blackpool levelled at the midway point of the first half with a well-worked goal.

Wide man Jacob Gregory, who posed a threat throughout the game, played a neat one-two on the edge of the box with Ben Duffield before curling a shot across Daisy keeper Morgan Newns into the far corner.

As the second half began, mist began to descend on New Sirs, and Daisy were on the back foot in the early stages as AFC Blackpool dominated possession and forced a series of corners.

But midway through the second half, Daisy took the lead once again, when Fitton’s inswinging corner was met by a brave diving header from Hussey low down at the far post.

With 12 minutes remaining, the visitors were level once again, when a free-kick swung into the Daisy penalty area was cleared out only as far as substitute Joshua Winder, who buried a low shot past Newns from 20 yards.

But with eight minutes remaining, Daisy won a free-kick of their own 25 yards from goal, and captain Hughes stepped up to curl the ball past Hall in the Blackpool goal with the assistance of a deflection off a Blackpool defender.

The win moves Daisy up into 10th place in the table, and they are now just eight points adrift of a play-off place ahead of Saturday’s first ever visit to Golcar United (3pm).