A Ryan Morey hat-trick helped Selsey to perform a last-day ‘miracle’ and avoid relegation at the High Street Ground with a 3-2 win over Lingfield.
The Blues went in to their last game knowing a win for Lancing would have sealed their relegation to division two regardless of the result against Lingfield.
But the football gods were smiling on the Blues as Lancing fell to a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Shoreham and they managed a positive result against Lingfield.
Selsey, unaware of Lancing’s struggles, pushed hard for the win and a blistering three-goal performance from Morey proved enough to keep them in division one for another year.
Manager Steve Bailey described the emotions of the day saying: “Obviously we are extremely happy to be staying up.
“I can’t believe how much pressure I felt and that’s coming from someone who doesn’t normally feel the stress!”
Bailey added: “We had a couple of people up on twitter feeding the results through. We knew it (the Lancing game) was 0-0 at half time, so we knew it was tight.
“We played really well though and I’m delighted we’ve come through. Everybody wants to play at the best standard and it’s great to be there again next season.”
Selsey’s day got off to a terrible start with the Blues conceding inside 30 seconds of kick-off, Lancing winning a free-kick which Joel O’Hara emphatically fired home from 30 yards.
The Blues were quick in their response and a steaming run from Morey down the right allowed him time to slot past Lingfield’s keeper just four minutes later.
Selsey took the lead in the 27th minute when Morey tapped home a parried shot from close range.
Lingfield equalised shortly after the hour when a long ball over the Selsey defence allowed O’Hara in for his second.
The Blues continued to search for a winner and it came 15 minutes from time when Dean Platt was hauled down in the area and Morey rolled the penalty home to clinch the match-ball and Selsey’s survival.
The club are now looking to build on their repreive and Bailey believes the Blues have plenty to look forward to next year, saying: “We’ve got a good group coming up through the academy and we are meeting next week to decide on our pre-season fixture list.”