Craig Eastmond pounced on a weak header to secure Sutton United an impressive 1-0 win at Ebbsfleet on Tuesday night.

The midfielder was rewarded for his predatory instinct after chasing down defender Jack Powell whose attempt at shepherding the ball back to Nathan Ashmore fell well short. 

Eastmond seized upon the opportunity to poke the ball over the onrushing goalkeeper in the 31st minute for what proved to be the winner.

It was the second time in three days that Eastmond hit the target having scored the equaliser in Saturday’s 2-1 success over Salford City.

United manager Paul Doswell was delighted with the way his players went about their business against a well-drilled Ebbsfleet side.

“You saw another side of us tonight,” he told SUFCtv.

“I thought Ebbsfleet were very good. They caused us a lot of problems, especially in that first 25 minutes when the game could have got away from us.

“But, credit to the team for sticking in there. We had to change the shape two or three times to match them.

“We took that golden opportunity which was a mistake on their part.

“Eastmond’s made a 50 yard run and nearly caught up with Powell whose header was adrift. But it was a brilliant finish by Easty.

“It will be interesting to see the stats but we’ve had some players run some miles tonight.”

Doswell was keen to praise young striker Aaron Drinan who made his first start for United on Tuesday.

The 20-year-old Ipswich Town loanee completed his first 90 minutes in Sutton colours and went close to opening his account for the U’s.

“I think he’s run a marathon for us out there today,” enthused Doswell.

“He’s a fantastic kid and great to have around the camp.

“What he’s realising very quickly is the National League is a physical league mixed in with some quite good players.

“He’ll benefit greatly from that first start tonight and he started because he’d done so well in the two appearances where he’s come on.

“I thought Josh Taylor and Aaron had a huge efffect when they came on against Salford. He’s fitted in well with the squad.”

Sutton’s latest three-point haul puts them in third place in the Vanarama National League on goal difference from leaders Wrexham and second-placed Gateshead.

Next up for the U’s is a trip to Solihull Moors on Saturday (August 18).

Under the guidance of former Blackburn Rovers and England goalkeeper Tim Flowers, Moors have started the season well, recording victories over Eastleigh, Maidenhead and Aldershot before suffering their first defeat at AFC Fylde on Tuesday.

Doswell knows his team faces another tough test when they travel to the Midlands at the weekend.

“Solihull brought in some fantastic players in January and February,” said the Sutton boss.

“I think their chairman must have robbed a bank to do it because they’ve brought in loads and they’ve kept that team together. So we are very aware of how good Solihull are.

“We are going to have a recovery session on Thursday because we’ve got a very, very tired dressing room.”

United's next home game is against AFC Fylde on Saturday, August 25.