HADDINGTON Athletic are motoring in the right direction, according to club chairman Drew Donaldson.

Scottish Cup football was played at Millfield for the first time in September before the club marked another historic milestone by winning the East of Scotland Football League (EoSFL) First Division Conference A on Saturday.

The 2-1 win at Kennoway Star Hearts, with Haddington-born Shaun Hill opening the scoring, means that the club will play in the EoSFL’s top flight next season.

Donaldson, who has been involved with Haddington Athletic for more than 50 years, described winning the league as “huge”.

READ MORE: Shaun Hill calls for Haddington to join club's title party

He said: “This season has been a bit special.

“Up until a few weeks ago, we had only lost a couple of games and both of those had been to teams from level five – Brechin City and Spartans.

“We sacrificed the cups a wee bit to concentrate on the league because we were in a couple of quarter-finals and, to be fair, we have struggled to put out our best team for a few weeks now.”

Haddington had more than half a dozen of the squad missing on Saturday through injury and absences.

However, an Alassan Jones free-kick in the final 10 minutes sparked jubilant scenes as they realised they could not be caught at the top of the table.

The club chairman highlighted that a lot of work had taken place both on and off the park to ensure the club was heading in the right direction.

He praised his fellow committee members, as well as groundsman/committee member John Henderson, and the team in the pie hut.

READ MORE: Scott Bonar ready for next season after Haddington title win

Their hard work has not only been rewarded with promotion but with an increased number of fans coming through the Millfield gates.

He said: “We have had good teams over the years and nobody coming to watch them.

“This season, our average league crowd is about 220, which is incredible.

“If you add in the cup ties, then the average will be up to about 250.

“The support we have had, they are coming to away games as well.

“We had 80 at Coldstream and Arniston Rangers and there were a load there on Saturday as well.”

Haddington could line up alongside a number of big clubs next season, including Linlithgow Rose, and county sides Dunbar United, Musselburgh Athletic and Tranent Juniors.

Donaldson admitted that there were “big challenges ahead, no doubt”.

He added: “We are determined to get into the Premier Division and not just consolidate but do something. It will be difficult; if you look at our league, there are teams who we should be beating – it is not the same in the Premier Division.”