JOHN Sussex has strengthened his Basildon United backline by completing the signing of Darren Phillips.

The central defender, who will now enjoy a second spell at the Cousins Car Wash Stadium, has made the move from Isthmian North rivals Tilbury.

And Sussex is pleased to have acquired Phillips’ services.

“I wasn’t actively looking for a centre-back,” said the Bees boss.

“But Darren is a quality player and I am really pleased to have brought him to the club.

“When I was originally on the coaching staff at Basildon at the start of last season, the main reason for the good start was the back four.

“Conor Mead, Joe Turpin and Darren Phillips were in the back four at that stage and it was the best defence in the division by a long way.

“Now the three of them have been reunited and it is great.

“I’m hoping for big things from Darren after returning to the club.”

Sussex is eager for Phillips to improve Basildon’s defensive record.

The Bees recorded a 5-4 Isthmian League Cup victory over Witham Town in midweek.

Turpin, Ayo Odukoya, Adam Vyse, Regan Mead and Harry Norman found the back of the net for Basildon.

But Sussex was disappointed to see his side concede four cheap goals in the process of emerging victorious.

“I am shellshocked after conceding four goals,” added Sussex.

“Some of our defending was poor and that left me a bit disappointed.

“However, going forward, we are on fire at the moment and we could have scored more than five goals.

“I was delighted with the performance going forward, but not defensively.”