East Preston move to second with win over Little Common

Jack Barnes bagged a brace in East Preston's victory on Saturday. Picture: Stephen Goodger

Jack Barnes bagged a brace in East Preston's victory on Saturday. Picture: Stephen Goodger

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East Preston Football Club moved up to second in the Southern Combination League Division 1 standings with victory over Little Common on Saturday.

In a five-goal thriller, EP came back from a goal behind to collect a 3-2 victory over Common.

Following the win, Bob Paine saw his side parachute up to second, leaving them five points off leaders Saltdean United with a game in hand.

EP boss Paine felt it was a hard-earned victory and said: “It was a great team performance, where we had to defend very well as a team to grind out a result.

“I firmly believe a couple of months ago we would have lost this game but I can see my young team learning and developing from game to game at this level.

“The team are able to cope with the physicality of this league much better now.

“Little Common were one of the better teams we have played in the league this season and to have taken all three points is a great reward for our disciplined display.”

Common were awarded a penalty on 16 minutes after EP keeper Chris Cook hauled down Jamie Crone in the area.

From the resulting penalty, Wes Tate saw his effort saved by Cook, only for the rebound to fall kindly back to him as he slotted home at the second attempt.

EP were then given a penalty of their own 12 minutes later when a Little Common defender handled in the area. Jack Barnes slammed the resultant spot-kick home to level things up.

Barnes had his second five minutes after the break to fire his side ahead for the first time.

After linking up with Dan Huet, Barnes crashed home on the volley.

It was 3-1 just four minutes later as George Laughlin’s header fell into Hayden Hunter’s path and he cut in to fire a strike past Matthew Cruttwell.

Common started to apply the pressure and pulled one back with 30 minutes left to play.

Tate’s free kick was parried by Cook into Crone’s path and he made no mistake slotting home.

A nervy final 25 minutes followed but some tidy defending and a firm resilience helped EP hold on.

EAST PRESTON: Cook; Josh Parazo, Lyne, Etherington, Jacob Parazo; Hallett, Barnes; Bull, Huet, Laughlin; Hunter. Subs: Hardman (Hallett), Franzen-Jones (Laughlin), Mottershead, Beaney, Purkis.

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