EP seal vital victory at promotion rivals Steyning

Jared Rance assisted both East Preston's goals on Saturday. Picture: Derek Martin DM1713608
Jared Rance assisted both East Preston's goals on Saturday. Picture: Derek Martin DM1713608

East Preston Football Club moved up a place to third in the Southern Combination League Division 1 standings on Saturday.

An effort in each half from Hayden Hunter and Dan Huet helped EP seal a 2-0 victory at fellow promotion chasers Steyning Town.

With second-placed Little Common losing at home to Selsey, East Preston trial them by just a point with two games in hand.

After Common’s defeat, Saltdean United leapfrogged them into top spot but Bob Paine’s side are four points off the summit, and once again, have two games in hand on the current leaders.

Having ran out 6-1 winners in a Division 1 Challenge Cup quarter-final clash against the same opponents seven days earlier, East Preston boss Paine hailed another glowing display from his team.

He said: “This was another excellent all-round team display. Chris Cook was outstanding in goal and his save ten minutes from the end won us the three points.

“Defensively as a team, we were solid once again, and our pace going forward is always a threat, however much possession the opposition have.

“At the end of the day, it’s only three points as we enter the final third of the league season. It’s down to us now but we find ourselves in a great position.”

EP took the lead after 11 minutes as Jared Rance’s cross was slotted home by Hunter.

Steyning saw a lot of the ball for the remainder of the half but failed to put EP’s defence under any real pressure.

Chris Cook was called into action on a couple of occasions in East Preston’s goal early in the second half, before Bob Paine’s side took control.

Huet saw a header well saved by Ben Rose 20 minutes from time to keep the score at 1-0.

Steyning’s best chance came on 80 minutes but Cook pulled off a fine stop. Substitute Dan Cusdin thundered a strike towards goal from ten yards but Cook pulled off fantastic save.

With Town piling men forward in search of an equaliser, Rance ran at Steyning’s defence but was denied by Rose. Rance then latched onto the loose ball and squared for Huet to seal all three points.

EAST PRESTON: Cook; Stevenson, Lyne, Etherington, Jacob Parazo; Hallett, Gilbertson; Hunter, Franzen-Jones, Rance; Huet. Subs: Purkis, Smith, Bull, Taylor, Bassett.

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