Hunter strikes to earn East Preston a point

Hayden Hunter's goal secured a point for East Preston last night. Picture by Stephen Goodger
Hayden Hunter's goal secured a point for East Preston last night. Picture by Stephen Goodger

Hayden Hunter struck in the second half to earn East Preston Football Club a Southern Combination League Premier Division point on Tuesday.

Hunter’s effort cancelled out Daniel Simmonds’ penalty as it ended 1-1 in EP’s home encounter against near neighbours Pagham.

East Preston went in to the contest on the back of three successive league defeats, a run of results manager Bob Paine was pleased to see addressed.

He said: “This was another excellent effort from the team to come back from behind. What it did show is we are going to have to work very hard for every single point this season.

“I felt the penalty decision was very soft, although we recovered well from that set-back.

“We had a great chance at the end to snatch the points but it wasn’t to be.”

EP made a fast start, mustering the first chance after four minutes. Good work from Luke Brodie saw him find Lucas Franzen-Jones but he fired a shot straight at Pagham goalkeeper Kieran Magee.

East Preston centre-back Josh Etherington was adjudged to have fouled a Pagham forward 12 minutes later, with a penalty awarded. Simmonds slammed it home to give the Lions a half-time lead.

Ryan Quirke was introduced at the break and he played a part in EP’s equaliser. Clever footwork saw Quirke make some room, then find Hunter and he slotted home on the hour.

East Preston wasted a glorious opportunity to seal a first league win since September late on.

Great football saw full-back Josh Parazo find Quirke, who then picked out Franzen-Jones.

With just the goalkeeper to beat, Franzen-Jones pulled his shot wide as it ended all square.

Fourth-from-bottom East Preston make the trip to place-below AFC Uckfield Town for a crucial league clash on Saturday.

EAST PRESTON: Cook; Josh Parazo, Etherington, Lyne, Beaney; Stevenson, Searle; Brodie, Franzen-Jones, Huet; Hunter. Subs: Quirke (Searle, 45), Bull (Brodie, 81), Purkis, Da Costa, Hallett.