Mavericks hit back to beat East Preston

Chad Milner netted his first goal for EP on Saturday
Chad Milner netted his first goal for EP on Saturday
  • East Preston suffer a second successive league loss
  • Paul Ettridge’s side let a 2-0 and 3-1 lead slip before falling to a 5-3 defeat
  • EP host local rivals Littlehampton in the FA Cup extra-preliminary round on Sunday (3pm)
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EAST PRESTON Football Club conceded four times in the second half as they lost a eight-goal thriller at Worthing United on Tuesday evening.

Both teams went into the game hoping to get off the mark for the season after opening-day losses. EP had lost 1-0 at home to Eastbourne Town, while United went down 6-1 at Newhaven.

It was the visitors who got out of the blocks the sharpest and took the lead after just 12 minutes. Craig Evans’ hopeful punt upfield led to Julian Curnow’s mis-timed header and allowed former Maverick Alfie Gritt to run through and tuck into Matt Grimstone’s net.

The EP lead doubled just two minutes later as another of the host’s former players, Chad Milner, cut out a Jon Elliot backpass to round Grimstone and slot into the unguarded goal.

Huff and puff seemed to be the preferred option for both sides as the match turned into a midfield scrap until the 41st minute. United’s Jacob Schilt managed to keep his feet when going down would have surely gained a penalty but his shot was well saved by Darren Ford.

However, just a minute later Ford dragged Schilt down in similar circumstances and a penalty was awarded to give the hosts a lifeline, skipper Jack Hayward duly sent Ford the wrong way.

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The two-goal cushion was restored immediately, though, when Gritt neatly flicked a through ball to Milner down the right wing and the resulting cross found Dan Huet at the back post and he made no mistake with the finish.

The second half was all Worthing United as Nigel Geary’s team talk paid dividends. Just five minutes in, James Wotherspoon’s shot was only parried by Ford to Titus Paterson, who netted the opportunity and then Lawrence Edwards’ rather tame free kick managed to find the back of the net on 53 minutes to level the scores.

Mavericks took the lead in the 75th minute when Wotherspoon’s cross from the right found lively substitute Justin Pawsey at the back post. The scoring was complete with three minutes to go as Wotherspoon put his marker on his backside before placing the ball in the bottom left-hand corner to seal a 5-3 victory for United.

Mavericks boss Geary said: “In the first half we didn’t keep the ball well enough and we talked about that at half-time. The boys did the business after that. We have a few people out at the moment, so it’s up to those wearing the shirt to make sure they keep hold of it.”

In the absence of EP manager Paul Etteridge, assistant Malcolm Metcalfe said: “We were happy with the first half performance but were possibly a bit complacent in the second and let them back into the game, which is disappointing.

“We’re a new side that’s learning all the time and are hungry to improve.”

The two-goal cushion was restored immediately, though, when Gritt neatly flicked a through ball to Milner down the right wing and the resulting cross found Dan Huet at the back post and he made no mistake with the finish.

The second half was all Worthing United as Nigel Geary’s team talk paid dividends. Just five minutes in, James Wotherspoon’s shot was only parried by Ford to Titus Paterson, who netted the opportunity and then Lawrence Edwards’ rather tame free kick managed to find the back of the net on 53 minutes to level the scores.

Mavericks took the lead in the 75th minute when Wotherspoon’s cross from the right found lively substitute Justin Pawsey at the back post.

The scoring was complete with three minutes to go as Wotherspoon placed the ball in the bottom left-hand corner to seal United’s victory.

In the absence of EP head coach Paul Ettridge, assistant Malcolm Metcalfe said: “We were happy with the first half performance but were possibly a bit complacent in the second and let them back into the game, which is disappointing.

“We’re a new side that’s learning all the time and are hungry to improve.”

UNITED: Grimstone; Gilmour, Curnow, Elliot, Moseby; Paterson, Edwards, Hayward, Schilt; Blundell, Wotherspoon. Subs: Pawsey (Paterson 71), Tidey (Schilt 75), Callaghan (Hayward 84), Hunt, Rose.

EAST PRESTON: Ford; Bassett, Evans, Amoo, Vine, Abraham, Costa, Curtis Milner, Gritt, Chad Milner, Huet. Subs: Rennie (Amoo 63), Sparkes (Chad Milner 84), Esfahani, Purkis, Chikowore.

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