EP clinch a welcome win at Crawley Down

East Preston players celebrate a goal
East Preston players celebrate a goal

EAST PRESTON secured their first win in four matches with victory at Crawley Down Gatwick on Saturday.

A brace from Shaun Charles and goals from Oli Lockyer and Andrew Dalehouse meant EP took all three points.

It was a first win in four for Sammy Donnelly’s side after they suffered league defeats to Eastbourne Town and United before a Sussex RUR Charity Cup shock against Westfield.

EP boss Donnelly felt it was a welcome win for his team and said: “It was great for us to get back to winning ways at Crawley Down.

“Despite the defeats in our previous three matches, I felt that we have been playing well and just failing to take our chances.

“It’s been a difficult task for us to adapt, with 20 players leaving the club and then lots of new players coming in.

“In our three defeats, we played really well for the opening 45 minutes but lost our way in the second half.

“On Saturday, we were great throughout the game and only took about 50 per cent of the chances we had.

“It’s just a case of rebuilding at the moment for us really, we have 20 players since myself and Jason have come to the club which is never going to be easy to replace those.

“I have not really set a target for a league position, it’s just a case of getting a side together and seeing how we fair for the remainder of this year.”

EP took the lead on 20 minutes when Shaun Charles netted.

It was two six minutes later when Andrew Dalehouse crashed home a shot.

EP had the game all but won when Charles bagged his second of the match six minutes after the break to put his side three goals in front.

Ollie Lockyer then made it four with 25 minutes still remaining as the away side looked to be cruising to a comprehensive win.

However, Crawley Down pulled a goal back through Mo Shuga’a two minutes later.

Crawley went in search of a second in the last 20 minutes and they got one two minutes into stoppage-time when Charlie Dodd scored.

But EP held on for a victory, which sees them remain in third place in the Division 1 table, level on points with Eastbourne United and Littlehampton above them, though both have a game in hand.

East Preston will be hoping to make it back-to-back successes when they host Shoreham in the County League Division 1 on Saturday.

EAST PRESTON: Buckland; Akers, Loft, Piper, Miles; Akehurst, Lockyer, Agnoly, Dalehouse; Charles, Death. Subs: Brant (Death), Martin (Dalehouse).