Gray strikes late to grab victory for EP

Ben Gray netted the winner for EP against Newhaven on Saturday
Ben Gray netted the winner for EP against Newhaven on Saturday

EAST PRESTON Football Club boss Sammy Donnelly felt there was a great feeling around the Lashmar following their victory over Newhaven on Saturday.

It was EP’s first win in eight attempts in the league after Ben Gray struck the winner five minutes from time.

East Preston boss Donnelly said that it gave everyone involved with the side a lift: “There is nothing like winning and the feeling that you get after it in football.

“It’s been a tough time since myself and Jason Rutherford came into the club but when we get victories it makes it all worthwhile.

“I would also like to give a special mention to a group of young fans who follow us home and away.

“These young lads are at every game singing and cheering, whether we win or lose.

“Everyone at the club appreciates their support and that win was for them as well.

“It makes a change that it is us getting a late goal to win a game.

“I cannot fault the players for the performance that they gave on Saturday.

“Everyone who was involved was brilliant and it was a real team effort.

“The victory was also the ideal way of saying thank-you to everyone who supports and is involved with the side.

“I’m just hopeful we can go and pick up another three points against Selsey this week.”

Gray should have given EP an early lead when he got on the end of a Mark Burgess through ball but he failed to get his shot away.

Newhaven went into the game on the back of a ten-game unbeaten run in the league and it looked like that would continue when Lee Robinson put them ahead on 31 minutes.

EP went into the interval on level terms, though, as Michael Belli struck two minutes before the break.

Burgess then netted his second goal in four matches on 53 minutes to put EP ahead for the first time.

The visitors were not about to give up their fine unbeaten run easily, though, and Adam Kneller made it 2-2 eight minutes later.

EP were the better side in the latter stages but the game looked like it was heading for a draw.

Gray had other ideas, however, and he scored five minutes from time to grab the victory for East Preston.

EP will be looking for a second successive win when they host bottom-of-the-table Selsey on Saturday.

EAST PRESTON: McCarthy; Hand, Johnston, Franks, R.Curtis; O’Callaghan, B.Curtis, Belli, Gray; Charles, Burgess. Subs: Brand (O’Callaghan), Williams (Burgess), Kavanagh (Hand).