'Solid' start to new season pleases manager Paine

Matt Searle struck for East Preston at Lancing
Matt Searle struck for East Preston at Lancing

Bob Paine has been impressed by East Preston’s start to life in the Southern Combination League Premier Division.

Matt Searle’s thunderous strike was enough to see EP pick up a first league point on the road this term as they drew 1-1 with Lancing at Culver Road on Tuesday.

The point at Lancers came three days after East Preston sealed a first victory of the season – coming out on top against newly-promoted Little Common.

With four games of another league season already complete, EP sit 12th in the table on five points.

Manager Paine sees it as a solid enough start and one they should now build on as they look to better the 13th-placed finish achieved in their first season back at this level last term.

Paine said: “I’ve been quite pleased with the way we’ve started this season.

“The only game we’ve lost in the league to date is at Horsham YMCA, not many teams are going to go there and get anything.

“It was a relief to get our first win of the season against Little Common then we followed that up with a point at Lancing.

“We did well to come from behind and come away with something but on our second half performance, we could well have taken all three points.”

East Preston created a couple of chances early on but went behind after 21 minutes.

Jack Langford broke the deadlock as Lancers took control. EP were far from their best in the first 45 minutes but managed to get level before the break.

Midfielder Searle rocketed a left-foot drive home to make it 1-1 after two minutes before the break.

The goal seemed to spark East Preston in to life and they dominated much of the second half.

Substitute Jake Heryet could have won it for East Preston in stoppage-time.

Heryet was sent racing away but fired a shot straight at Lancers goalkeeper Tyler D’Cruz as both teams took a point.

Boss Paine praised the character shown by East Preston to come from behind but felt they could have taken all three points from the game. He added: “We did well to come from behind in the game and were much better in the second half.

“We didn’t start very well, went behind but did well to get ourselves back in the game.

“It’s another point, Jake had a great late chance to win it for us, maybe a draw was a fair result.” East Preston are without a game on Saturday, returning to action on Tuesday.

Neighbours Chichester City visit The Lashmar for a SCFL Premier Division clash.

EAST PRESTON: Purkis; DaCosta, Lelliott, Pidgeon, Brodie; Searle, Barnes; Rafferty, Pattenden, Tilley; Huet. Subs: Lyne (Pidgeon, 62), Heryet (Tilley, 71), Donaldson, Josh Parazo, Robinson.

Have you read?

'Arrogant' Wick sunk at Selsey

Salt rubs it in for Derbyshire as Sussex set up victory push

Captain Brendan is back as Worthing Thunder eye more silverware