Paine pleased as EP remain unbeaten in the league

Jack Barnes headed East Preston's second goal in their victory at Oakwood on Saturday. Picture: Stephen Goodger

Jack Barnes headed East Preston's second goal in their victory at Oakwood on Saturday. Picture: Stephen Goodger

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Bob Paine was delighted as his East Preston Football Club side made it five Southern Combination League Division matches without defeat so far this season.

Hayden Hunter and Jack Barnes were on target in a 2-0 win at Oakwood as EP made it four wins from five league matches to date .

Paine felt the way his team dealt with Oakwood’s physicality in the contest was another pleasing factor.

He said: “I thought our performance was excellent.

“For me, more important was how we coped with the physicality of Oakwood’s approach.

“We kept our discipline and control throughout the match, let the referee do his job, which I thought he did well.

“It was a very mature performance from my young team, showing how strong they are both physically and mentally under some not very pleasant intimidation.

“We’ve had a great start to the league season and it’s all very positive around the club at the moment.

“The new under-21 team have started well, we just need to keep improving week-by-week and keep our feet on the ground, we will have some difficult challenges ahead.”

EP started well and were ahead on seven minutes. A quick passing move saw Barnes and Jared Rance involved, before Hunter was picked up to drill into the bottom corner.

Rance was handed a ideal opportunity to double his side’s lead 11 minutes later.

Josh Parazo was upended in the area with a spot-kick awarded but Rance’s penalty was saved by Jesse Grimstone in Oakwood’s goal as it remained 1-0.

EP were dominant and Lukas Franzen-Jones so nearly got a second for his side on 21 minutes.

His curling free-kick beat the wall but bounced back off the crossbar.

Oakwood pumped several crosses in the box towards the back end of the first 45 minutes but East Preston stood firm.

Paine’s side got a deserved second on the hour mark when Rance’s cross was headed home by Barnes.

Oakwood piled players forward in the closing stages but were met by an in-form EP backline, with goalkeeper Jimmy Punter producing an assured display.

Clive Piller thought he had given the hosts some hope seven minutes from time but Punter clawed a header from the forward out as East Preston preserved their clean sheet and came away with a 2-0 victory.

Following the victory, EP moved up three places to third in Division 1.

They are level on points with second-placed Little Common and trail leaders Mile Oak by two points, although, East Preston do have a game in hand on both of them.

After their first away game of the season, Paine’s side return to The Lashmar when they welcome fourth-placed Saltdean United in the league on Saturday.

EAST PRESTON: Punter; Josh Parazo, Jacob Parazo, Hardman, Lyne, Smith, Rance, Barnes, Huet, Franzen-Jones, Hunter. Subs: Taylor (Hunter), Etherington (Franzen-Jones), Beaney, Barnes, Purkis.

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