East Preston claim a point at Eastbourne Town despite controversial penalty awarded against them

Bob Paine
Bob Paine

East Preston secured a point at Eastbourne Town with a determined display at the Saffrons.

Manager Bob Paine made one change to the team that beat Crawley down Gatwick in the Sussex Senior Cup in midweek with Dan Huet replacing the injured Jake Heryet.

In a game of few clear cut chances and no goals it was still an entertaining game for the spectators. EP started brightly with the first opportunity falling to Luke Brodie after a fine pass to him from Asa Nicholson but Brodie screwed his shot wide. Nicholson then flicked on a long ball and Lewis Jenkins volley was straight at the home sides keeper. Lucas Pattenden then put Nicholson through but his shot was blocked for a corner.

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The home side had a couple of opportunities the best of which was a fine cross from the left which went across the EP goal with no home forward able to get the final touch.

EP were playing against the stiff Eastbourne breeze in the second half and were put under sustained pressure by Eastbourne in the opening minutes of the half.

EP then had a couple of chances, Brodie’s free kick was met by Jenkins who headed wide and then Brodie had another free kick which went narrowly wide of the upright.

Eastbourne were awarded a controversial penalty on 81 mins. Jack Barnes was adjudged to have fouled an Eastbourne player. The referee initially gave a penalty and then after consultation with his assistant changed the decision to a free kick just outside the box. After further consultation with his assistant he changed his mind again and awarded a penalty. From the resultant penalty George Bentley made a fantastic save diving to his left to push the ball round the post for a corner.

EP then saw out the rest of the half to take home a hard earned but thoroughly deserved point.

Manager Paine said: "I said to the players before the game we needed a determined and physically strong performance from them and that’s what we got.

"Once again we worked very hard and defended as a team superbly particularly in the early stages of the second half when we were put under sustained pressure.

"Eastbourne is always a difficult place to get anything and I think a draw was a fair result.

"Disappointed that the referee was indecisive on the award of the penalty but a great save from George saw that justice was done both on that decision but also secured us the point we deserved."

Team: George Bentley, Nathan DaCosta, Dave Beaney, Scott Slaughter, Tom Lyne (Etherington 61 mins), Lewis Jenkins, Lucas Pattenden, Jack Barnes, Dan Huet, Luke Brodie, Asa Nicholson

Subs: James Fernandes, Josh Etherington, Matt Searle, Scott Rafferty, Harry Callaghan