When it comes to pre-season games they come along like buses, as the saying goes. And little had the ink dried on Thursday’s blog than Saturday was here and game number two.
Once again it was a local choice and a game of landlords vs tenants, East Preston hosting Littlehampton Utd. The latter have this season moved out of the Sportsfield they shared with Littlehampton Town to pitch up at the Lashmar whilst also extending their club sides with the addition of an Under 23 outfit.
Just to add to the mix, Utd are managed by Chris Horner who had a spell in charge of East Preston after the resignation of Terry Dodd last season and are certainly a club who are looking to impress this coming season whilst EP will hope the appointment of Simon Hull over the close season will provide some stability after going through a raft of manager’s last season.
Rather than club’s struggling with players away on holiday lots are suffering from having to isolate needlessly but we won’t be going there with that! But as with the game I watched on Thursday night there was no shortage of commitment from both sides.
With EP residing two divisions above their tenants the difference in moving the ball around and the extra quickness to the ball was evident across the first half, played on a surface which has certainly seen some TLC over the short close season.
Not surprisingly the home side took the lead just before the half hour mark through an own goal having threatened a few times testing the visitors Maciek Kason a couple of times which gave EP the half time lead.
Utd certainly came out with a bit more freedom in the second half and duly equalised through Craig Rennie, latching onto a ball over the top of the centre halves taking it in his stride and rounding the keeper to score with around 20 minutes to play.
The raft of substitutions then followed but didn’t disrupt the flow of the game, in fact it kept momentum going and the home side had the chances to win it including a penalty which saw Kason save from Harry Margeson whilst EP also hit the bar and Kason called into action to tip over a free kick.
With no further goals added, a draw was a fair result with both sides happy I think with what they got from the game.
Some good performances in the EP ranks, notably Matt Storm on the left wing causing problems with his pace and balls into the box while Dan Geal looked composed in midfield, Charlie Robinson and Ben Hack could prove to be a strong defensive partnership over time.
Kason certainly had his work cut out for Utd over the 90 minutes but with I believe a few more players due back the starting line up for their opening game might look a little different.
And no disrespect to either side here, but the best part of the afternoon was seeing people I’ve not seen for over a year and some not since the best part of last year, that meant a lot more than what was taking place on the pitch, lots more of that to come over the next few weeks and months, it’s been too long coming………