A balmy Tuesday evening this week took me to East Preston once again where they took on a Dorking Wanderers XI, expected to form their reserve side who this season will appear in the Southern Combination League Division One.
After a good start to pre-season for the home side, they were sluggish out the blocks for the first twenty minutes as the visitors got the ball down and played across the park stretching East Preston as much as they could.
Slightly against the run of play, the home side took the lead. Matt Storm gambled and won a 50-50 ball against the visiting keeper, coming off best to score and EP were in front.
With both sides getting into their stride, there was plenty of attacking intent but with very little in the way of clear cut chances during the remainder of the first half and the home side went into the break one goal to the good.
The second half was of a similar pattern although there was no slow start from EP this half and with a half time change of the once again impressive Storm replaced by Lew Broughton, there was no let up with attacking intent although while moving the ball around the pitch well Dorking were this time well marshalled by the EP back three of Charlie Robinson, Dan Howick and Ben Hack.
It was Howick who provided the hosts with their second goal, a superbly flighted free kick from Broughton found the head of the tall centre half and the ball nestled in the back of the net.
Substitute Dan Geal stung the palms of the visiting keeper in the final few minutes of the game, unleashing a rasping drive from fully 20 yards that was destined for the third goal of the game.
EP finished the stronger of the two sides and besides Geal’s effort could have added another goal or two, some stand out performances for EP in the shape of the previously mentioned back three whilst keeper Sam Marsden looked assured when danger did come his way.
A fine 45 from Storm and the same from his replacement Broughton who once fit will be a big asset to manager Simon Hull while Geal’s cameo in the centre of midfield showed class and composure in what is still a very young team but one that could excite and has the potential to upset the apple cart a few times this season.