Report courtesy of 'The Littlehampton Gazette' thank you
Arundel claim vital victory in fight for survival
Arundel have put themselves in the driving seat going into the final game of the season.
Simon Hull’s men picked up a crucial three points at East Preston on Tuesday night, winning 3-1 against their local rivals.
And the win now puts them three points clear of the bottom two - Eastbourne United and Shoreham - going to the final game at home to Broadbridge Heath.
Despite going 1-0 down after eight minutes due to Lucas Pattenden’s strike, goals from Dion Jarvis, Harry Russell and Ben Gray gave the Mullets the important win.
Speaking before the Tuesday night game, manager Hull insisted confidence was still high going into the final two games of the season, with their fate still in their own hands after other results fell kindly at the weekend.
Having lost to Chichester on Saturday, Arundel found themselves in the bottom two on goal-difference, but had a crucial game in hand over both Shoreham and Eastbourne United AFC.
After the defeat to champions Chichester, Hull was left wondering what could have been after individual mistakes and a missed penalty led to a third consecutive defeat for his side.
He said: “We started very sloppy and very poor.
“Two gifts and we find ourselves two down in less than ten minutes and that makes a very difficult task even harder.
“We’ve been offering too many gifts this year and that’s why we find ourselves where we are.”
However, Hull knows that having clawed themselves back into it, the outcome could have been very different.
He continued: “That said, we got back into it. Dave Crouch got a good goal and Ryan Hallett got an equaliser just before half time. Two minutes after the restart, yet another mistake, we’re 3-2 down. That’s compounded with a missed penalty later. We’ve missed our share of penalties this year and 3-3 it’s a different game.”
EP Lose To Local Rivals
By East Preston Website Admin Thank you from Arundel FC
Lucas Pattenden (pictured) scored early but EP eventually lose 1-3
In a game of fine margins that could have gone either way it was the visitors Arundel who took the points at East Preston’s last home game of the season at the Lashmar.
Manager Bob Paine made four changes to the team that comprehensively beat Pagham three days earlier three of them enforced. George Bentley who has been invited for a trial at Burnley FC was replaced by 17 year old Tom Crook in goal for his second appearance of the season. Scott Rafferty came in for Scott Slaughter who had tonsillitis and Nathan Da Costa returned after suspension replacing the unwell Archie Thorpe. The other change was Asa Nicholsonin for Luke Brodie.
East Preston got off to a great start when awarded a penalty after eight minutes when Cian Tilley used his strength to get past the visitors defender who fouled him. Jack Barnes stepped up only to see his spot kick saved by the impressive Dan Stevens in the Arundel goal but the alert Lucas Pattenden was first to react to smash the ball into the top of the net.
The home side created a number of opportunities during the half with Tilley crossing to Nicholson who pulled his shot wide. Then from a free kick Jake Heryet put a good ball into the box Lewis Jenkins headed back across goal but Josh Etherington’s header was saved. Tilley who caused the Arundel defence lots of problems all evening was fouled again this time on the edge of the box and Heryet’s free kick was saved.
Pattenden was causing problems down the right with his pace, beat his man and crossed into the box and Stevens pulled off two saves in succession to keep the score 1-0. Arundel equalised on 40 minutes when the ball was cut back from the goal line and the ball was rifled into the EP net giving Crook no chance.
Half Time: 1-1
Dave Beaney had the first chance of the second half for EP but his volley was wide. Rafferty had a great chance 10 minutes into the half when a Pattenden cross came out to him on the edge of the box but he could not control his shot which went over the bar. On 61 minutes a good move from the home side saw Nicholson play the ball out wide to Beaney whose low cross had too much pace for Dan Huet and he couldn’t control the ball and it went out for a goal kick.
Arundel took the lead with 20 minutes left when from an EP corner they broke quickly and the Arundel forward slid the ball past Crook. Arundel were then awarded a penalty when Da Costa was harshly adjudged to have fouled an Arundel forward. The penalty was converted to give the away side some breathing space.
EP kept pushing for a way back into the match and Nicholson had a glorious chance to pull a goal back when Pattenden pulled the ball back and from six yards out Nicholson blasted the ball over the bar. The last action saw an Arundel defender handle the ball in the area but the referee decided it wasn’t deliberate.
Full Time: 1-3
Manager Bob Paine said ‘I was generally happy with our performance tonight. We played some good football at times and had some good chances which with a bit more quality in front of goal the result would have been different. One or two decisions went against us but over a season they even themselves out. It was like a cup final for Arundel and was a tight game and we didn’t get that bit of good fortune. Couldn’t really have asked anymore from the group except to be a bit more clinical in front of goal but that sums up our season’.
Team: Tom Crook, Nathan Da Costa, Dave Beaney, Scott Rafferty, Josh Etherington, Lewis Jenkins, Lucas Pattenden, Jack Barnes, Cian Tilley (Luke Brodie), Jake Heryet (Dan Huet), Asa Nicholson
1. Dan Stevens
2. Ryan Hallett
3. Dan Gibbs
4. Jordan Dudas (Capt)
5. Nathan Foster (Withdrawn)
16. Jordan Layton (Withdrawn)
7. Ash Hawkes
8. Dion Jarvis
9. David Crouch
10. Harry Russell (Withdrawn)
11. Ben Gray
12. Ash Harper (Used)
14. Rob Grove (Used)
15. Callum Litterick (Used)
17. Owen Benfell
18. Harry Potts
Attendance – TBC
Goal Scorers – Dion Jarvis (40), Harry Russell (72) Ben Gray (80)
Yellow Cards – D. Crouch, J.Dudas, D.Gibbs, N.Foster
Red cards – None