Steyning Town Football Club’s hopes of promotion were dealt a blow on Saturday.
A goal in each half from Hayden Hunter and Dan Huet helped East Preston to a 2-0 victory at The Shooting Field.
After starting the the day a point and place above East Preston in third, Steyning slipped to fourth in the table and have also played three games more than EP.
Second-placed Little Common lost at home to Selsey and Steyning still only trail them by three points but have played a game more.
After seeing his side suffer a 6-1 defeat at the hands of East Preston in the Division 1 Challenge Cup seven days earlier, Steyning manager Gerry Murphy felt it was a much-improved performance.
He said: “We played well against a team that I think will go onto win the league. We have another important game to come on Saturday against Mile Oak.
“Hopefully we’ll win that one to keep us in the hunt.”
EP took the lead after 11 minutes as Jared Rance’s cross was slotted home by Hunter.
Steyning saw a lot of the ball for the remainder of the half but failed to put EP’s defence under any real pressure.
Chris Cook was called into action on a couple of occasions in East Preston’s goal early in the second half, before Bob Paine’s side took control.
Huet saw a header well saved by Ben Rose 20 minutes from time to keep the score at 1-0.
Steyning’s best chance came on 80 minutes but Cook pulled off a fine stop. Substitute Dan Cusdin thundered a strike towards goal from ten yards but Cook pulled off fantastic save.
With Town piling men forward in search of an equaliser, Rance ran at Steyning’s defence but was denied by Rose. Rance then latched onto the loose ball and squared for Huet to seal all three points.
EP boss Paine praised goalkeeper Cook’s display in the win and said: “Another excellent all-round team display. Chris was outstanding in goal for us and his save ten minutes from time won us the three points.”
STEYNING TOWN: Rose; Greer, Clark, Elms, Finch, Knowles, Levoi, Faber, Milner, Romain, Pickford. Subs: Adams, Cusdin.
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