The Eastenders’ management trio have taken many positives from the games played thus far and, while frustrating, Saturday’s “sun-fest” against Long Riston proved just the sort of test the players needed.
The spirited visitors matched a dogged defensive spirit with some decent moments going forward and made things very difficult for the locals.
Despite dominating possession, Easington struggled to find a breakthrough. The writing was on the wall from as early as the 8th minute when Frost rattled the bar. Campbell and Blount both saw efforts bundled off the line while McLaughlin and Cousins drew good saves from the keeper.
The second half proved just as frustrating. Jamie Hartley twice fired over from decent positions and Frost headed wide as United continued to fail to make the most of their territorial supremacy.
At the other end Riston twice came close to punishing this profligacy, Holden producing one smart stop and another good chance being wasted.
When the visitors’ keeper produced a stunning save to tip Frost’s goal-bound volley onto the bar on 85mins, it appeared to sum up the Eastenders’ day. However, moments later, the keeper failed to hold Stef Radley’s cross and Barnett was on hand to slot home the rebound.
Having finally been breached, Riston conceded a second goal in injury-time; Barnett creating the opening with Hartley cleverly teeing-up Frost who scored at the second attempt.
Squad: Holden, Havercroft, Barnett, McLaughlin, Blount, Campbell, Frost, Cousins, Farndale, Thurkettle, Radley (subs: Hartley, Brown, Jamieson - all used)
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