Ringmer were outplayed and outclassed by runaway leaders East Preston at the Lashmar Ground on Saturday, after two goals from Joe Shelly settled the encounter.
Ringmer are a mainly youthful and inexperienced side, adjusting to the physical and mental strength of senior football and they knew they would be up against a very competitive East Preston Side, that have recruited many experienced players this season.
Ringmer were hampered by the withdrawal of centre half and skipper Callum Sherriff, after his other half gave birth on Thursday evening and had to reshuffle the back line. Ardean–Webb replaced his skipper and recent signing Jay Tidy was also unavailable, due to a shoulder injury picked up during the week and which may put him out for the rest of the season.
Ringmer kept it tight in the early stages and relied on Jack McClean and young full back Storrie to cause East Preston problems, with their bold runs down the right, but they could not penetrate and take advantage. Chances were few and far between for both sides, but you had a feeling that East Preston could go up another gear. However, the visitors gave a good account of themselves and held out to half time with a 0-0 scoreline.
In the second half, East Preston raised their game from the start and introduced a couple of subs to raise the tempo further. East Preston had more of the ball and Ringmer’s legs started to tire as they chased the game. The Ringmer defence were coping well, but gaps started to appear and EastPreston took the lead after 72 minutes, after Seb Saunders picked up a injury and was off the field. At the same time Ben Watkinson too, picked up an injury after he went down following a challenge. From this, East Preston were awarded a corner and with Ringmer down to 9 men to defend, Joe Shelly hit home from 10 yards. Ringmer complained, but their appeals were ignored and with Ringmer moaning about there luck, they conceded a second goal, after Josh James pulled of a superb save and tipped an East Preston effort over the bar. The resultant corner dropped into the six yard box and somehow Joe Shelly was on hand to squeeze the ball through keeper James’ legs into the net. It was shame for James, who had had a superb afternoon up to that point and pulled off a number of saves.
Ringmer offered little in response after the goals and class told in the end. East Preston continue their quest for championship glory. Ringmer can gain experience from this fixture and can look forward to collecting points in their next games to continue their move up the table, to give solace to the Ringmer contingent.
Ringmer: James; Storrie; Mikolay; Stracey; Ardean-Webb; Rogers; McClean; Bunn; Trickett; Pople; Saunders. Subs: Stubbings; Watkinson