Reigate Priory 3 – 3 AFC Ewell (1st September 2018)

Reigate Priory hosted AFC Ewell at Netherne Sports Ground in their final pre-season friendly; the visitors having finished mid-table in the division below Priory last season. Michael Winnister put the home side ahead with a beautifully executed lob volley from outside the box midway through the first half; a half that Priory largely controlled and were rarely troubled at the back in. Shane O’Keeffe doubled Priory’s lead early in the second half with a low, early hit drive from a narrow angle but just as it looked like the Reigate side were going to cruise to victory they gave away a soft goal with a cross cannoning of Andrew Georgiades’ knee providing the Ewell striker with a simple free header from close range. However, midway through the first half the lively Shane O’Keeffe arrowed a speculative drive from 45 yards which seemed to catch the away goalkeeper off guard and flew high into the net to make it 3-1. But again, the two goal cushion was short-lived as moments later James Leask was dispossessed on the edge of the box and the forward went past him and guided his shot past Halsey for 3-2. Priory absorbed a lot of pressure and looked like they had done enough for victory but were undone by a long diagonal ball from the goalkeeper into the right wing position for the lively Archie Gibbs to beat two players and slot past Halsey for a last minute equaliser. A disappointing result with some encouraging signs, but Priory will need to kill off teams in their first season in Surrey South Eastern Combination Division One this season if they are to do well. Reigate Priory are away to West Fulham in their first league games of the season on Saturday 8th September.

TEAM LINE UP/SQUAD: Halsey, Leask, Georgiades, Morley, Munoz Martinez, Hughes (capt), Walker, Woolsey, Charles, Winnister, O’Keeffe

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