A ‘no-brainer’ to host EP’s Vase tie – Gander

East Preston celebrate their first goal against Brantham at Culver Road
East Preston celebrate their first goal against Brantham at Culver Road
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LANCING Football Club chairman Martin Gander said it was a ‘no-brainer’ for his side to host East Preston’s FA Vase tie with Brantham Athletic on Saturday.

EP’s Lashmar pitch was waterlogged and, had the game been postponed for a second time, East Preston would have had to travel to their Suffolk-based opponents this Saturday.

But, after discussions between EP, Lancing and the County League, the decision was made for the game to take place at Culver Road, which meant Lancers’ County League Reserve Section East Division match with Westfield was postponed.

East Preston won the game 3-0 to reach the last 16 but Gander has since received some stick for allowing EP to play the game at Culver Road.

He said: “The decision was made for Sussex football and, for me, it was a no-brainer.

“Lancing Reserves haven’t got many games left anyway and the majority of people interested in Sussex football would have done the same.

“The decision had to be made pretty quickly on Saturday morning as Brantham had already left and, after consultation with Steve Nealgrove, the County League chairman, for the benefit of Sussex football, we hosted East Preston’s game.

“When I was Lancing manager, we got to the fourth round a few years ago, played on a frozen pitch away from home and got knocked out and I’ve regretted it ever since.

“People at the club might not have agreed with my decision but it was a no-brainer for me and if I had to make the same decision again, I would.

“With Eastbourne United also going through, Sussex now has two sides in the last 16 of a national competition, which is fantastic and can only benefit Sussex football.

“Lancing Football Club also came out of it very well as a lot of people have said what a great thing it was for us to do.”