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Archived News 2002 / 2003 Season

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:: Wednesday, 23rd April 2003 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
EAST Grinstead Town are celebrating a promotion double after their reserve team clinched their place in the premier division of the Reserve Section on Easter Monday.

Crawley Down 1, East Grinstead Town Reserves 3 - Click here for match report

A 3-1 win over Crawley Down, secured with goals from Matt Mayo, Scott Woolley and James Horner, means Phil Major has led Grinstead back into the premier division for the first time in ten years.

Click to Enlarge!
EGTFC Reserves v. Crawley Down Reserves - 21st April 2003
Their promotion, together with the first team's return to Division One of the Sussex County League after a nine-year absence, completes a brilliant season for the Wasps.

Manager Bob Smith said: "It's a fantastic achievement by Phil and his side which contains a lot of the youngsters who have come up through our junior teams.
"They will be playing at a higher level next season against some big clubs like Eastbourne Borough and Burgess Hill and that will make the step-up the players who break into the first team that bit easier.
"It's been a fantastic season and I would just like to thank all our players for the tremendous efforts they have put in. There are loyal people working behind the scenes at the club who can never remember celebrating a promotion and I know how much what both teams have achieved means to them."



Crawley Down 1, East Grinstead Town 1 - Click here for match report

Smith's men rounded off their campaign with a 1-1 draw at Crawley Down on Easter Monday morning.

Click to Enlarge!
EGTFC 1st XI v. Crawley Down - 21st April 2003

GRINSTEAD'S third XI round off their Mid Sussex League division two fixtures at Wivelsfield Green on Saturday, ko 2.00pm.

:: Sunday, 20th April 2003 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
RACE NIGHT

This Saturday, April 26, at the clubhouse, starting at 7pm.

As discussed at the recent managers' meeting, this is a club event and needs your support to be a success. Tickets are £5, there is a happy hour at the bar from 6.30pm and, judging by similar events in the past, is sure to be a lot of fun.

Please rally round your parents, helpers etc. and make sure we have a good turn out!


END OF SEASON PRESENTATIONS

Some managers have already booked the clubhouse for their presentations. If you haven't, please contact Bar and Facilities Manager Richard Tramontin.

Any manager wishing to attend the 'senior' presentation night on June 14 at EG Hockey Club should email me. Tickets are £20 and include a three-course dinner. We have a lot to celebrate this season and I would like as many of our youth team managers there as possible to help us do just that!


FOOTIE FUN - May 10-11

A planning meeting for this event will take place at the clubhouse on Monday, April 28 at 7.30pm. Anyone who can lend a hand to ensure its success is welcome to come along, but please register your interest first by contacting Tournament Director Martin Hill.

That's all for now, enjoy the remainder of the season and see you soon.

Bruce (Chairman)

:: Tuesday, 15th April 2003 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
EAST GRINSTEAD Town bid farewell to County League division two on Monday and manager Bob Smith will urge his side to go out in style.

Wasps clinched a return to the top flight of Sussex football amid memorable scenes last Tuesday when a goalless draw at home to Westfield secured their place in Division One after an absence of nine years.

Kris Trevor missed the opportunity to ease Wasps' nerves when he saw his 38th minute penalty saved by Westfield goalkeeper Paul Worthington, but a draw was the least Grinstead deserved.

The celebrations continued with a promotion party at the weekend, but the players were back in training this week as they prepared for their final game of the season, a local derby at Crawley Down on Easter Monday (kick off 11am).

Smith said: "Last Tuesday night was an absolutely fantastic moment for everyone associated with the club ­ players, officials and supporters, and none of us who were involved will ever forget it, especially when the players applauded the supporters and they stood there and returned the compliment, it was a great moment.
"In the 113 years history of the club we have only ever been promoted three times which makes what happened this season an even more special achievement.
"So we haven't needed much excuse to celebrate, but it's now time to go back to work.
"We have one game left and I want us to end with a good performance against Crawley Down although, as always, it will be a very difficult game."


The holidaying Lee Hanson and Matt Thorpe, who is recovering from ankle ligament damage, are both ruled out but Phil Thompson should return to the squad after confirming his recovery from a broken toe with two appearances for the reserves last week.

Smith added: "We're seven points ahead of Oakwood and I wouldn't like it if we only finished a point or two ahead of them because I don't think that would reflect what we have achieved over the season.
"We are the only side who haven't lost to Rye or Eastbourne Town, the other two teams who are going up with us, which is a great achievement and we haven't been out of the top three since Christmas."


What would make Grinstead's season even more memorable would be a double promotion celebration and the reserve team are now in a great position to return to the premier division.

Successive wins over Shinewater and Seaford, combined with defeats for rivals Ringmer and Oakwood on Saturday, means Wasps need four points from their remaining two matches to go up with Rye and one win should be enough because of their far superior goal difference.

They round off their campaign at home to Crowborough on Saturday (3pm) before visiting Crawley Down on Monday (2pm).

Smith added: "If the reserves got promoted it would round off a fantastic season. The standard in the premier division is higher than the eastern division and that would help us keep players, attract new ones and help those make the step-up from reserve to first team football next season with more ease."


GRINSTEAD'S third team secured their place in Division Two of the Mid Sussex League after reeling off their sixth successive win last Saturday with a 4-1 home success over Ashurst Wood. Goals came from Terry Wright, Jamie Upton, Ben Alexander and Andrew Bruce.

:: Friday, 11th April 2003 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
East Grinstead Town Reserves 7, Shinewater Association Reserves 2 - Click here for match report

The Reserves had a resounding victory on Wednesday evening to keep promotion a real possibility.

:: Wednesday, 9th April 2003 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
East Grinstead Town 0, Westfield 0 - Click here for match report

THE champagne was flowing at East Court on Tuesday night after Wasps secured a return to the top flight of Sussex non-league football.

A predictably tense goalless draw with Westfield earned Bob Smith's men the point which guaranteed third promotion place and ends a nine-year exile from County League Division One.

A delighted Smith said: "This is the culmination of five years of hard work. Each season we have improved the squad and I always felt that this could be our year.
"We've had a couple of blips, but we were unbeaten for 14 games at one stage and didn't lose to either of the two teams who are going up with us, Rye and Eastbourne Town, which is promotion form.
"We've also had some bad luck with injuries and it's a credit to the squad that we've overcome that and are back in Division One.
"We were founder members of the league back in the 1920s, our club is 113 years old and a club of our stature should be playing in the top flight in Sussex.
"I can't praise the players enough for what they have achieved and, on behalf of them, I would like to thank our supporters and all the people behind the scenes for the work they have done in helping us get promotion.
"It's a fantastic feeling and I'm sure the celebrations will go on for a few more days."


Fittingly, the home crowd gave the players a standing ovation at the end before the champagne corks started popping in the home dressing room.

:: Monday, 7th April 2003 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
Rye & Iden United 1, East Grinstead Town 2 - Click here for match report

WASPS need just one more point to secure a return to the top flight of Sussex football after a superb second-half fightback sunk title-chasing Rye on Saturday.

A goal down at half-time, Grinstead responded in style to chalk up a deserved win thanks to goals from Dave Gellatly and Steve Banks.

And the cheers of the Wasps' supporters who had made the trip to the Salts had hardly died down when news came through that Oakwood, their rivals for the third promotion spot, had suffered a shock 3-1 defeat at already relegated Oving.

It means Wasps have a nine point lead over Oaks with two games to go. Oakwood have a game in hand and can draw level on points, but Grinstead's goal difference is 13 better.

Bob Smith's men are hoping to secure Division One football after an absence of nine years by getting the point they need at home to Westfield tomorrow night (Tuesday). They finish their campaign with a local derby at Crawley Down on Easter Monday.

Smith was full of praise for his side's fightback against a Rye team full of players with Southern League experience but lacking the desire shown by their visitors.

He said: "I can't praise the players enough for their performance. In a 20 minute spell in the second half it wouldn't have flattered us if we had scored four or five goals. In four games against the top two this season we haven't lost which reflects well on the players.
"We had a couple of defeats on the spin and it was all a bit doom and gloom a couple of weeks ago, but the players have bounced back superbly. Their work-rate and attitude has been first-class, but we have to maintain it for the last two games and then hopefully we will get the rewards our efforts over the season have deserved. We haven't won anything yet."


Saturday's win was achieved without injured trio Matt Thorpe, Phil Thompson and Kevin Wright. The holidaying Lee Hanson will miss the last two matches which could mean Dave Garrett is pushed into midfield.


Rye & Iden Reserves 3, East Grinstead Town Reserves 0 - Click here for match report

Town Reserves crashed to defeat against fellow promotion rivals Rye on Saturday.


East Grinstead III 1, Sporting Lindfield 0

GRINSTEAD'S third team secured their fifth successive win in Mid Sussex League Division Two after a goal from Karl Brown secured a 1-0 win over Sporting Lindfield.
This Saturday they entertain Ashurst Wood on the main pitch at East Court, ko 2.00pm.


Worcester Park 8, East Grinstead Ladies 1

The ladies team wrap up their South East Counties Division Three campaign on Sunday at home to Woking, kick off 2.00pm. In their penultimate game at Worcester Park on Sunday Sam Lunniss got her first goal for the club but it came in an 8-1 defeat.


Grinstead's under-18s play their penutlimate match in the Southern Youth League on Thursday against Cobham, kick off 7.30pm.

:: Wednesday, 2nd April 2003 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
TOWN'S promotion prospects improved last night after Oakwood, their rivals for the third promotion place, lost 2-0 to two second half goals at home to Rye.

Wasps have a six point advantage over Oaks and a better goal difference of ten, but Oakwood do have a game in hand.

This Saturday Grinstead go to Rye (2pm ko). A home win would secure their place in Division One next season.

Oakwood are away to Oving while next Tuesday (April 8) Grinstead entertain Westfield and Oakwood are at home to Shinewater.


East Grinstead Town Reserves 3, Lingfield Reserves 2 - Click here for match report

Town continued their winning run with a nail bitting victory over local rivals Lingfield on Wednesday evening.

:: Monday, 31st March 2003 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
East Grinstead Town 0, Eastbourne Town 0 - Click here for match report

THE battle for a place in the Sussex County League's top flight looks like going down to the wire.

Grinstead, who occupy the third promotion slot, fully deserved to hold already promoted Eastbourne Town in an entertaining game at East Court on Saturday.

But rivals Oakwood trimmed Wasps' advantage to six points after their 4-0 win over Worthing United. Oaks also have two games in hand, but Grinstead's goal difference, boosted by last Tuesday's 5-0 hammering of Shinewater, is eight better.

After Saturday's trip to second-placed Rye, Wasps complete their programme at home to Westfield next Tuesday (7.30pm) and away to Crawley Down on Easter Monday.

Manager Bob Smith is due to watch Rye in action at Oakwood tomorrow night (Tuesday). Oakwood also have home matches against Wealden and Shinewater and trips to Oving and Steyning remaining.

He said: "After a couple of poor results we have got back on track. What has pleased me most in the last two games is our work ethic which has been absolutely tremendous.
"We had a few problems on Saturday with four players missing and Matt Thorpe injured, but a draw was no more than we deserved and we had the better chances to have won the game against a very good side.
"We're confident we can get a result at Rye on Saturday and then we will have a clearer idea of what we have to do in the final couple of matches. But if we perform as we have done in the last two games then we still have a great chance of going up."



Wealden Reserves 2, East Grinstead Reserves 4 - Click here for match report

Town deserved all three points in this difficult encounter which ensures their promotion hopes are still alive and kicking.


East Grinstead III 4, Wivelsfield Green 3

GRINSTEAD'S third XI are almost sure of their place in Division Two of the Mid Sussex League after a 4-3 win over Wivelsfield Green on Saturday. Rob Whiting (2), Bob Wallis and Damian Duvall were their goalscorers. This Saturday they entertain Sporting Lindfield (2pm).

:: Wednesday, 26th March 2003 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
East Grinstead Town 5, Shinewater 0 - Click here for match report

WASPS strengthened their push for promotion from County League Division Two on Tuesday night after recording their biggest win since November.

:: Monday, 24th March 2003 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
East Grinstead Town 0, Eastbourne United 3 - Click here for match report

THE return of midfielder Dave Gellatly and striker Kris Trevor have given East Grinstead Town a timely boost to their faltering County League promotion hopes.

Wobbling Wasps have seen their 11 point lead over rivals Oakwood trimmed to just five after successive 3-0 defeats to Oakwood last Tuesday and at home to Eastbourne United on Saturday.

But manager Bob Smith was boosted by the return of Gellatly, who has been badly missed in midfield while serving a two match ban, and striker Trevor, who was unavailable for the United game, for two crucial home matches this week.

Mid-table Shinewater are the visitors tomorrow night (Tuesday) while leaders Eastbourne Town, who clinched promotion on Saturday, come to East Court on Saturday, kick off 3pm.

Dave Garrett, absent for the last three matches with a badly swollen ankle, should also be fit to face Town.

Grinstead desperately need to return to winning ways after a slump which has seen them lose as many matches in the last three weeks as they had done in the previous 15 months.

Oakwood also have a game in hand and arguably the easier run-in while Wasps still have to play another of the promotion chasers Rye and finish the season with the local derby at Crawley Down on April 21.

But Smith was striking a positive note this week. He said: "We've had a blip, which all teams suffer in a season, but 15 teams in the division, including Oakwood, would rather to be in our position at the moment.
"It's still in our hands which is the best position to be in, we don't have to rely on other teams and we have worked hard all season to let all the effort we have put in go to waste now."


Smith is reverting back to 4-4-2 for tomorrow night's game after a flirtation with 3-5-2 backfired against United.

He added: "They went like for like and it stifled us. We couldn't get our wide players forward and the service to the front two was poor.
"Having said that it had 0-0 written all over it for an hour, but once they scored their confidence soared and our heads dropped."


Smith was considering a recall for wideman James Horner last night, possibly at the expense of Phil Thompson who suffered a suspected broken toe in the last ten minutes of Saturday's match.

"We have a few more options now," added Smith. "I don't think it's a coincidence that throughout the season we have suffered bad results when the squad has been weakened for one reason or another, but every club has that so it can't be used as an excuse.
"We have been struggling to create chances and James might be able to help in that because he can get past players and get the service our strikers thrive on, the same applies in a different way to Kris."



Eastbourne United Reserves 2, East Grinstead Town Reserves 2 - Click here for match report

With a much changed team, the reserves came away with a point but it could so easilly have been all three.


East Grinstead III 2, Forest Row 4

GRINSTEAD'S third XI lost 4-2 to Forest Row in the semi-final of the Edgar German Cup on Saturday. A severely depleted side were beaten despite goals from Bob Wallis and Karl Brown.

[Monday, 17th March 2003]

Broadbridge Heath 0, East Grinstead Town 1 - Click here for match report

WASPS took another step towards promotion on Saturday, but the victory which consolidated second place in County League Division Two was achieved at some cost.

Defender Dave Garrett was stretchered off just before half-time after a late tackle by Robin Farmer which rightly earned Heath's defender a yellow card.

Garrett suffered a badly swollen ankle and is out for at least a fortnight, but there was worse news for boss Bob Smith on Sunday when another of his fullbacks, Kevin Wright, dislocated his elbow playing Sunday football for Dormansland Rockets. Wright is in plaster and is out for the rest of the season.

Smith said: "We've been hit hard by injuries this season and losing Kevin for the rest of the season is a big blow.
"Dave could be back for the Eastbourne Town game on the 29th, but fortunately we have a big enough squad to cope with injuries.
"It gives a chance to other players who now have the opportunity to play a big part in helping us get what we all want which is promotion back to Division One."


Saturday's win, allied to defeats for Oakwood and Lancing, means Wasps now have a ten point cushion over the chasing pack with games running out.

Adam Dart, who has been in cracking form for the reserves in recent weeks, is due to take Wright's place and there will be a return to the defence for Andy Rabbetts tomorrow night (Tuesday) when Grinstead travelled to Oakwood.

Wasps then begin a run of three home games with Eastbourne United visiting East Court on Saturday (3pm) followed by Shinewater next Tuesday (7.30pm).

"The next three games are very important. If we can get positive results then it is going to be very hard for the teams below us to make up ground.
"It was important we got a win on Saturday. The wind and bobbly pitch made it very scrappy at times but we had the edge."


The return of midfielder Matt Thorpe, who was unavailable on Saturday, will be counter-balanced by the absence of Dave Gellatly for the Oakwood and Eastbourne matches while he serves a suspension for accumulating five bookings.

Grinstead's man of the match against Heath was also their matchwinner.

Striker Kris Trevor is set to play a key role in the run-in after missing half of the season with a foot injury and the skills of a player who was on Middlesbrough's books for two years ensured Heath's defence never had a moment's rest.


East Grinstead Town Reserves 4, Saltdean United Reserves 0 - Click here for match report

Town Reserves picked up three valuable points as they continued to climb up the table. They now lie in third place with games in hand as their successful season continued with a well earned win against Saltdean.

This Saturday the Reserves have a difficult away game at Eastbourne United.


East Grinstead III 5, Uckfield Town II 1

A second successive league win has given East Grinstead Town III a chance of avoiding relegation from Mid Sussex League Division Two.

Goals from Damian Duvall (2), Bob Wallis, David Barham and Terry Wright secured a 5-1 win over Uckfield Town II on Saturday.

This Saturday Grinstead travel to Forest Row in the semi-final of the Edgar German Cup.


East Grinstead Ladies 2, Eastbourne Town 2

GRINSTEAD'S ladies team lost 4-2 to Eastbourne Town at East Court on Sunday despite goals from Amy Graves (penalty) and Becky James.

On Wednesday night they entertain Crawley Wasps (ko 7.30pm) before travelling to Worcester Park Reserves on Sunday.


[Monday, 10th March 2003]

EAST Grinstead Town will have to make changes in midfield when they resume their promotion push on Saturday.

Matt Thorpe, who has played such a key role in Wasps' rise up the table since returning from an ankle injury at the end of November, is unavailable for Saturday's trip to Broadbridge Heath (3pm).

It could mean a return to the starting line-up for either wide man James Horner or Paul Otway while Jamie Liddell is another option as he is available again after suspension.

Horner has missed the last seven games since scoring the winner against Mile Oak on December 28. He suffered an ankle injury and was unable to regain his place but has been in good form in the reserves.

Otway was dropped for the trip to Eastbourne Town on February 1 and has been in the reserves since, but his experience and defensive midfield skills mean he will still have a part to play in Grinstead's bid to end a 10-year absence from top-flight County League football.

Manager Bob Smith said: "I have always said that players in possession of the shirts will keep them providing their performances are good enough and they come training and show the right attitude.
"Paul and James have been a big part of our climb up the table until they lost their places for one reason or another and they could have an opportunity to get back in the side and stay there until the end of the season."


Grant Hearn is also in line for a return at rightback.

Wasps remain second in Division Two despite the postponement of Saturday's game at Oakwood because of a waterlogged pitch.

They are a point ahead of Rye and, more importantly, they still have a seven-point cushion over the chasing pack outside the top three.

That group is now led by Lancing who condemned leaders Eastbourne Town to a second successive defeat when they came from behind to win 2-1.

Town can still clinch promotion with victory at Oakwood on Saturday, a result which would also improve Grinstead's chances of finishing in the top three promotion positions.

But their focus will be on returning to winning ways after their 14 match unbeaten run was ended by Pease Pottage in their last match a fortnight ago.

Certainly the situation at the top could look a lot clearer by the time Grinstead go to Oakwood on Tuesday week for the re-arranged league match (7.30pm) although they will be without midfielder Dave Gellatly who starts a two-match ban for accumulating five bookings.

Smith added: "It's a shame Saturday's game was off because we had had two good training sessions during the week, worked on a few things and were raring to go.
"As I've said all along we will take each match as it comes. There are eight left and if we maintain the form we've shown since November when they started the unbeaten run we won't be far away.
"That starts on Saturday. The pitch at Broadbridge Heath is usually good which should suit us but it will be another hard game. We can't take any side for granted at this stage of the season, every point has to be earned but the players feel pretty confident that they can see the job through."



East Grinstead Town Reserves 3, Westfield Reserves 2 - Click here for match report

Click to Enlarge!
EGTFC Reserves v. Wealden Reserves - 8th March 2003
Despite conceding goals within the first few minutes of both halves, EGTFC Reserves defeated Westfield 3 - 2 and leapfrogged them into 4th position in the league.

GRINSTEAD'S third XI improved their hopes of avoiding relegation from Mid Sussex League Division Two with an excellent 5-1 win at third-placed Peacehaven United.
Goals came from Damian Duvall (2), Phil Hayward James Upton and Rob Whiting.
This Saturday they are at home to Ashurst Wood (ko 2.00pm).


[Monday, 3rd March 2003]

Pease Pottage 2, East Grinstead Town 1 - Click here for match report

WASPS suffered an unexpected setback in their promotion push at a wet Finches Field on Saturday when the concession of two sloppy goals and the heroics of Pottage keeper Neil Gledhill helped condemn them to a first league defeat in 14 games.

Grinstead still have a seven point lead over Oakwood/Saltdean, their only serious rivals for the third promotion place in County League Division Two, but manager Bob Smith will be hoping that Saturday's setback is only a temporary one.

Not for the first time this season, Grinstead struggled to get out of first gear in the opening 15 minutes and they fell behind after 11 minutes to a well-taken goal from Peter Sweet.

Kris Trevor deservedly restored parity three minutes into the second half and after that Gledhill really came into his own with a string of fine saves.

But Pottage regained the lead when Jamie Fiveash scrambled the ball home at a 71st minute corner and despite dominating the closing stages there was no way through for Wasps on a frustrating afternoon for all concerned.

Smith said: "It was just one of those days. We had a lot of the ball after they scored, but to be fair their goalkeeper was outstanding and things just didn't fall for us in their box.
"But if we thought it was going to be an easy coast towards promotion then we know differently now. Our preparation and the way we go about our business during the 90 minutes has to be spot-on."


Grinstead are eights points clear of Oakwood who are their only realistic challengers for third place after their 4-1 win over Saltdean on Saturday.

Oaks also have a game in hand and entertain Grinstead in a crucial encounter at Tinsley Lane on Saturday (3pm).

Smith's decision to bring back Trevor in place of top scorer Ben Burns was vindicated by his goal and all-round performance, but in midfield only Matt Thorpe and, in the second half, Phil Thompson produced what they are capable of against Pottage and Smith could freshen things up in this department on Saturday.

"Oakwood will be up for it and we have got to match them in every department on Saturday," added Smith. "It's a big game but these are the sort of matches we have to perform in if we want to be playing in Division One next season."


GRINSTEAD'S hopes of promotion from Reserve Section East suffered a potentially fatal blow after a 1-0 home defeat to second-placed Rye.

The third team enjoyed a confidence-boosting 7-2 win over Burgess Hill Athletic in Mid Sussex League division two.
Goals came from Steve Norris (2), Seb Mann (2), Phil Hayard, Damian Duvall and Andy Goodwin.


EGTFC Ladies Team 1, Crawley Down 4

Click to Enlarge!
EGTFC Ladies Team v. Crawley Town - 2nd March 2003
The Waspettes went into the break one nil down despite having pressed for long spells in the first half. Becky James equalised ten minutes into the second half with a well taken goal following an impressive solo run from the halfway line, slotting the ball past the Crawley Down keeper as she advanced. The Waspettes were inspired by the goal, but after failing to convert a couple of good chances, were finally beaten by three very well taken second half goals by the visitors.

The Ladies' next match is away against Haywards Heath on Sunday 9th March, kick off 2:00 pm


[Monday, 24th February 2003]

East Grinstead Town 3, Steyning Town 1 - Click here for match report

Click to Enlarge!
EGTFC 1st Team v. Steyning Town - 22nd Feb 2003
WASPS recovered from the shock of conceding a goal inside the first minute to claim three more points in their bid for promotion from County League Division Two.

Home fans and players would have been forgiven for thinking their Steyning bogey was going to strike again when James Hannah beat the offside trap and held off the challenge of Andy Rabbetts to put the visitors in front after a long ball forward by Steve Purser.

After all, in three previous league and cup meetings this season Steyning had scored 13 goals to Wasps' one and they were the last team to beat Bob Smith's men back on November 16.
But Grinstead are made of sterner stuff these days. Once they had got to grips defensively with Steyning's direct, physical approach they took control with three goals in 16 second-half minutes.

Smith said: "I always felt we were capable of getting back into the match, but we were probably guilty of over-playing a bit in the first half.
"We got their back four turning in the second half and played really well. All three goals were tap-ins because we were able to get behind them and get balls into dangerous areas."


Rye's shock 5-2 home defeat by Saltdean means Wasps are seven points clear in second place although Rye do have seven games in hand. More significantly, the gap between Grinstead and Saltdean, who are fourth, remains ten points and both sides have nine matches left.

Grinstead now embark on a crucial run of three successive away games, starting on Saturday when they make their first ever visit to Pease Pottage (3pm).

Jamie Liddell plays his last game before a one-match ban while fellow midfielder Dave Gellatly will miss the next home game against Eastbourne United on March 22 after accumulating five bookings.

But apart from defender Drew Cooney, who is recovering from the ankle injury he sustained on December 28, Smith has a fully fit squad available to him and lots of options.

He said: "I've said all along we think no further than the next match. Pease Pottage are fighting for their lives and they will give us another hard game. Any success we might have this season will have to be earned, no one is going to lie down for us."


GRINSTEAD'S 3rd XI missed out on a second successive cup final appearance when they lost 3-0 at Forest Row on Saturday in the semi-final of the Edgar German Cup.
This Saturday they return to league action in Mid Sussex League Division Two away to Burgess Hill Athletic (2pm).


THE under-18s went down 4-0 at home to Southern Youth League leaders Leatherhead on Thursday.


GRINSTEAD'S Ladies, playing only their second game in ten weeks, were beaten 8-0 by Castle Colts, a Maidstone-based team from a higher division, in the first round of the SE Counties League Cup on Sunday.


[Tuesday, 18th February 2003]

East Grinstead Town 2, Seaford Town 1 - Click here for match report

GRINSTEAD ground out another important win at East Court on Saturday to open up a ten-point lead on their rivals in the race for promotion to Division One of the Sussex County League.

As expected, a Seaford side who came to East Court having won four games on the spin without conceding a goal, gave Bob Smith's mean a tough afternoon.
But Grinstead had that bit more quality where it mattered in front of goal and efforts in each half from Steve Banks and Ben Burns extended their unbeaten Division Two run to 12 games.
Tristan Jobe's 79th minute goal made it an anxious last few minutes for the home supporters who have got used to seeing their side fritter away leads in the past. But Bob Smith reacted to Seaford's decision to throw three men up front by reverting back to the 4-4-2 formation he had abandoned for a spell in the second half when Grinstead held a comfortable 2-0 lead and he was able to bring Kris Trevor and Phil Thompson off the subs' bench.

The East Court pitch, although flat, was heavily sanded and survived two pitch inspections. It cut up quickly and made for an absorbing rather than entertaining battle with clear-cut chances at a premium and defenders, in particular Grinstead's Andy Rabbetts, the most eye-catching performers.

Smith said: "I knew Seaford would give us a hard game physically and that's what happened, but we scored two great goals and I can't remember Dave Tidy having to make many saves in our goal.
"Conditions were difficult, but the committee members worked really hard just to get the game on and I would like to thank them for their efforts. It's another three points nearer our target, but all we are concentrating on now is the next game. People are starting to think about promotion, but I've banned that sort of talk in the dressing room because there are still ten games to go and a lot of hard work ahead of us."


Wasps will be desperate to win Saturday's home game against Steyning for more than just the three points on offer in the promotion race.

Steyning have proved to be Grinstead's bogey side this season, inflicting one of only two league defeats they have suffered so far back in October when they won 5-0. Three weeks later they came to East Court and thrashed Wasps 6-1 in the Division Two Cup and in mid-November knocked them out of the League Cup.

Smith added: "Our side and squad is a lot stronger now than it was then and confidence is a lot higher. Steyning have struggled a bit since we played them which surprises me but we know it is going to be another hard afternoon for us, just like every game will be between now and the end of the season."

Smith made one change last Saturday to the team which had beaten Lancing, replacing Phil Thompson on the right with Jamie Liddell. He made little impact but was involved in the 16th minute goal which rewarded a positive opening by Grinstead.


Crowborough Athletic Reserves 3, East Grinstead Town Reserves 6 - Click here for match report

Town Reserves recorded another victory in an uninspiring match at Crowborough.


GRINSTEAD'S third team game against Uckfield reserves in Mid Sussex League Division Two was postponed due to a frozen pitch.
On Saturday they are away to Forest Row in the semi-finals of the Edgar German Cup, ko 1.30pm.


[Monday, 10th February 2003]

Lancing 2, East Grinstead Town 4 - Click here for match report

WASPS produced a sparkling second half performance at Culver Road on Saturday to give their promotion hopes a massive boost.
They came from behind at half-time to win with goals from Dave Gellatly and substitutes Jamie Liddell (2) and Kris Trevor.

Victory stretched their unbeaten record in County League division 2 to 11 games and Bob Smith's men have a seven-point cushion above their promotion rivals after this crucial success against a Lancing outfit whose own hopes of going up have surely disappeared after this defeat.

Smith said: "We were unfortunate to be behind at half-time, but I felt that if we kept stretching them and keeping possession then the goals would come."

GRINSTEAD'S third XI remain second from bottom of Mid Sussex League division 2 after losing 3-1 at home to promotion-chasing Peacehaven United despite leading at half-time through Phil Hayward's goal.
Leaders Sporting Lindfield are this Saturday's visitors to East Court, ko 2.00pm.

GRINSTEAD Ladies hope to play only their third match in 10 weeks at Eastbourne on Sunday in a double-header in the SE Counties League division 3.


[Tuesday, 4th February 2003]

PROMOTION rivals Lancing host East Grinstead Town on Saturday and Bob Smith's men will head to the coast in confident mood after a morale-boosting win over first division Three Bridges last week.
Wasps won 3-2 at the Jubilee Field in a friendly on Tuesday and Smith was grateful for the chance to give fringe members of the squad a run-out, especially as Saturday's home game against Shinewater was postponed.

After a goalless first half, James Hornerıs low, curling shot gave Grinstead a 49th minute lead. Bridges scored twice in four minutes to go 2-1 in front, but Jamie Liddell levelled with a powerful shot from 20 yards before crossing for Ben Burns to score the winner four minutes from time.

Horner, recovering from an ankle injury, Kris Trevor, goalkeeper Scott Kenward, Andy Rabbetts and Luke Dunstan, recently returned after six months in America, all got valuable match practice.

Smith said: "It was a very valuable exercise. Chris Arrow played at centre half and did really well in his first game there for six years.
"Chris in defence gives us another option and other lads who needed to get 90 minutes under their belt did so."


Saturday's home match against Shinewater was called off after a morning inspection because of a waterlogged pitch, only the fourth game lost at East Court this season because of the weather.

Smith added: "Ironically, by kick-off time the thaw had set in and the pitch was playable but it was too late. It's a shame but a lot of clubs were in the same boat."

Only three games survived in the County League and there was good news for Smith when Saltdean, one of Grinstead's rivals for promotion, slipped to a 2-0 defeat at Wealden.

Wasps are still second and six points ahead of fourth-placed Lancing who have a game in hand.

Smith added: "It's another big game at Lancing on Saturday (3pm) and we will have to have the same attitude we showed against Eastbourne Town ten days ago.
"They probably need to win while a draw would suit us but we are going there to win, there is no doubt about that."


Smith is likely to stick with the team which drew 1-1 with leaders Eastbourne, but Kris Trevor is expected to earn promotion to the bench.

Smith added: "We all know what a quality player Kris is and there's no doubt that we have missed him in the first half of the season. He is fit now and I'm sure he can make a big contribution in the last three months of the campaign."

Grinstead Reserves entertain Newhaven at East Court on Saturday (3pm) in the East Division while the third team are at home to Peacehaven United in Mid Sussex League Division Two (2pm).

The under-18s entertain Epsom & Ewell on Thursday night, ko 7.30pm) while Grinstead Ladies visit Eastbourne, kick off 2.00pm, in the SE Counties League Division Three on Sunday.


[Thursday, 30th January 2003]

Three Bridges 2, East Grinstead Town 3 - Click here for match report

WASPS enjoyed a morale-boosting win over first division Bridges in Tuesday night's friendly at the Jubilee Field.


[Tuesday, 28th January 2003]

Eastbourne Town 1, East Grinstead Town 1 - Click here for match report

WASPS strengthened their promotion bid in County League division 2 after they held the runaway leaders in an absorbing top-versus-second clash at the Saffrons on Saturday.
Steve Banks gave the visitors the perfect start with a goal in the first minute and although Eastbourne equalised a minute into the second half Wasps held firm to secure a thoroughly deserved draw.

Bob Smith's decision to revert to a 4-4-2 formation was vindicated as they kept Eastbourne's free-scoring front pair Gary Brockwell and Yemi Odubade relatively quiet.
Wasps looked more compact and although they lost much of their attacking threat when Banks limped off with a sore calf in the 57th minute they still had a great chance to win the match in injury time when Lee Hanson scooped his close range effort over the bar from eight yards following a left-wing cross by substitute Andy Rabbetts.

Manager Bob Smith said: "I thought it was an excellent performance and it should give the players a lot of confidence for the rest of the season.
"We worked hard, defended well and I can't remember us starting a game so well for a long time. That first 20 minutes gave us a platform for the rest of the match against a very good side who will definitely go up."


Eastbourne remain 17 points clear and when they have played their games in hand Rye will surely ease Grinstead out of second place. But three go up and the gap between Wasps and Lancing, who are fourth, is now six points after Lancing's 1-0 home defeat by Worthing United.
The challenges of Oakwood, Saltdean and Saturday's visitors Shinewater can't be discounted, but Grinstead are in a strong position to return to the top flight after a ten-year absence.

Banks should be fit for Saturday's home match against Shinewater (3pm) at East Court while Smith was planning to give Kris Trevor, Chris Arrow, Rabbetts, Luke Dunstan, Jamie Liddell and Paul Otway a run-out in tonight's (Tuesday) friendly at first division Three Bridges.

Smith said: "The squad is virtually at full strength now and everyone is going to play their part at some stage of the run-in.
"We are in a good position, but nothing is decided yet. We still have 12 cup finals to play but if we can maintain the level of performance we showed on Saturday then we have got a great opportunity."


East Grinstead Town Reserves 3, Wealden Reserves 1 - Click here for match report

East Grinstead Town Reserves continued their recent good run with a convincing victory against a lively Wealden team last Friday evening.

GRINSTEAD'S third XI lost 3-0 to Mid Sussex League division 2 leaders Jarvis Brook on Saturday.
IN their first match for six weeks, East Grinstead Town Ladies twice came from behind to draw level at Crawley Down before conceding three goals in the last 15 minutes to lose 5-2 in SE Counties League division 3.
Grinstead's goalscorers were Becky James and Amy Watson.
East Grinstead Town Ladies play Woking reserves at East Court this Sunday (Feb 2), kick off 2.00pm


[Monday, 20th January 2003]

BOSS Bob Smith says his players are relishing the chance to put a dent in Eastbourne Town's proud unbeaten record in Saturday's top of the table battle at the Saffrons (3pm).
The runaway leaders have won 17 and drawn their other four games in County League division 2 and are 14 points clear of Wasps who improved their own promotion hopes with a 2-0 win over Oving at East Court on Saturday.

East Grinstead Town 2, Oving 0 - Click here for match report

Smith said: "It's going to be our hardest game of the season, but I think our players can rise to the occasion.
"If we didn't lose I think that would be a good result because they are a decent side who score lots of goals and are well managed by Dave Winterton.
"But we won down there in similar circumstances last year. We tend to raise our game against better teams and I hope that will be the case again."


Smith could be forced into two changes after Drew Cooney suffered ankle ligament damage early on against Oving. The young defender will be in plaster for another week so Andy Rabbetts is in line for his first game since October 26.
Adam Dart (thigh) is also struggling while the successful return to action in the reserves of Chris Arrow, Kevin Wright and Kris Trevor may tempt Smith into further changes and perhaps a switch back to 4-4-2.
Wasps are due to play first division Three Bridges in a friendly at the Jubilee Field tomorrow night (Tuesday) which will give players like Rabbetts and Trevor, who hasn't played first team football since August 31, further opportunity to improve their match fitness.
With the top three going up and Eastbourne and Rye almost certain to fill the top two places, Wasps' position improved with their win over Oving and closest challengers Lancing's 3-2 defeat at Oakwood. Grinstead now have a five-point cushion above Lancers although their rivals do have a game in hand.
Smith added: "It's a nice position to be in but we still have some very difficult games left including Lancing, Oakwood and Rye all away and two matches against Eastbourne Town.
"We are still not playing as well as we can, there is a lot more to come from us, but we're unbeaten in nine and have won six of those games which is good form."

GRINSTEAD'S third team lost 6-0 to promotion-chasing Sporting Lindfield in Mid Sussex League Division 2. This Saturday they are away to leaders Jarvis Brook (ko 2.00pm).
The under-18s host Tonbridge tomorrow night (Thursday) in the Southern Youth League (ko 7.30pm) while on Sunday Grinstead Ladies, whose match against Woking last Sunday was postponed, are away to Crawley Down in SE Counties League Division 3 (2pm).

GRINSTEAD Reserves entertain Wealden in the East Division at East Court on Friday (ko 7.30pm).
Reserves won against Redhill 5-0.


[Monday, 6th January 2003]

Seaford Town 2, East Grinstead Town 2 - Click here for match report

A GOAL in the seventh minute of injury time robbed Wasps of what would have been a precious victory in their promotion battle at Crouch Gardens on Saturday.
The hosts could claim with some justification that their hard work deserved some reward and there was no denying the quality of John Snelgrove's far post finish after an excellent cross from the right by Geoff Sallows.
But having come from behind again to lead 2-1 and wasted other chances, Grinstead will have been disappointed with the outcome.
Manager Bob Smith said: "Losing a goal so late is obviously a bit of a sickener because after we went 2-1 up they hadn't really threatened to equalise.
"But we won against Mile Oak with an injury time goal and these things tend to even themselves out. It wasn't a particularly good performance, but we dominated the second half and I don't remember Dave Tidy having to make a save yet he still ended up conceding two goals."

Grinstead have scored 22 goals in stretching their unbeaten league run to eight games and Saturday's point moved them two clear of Lancing in second place in Division Two.
But Smith, as a former defender himself, is doubtless concerned at his side's inability to keep clean sheets. During that unbeaten run there has only been one of them and it may be that he will have to call on the experience of Andy Rabbetts and Kevin Wright in the coming weeks.
Wasps have 14 games left and if they could keep clean sheets in two-thirds of them they would probably go up because there is no doubt they have a goal threat. Only runaway leaders Eastbourne Town, whose manager Dave Winterton watched Saturday's game, have scored more.
Town visit East Court in a fortnight and that game is followed by a crucial visit to Lancing. But Smith's immediate concern is this Saturday's home match with Eastbourne United (3pm), the side Wasps beat at the end of November before embarking on their unbeaten run.
Lee Hanson, who came on for Adam Dart (rib) after 26 minutes against Seaford, is pushing for a starting place and James Horner, who was ruled out by injury on Saturday, could also return to add more creativity. Certainly Wasps missed his ability to get past defenders at the weekend.

GRINSTEAD'S reserve team match with Oakwood at East Court was postponed because of snow. This Saturday they make the trip to Eastbourne United in the East Division, ko 3.00pm.

The third team resume Mid Sussex League Division Two action away to Burgess Hill Athletic (2pm) while the ladies, whose home game with Haywards Heath on Sunday was also called off, have no fixture this weekend.


[Thursday, 2nd January 2003]

East Grinstead Town 4, Mile Oak 3 - Click here for match report

JAMES Horner was the hero with an injury time winner as Wasps produced their second dramatic fightback in the space of two days at East Court on Saturday.
Town had come from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with local rivals Crawley Down on Boxing Day, but Mile Oak looked like giving their promotion hopes a setback when they led 3-1 with 25 minutes left.
But goals from substitute Jamie Liddell and top scorer Ben Burns, with his 14th of the season, drew Wasps level and East Court erupted when man of the match Horner bravely headed home Matt Thorpe's cross to secure a 4-3 win which keeps Wasps second in Division Two going into the New Year.
Manager Bob Smith was a relieved man at the final whistle after his decision to rest Steve Moore backfired.
Grinstead's young defence badly missed Moore's experience and it was no surprise that his arrival as a 70th minute substitute coincided with the home side's best spell of the game.
Smith said: "In hindsight leaving Steve out was a mistake, but we were facing a second game in two days on a heavy pitch and he had a slight injury which could have done with a rest.
"We didn't defend very well at times, but you can't fault our spirit, determination and our ability to create chances and take them. Overall, I thought we deserved to win although you have to give Mile Oak credit. They had a right go and were always a threat up front."

Any illusions Wasps had of a comfortable afternoon to match the one they enjoyed at Oak in August when they romped to a 5-0 win were soon dispelled.

East Grinstead Town 2, Crawley Down 2 - Click here for match report

BEN Burns plundered two superb second-half goals to earn Wasps a 2-2 draw in a hard-fought local derby against Crawley Down at East Court on Boxing Day.

GRINSTEAD begin 2003 with a tough-looking trip to Seaford in County League Division Two on Saturday, ko 1.45pm.

Phil Thompson, who missed the 4-3 win over Mile Oak because of a sore hamstring, should be available. Goalkeeper Scott Kenward is still suspended but Kris Trevor is due to return to training in the New Year and defender Andy Rabbetts could also return to bring some experience to a defence which has looked shaky in Wasps' last two fixtures.

The reserves are at home to Oakwood (3pm) in the East Division. Their game at Rye on Saturday was postponed.

Grinstead Ladies entertain Haywards Heath III on Sunday in SE Counties League Division Three (2pm) while the under-18s host Epsom and Ewell next Thursday (January 9) in the Southern Youth League south division (7.30pm).


[Monday, 23rd December 2002]

Worthing United 1, East Grinstead Town 2 - Click here for match report

WASPS will celebrate Christmas in the promotion places in County League Division Two after two goals from midfielder Matt Thorpe earned Bob Smith's side another important victory on Saturday.
Grinstead's fourth league win in the last five games, combined with Lancing's shock 5-1 defeat at lowly Pease Pottage, lifted them back into second place ahead of the Boxing Day local derby against Crawley Down at East Court (kick off 11am).
Smith said: "How we do at places like Worthing is usually a guide to what sort of season we are having so I was delighted to get another three points.
"I thought we were well worth the win. They didn't really threaten us for any length of time until the last ten minutes when they scored. We played some nice football on a heavy pitch and Matt showed how important he is to us with two good goals from midfield."

Smith again changed formation and personnel after last week's draw with second-placed Rye. Top scorer Ben Burns was on the bench to protect a slight hamstring strain and Jamie Liddell left out of the 14 altogether. It meant a start in midfield for Drew Cooney, normally a defender, with Dave Gellatly pushing forward to support Steve Banks up front as Grinstead returned to a 4-4-2 line-up.
Lee Hanson made his first team debut as a second half substitute and with a full strength squad available for two Christmas matches in the space of 48 hours Smith will have the option of resting players and even tinkering with the formation again.
He added: "Chris Arrow has played the last two games in the reserves so he could come into contention as could Jamie Liddell and Kevin Wright is now back from honeymoon and looking to get games and try and win his place back so there are plenty of options at the moment."
As usual, Smith expects Crawley Down to provide Grinstead with their toughest game of the season while on Saturday Mile Oak visit East Court (3pm) looking to avenge their 5-0 defeat back in August.

GRINSTEAD Reserves lost their fourth successive game, going down 2-1 at home to Crawley Down in the East Division despite taking an early lead through Matt Garrett. They make the long trip to Rye & Iden United on Saturday for a league game, kick off 3.00pm.

THE games involving both the third and ladies teams were postponed due to waterlogged pitches.


[Saturday, 14th December 2002]

East Grinstead Town 1, Rye & Iden United 1 - Click here for match report

PHIL Thompson kept his cool to convert an injury time penalty as Wasps became only the second team to take points against fellow promotion chasers Rye at East Court on Saturday.


[Monday, 9th December 2002]

EAST Grinstead Town are in confident mood ahead of this Saturday's East Court showdown with Rye & Iden United after a third successive win lifted them into the promotion places for the first time this season.
Ben Burns and Steve Banks both continued their impressive scoring form with the goals which earned Wasps a 2-1 win at Wealden on Saturday.
Unbeaten leaders Eastbourne Town are a massive 16 points clear of Grinstead at the top of County League Division Two, but Bob Smith's men are now four points behind second-placed Lancing with a game in hand.
Rye are also unbeaten and have games in hand and already the three promotion places look as if they will be contested by those four clubs.
Smith said: "We're not even halfway through the season and nothing is decided yet, but we have hit some form and got ourselves into a good position now.
"Looking at the table, Eastbourne and Rye must be favourites to go up so it could be between ourselves and Lancing for third place.
"I always knew we were capable of putting together a good run once we got everyone back fit and that has been the case. If we could get a good result against Rye it would be a massive confidence boost because they are a strong side."

Apart from the suspended Scott Kenward, Wasps should be at full strength on Saturday (ko 3pm) and Smith may be tempted to bring fit-again Phil Thompson into the starting line-up after his impressive contribution as a substitute against Wealden.
Similarly, midfielder Lee Hansen could get a place in the squad after building up his fitness in the reserves since joining the club last month from Three Bridges.

Wealden 1, East Grinstead Town 2 - Click here for match report

The performance at Wealden was probably Grinstead's least effective in a week which saw them win three games and score 11 goals.

GRINSTEAD Reserves suffered another blow to their promotion hopes when they surrendered a 2-0 lead to lose 3-2 at home to Ringmer in the East Division.
Steve Norris and Elvis Lynn were Wasps' goalscorers.
On Saturday the reserves travel to Premier Division Hassocks for a Reserve Section Cup second round replay, ko 1.30pm.

GRINSTEAD'S third XI recorded their second successive win in the Edgar German Cup, coming from behind to win 3-2 at Burgess Hill Athletic to set up a quarter-final against Cuckfield United II this Saturday, ko 1.30pm. Goals came from Karl Brown, Damian Duvall and Matt Garrett.

THERE were plenty of celebrations at East Court on Sunday when East Grinstead Ladies won their first ever match, beating Hailsham 3-0 in SE Counties League Division Three.
Laura Southey, Amy Watson and Jes Dooley scored the goals while Becky James was named player of the match for her energetic performance in midfield.
This Sunday Grinstead Ladies entertain Crawley Wasps at East Court, ko 2.00pm.

GRINSTEAD'S under-18s entertain Broadbridge Heath in the Southern Youth League (South Division) Thursday night, kick off 7.30pm.


[Monday, 2nd December 2002]

Eastbourne United 2, East Grinstead Town 3 - Click here for match report

After a run of indifferent results Grinstead produced a much more spirited performance in an entertaining encounter at the Oval on Friday night.



[Thursday, 14th November 2002]

EAST Grinstead Town have twin aims when they resume action at Steyning Town on Saturday.
The John O'Hara League Cup second round tie represents Wasps' last chance of success in the cup competitions but, more importantly, Bob Smith's men are desperate to avenge two heavy beatings by Steyning already this season.
In the league meeting at the Shooting Field last month they went down 5-0 and if that wasn't bad enough Grinstead then collapsed 6-1 at home three weeks ago in the Division Two Cup to the same opponents.
Smith said: "Losing badly down there in the league was bad enough, but we were humiliated at home and that felt even worse. They have really proved to be our bogey side.
"Steyning are a strong, powerful side and we seem to have had trouble coping with that, but they have weaknesses like every team in this league and it is up to us to exploit them and make sure we compete with them.
"Our attitude and commitment has to be spot-on, but I have confidence in our players. We still haven't reached the level of consistency in performance I expect this season but when we do - and it will happen - we are going to be a hard side to beat."

Grinstead had a blank weekend after Friday night's home match with Eastbourne Town was postponed by match referee Tony Gurr at 4pm.
The club spent over £30,000 on a new drainage system during the summer and 90 per cent of the pitch was in perfect condition. But an area in the centre circle, which groundstaff had been unable to work on during the week because of regular downpours, was waterlogged after a day of heavy rain.
Smith wasn't too disappointed. Chris Arrow, Adam Dart and Drew Cooney all dropped out on the day of the match because of injury while goalkeeper Scott Kenward and defender Andy Rabbetts were also unavailable.
With Kenward facing a suspension following his dismissal after the final whistle in last month's FA Vase defeat at Wantage, Smith has signed Dave Tidy as cover for his third spell at East Court.
Tidy has been playing for Godalming & Guildford in the Combined Counties League, but Grinstead fans will remember him for his time in the mid-90s when he played under Bryn Marshall and the late Bob Nash.
Midfielder Lee Hansen, who completed his move from Three Bridges last week, had his first 90 minutes in the reserves on Saturday while Phil Thompson and Matt Thorpe are expected to begin their comebacks from injury this weekend, also in the reserves.
Smith is adamant that once he has a fully fit squad at his disposal his side are capable of embarking on a long, unbeaten run and it could be that within a week or two he could be in that position.

EAST Grinstead Town III surrendered the Mid Sussex Junior Cup they won last season on Saturday when new boss Andy Brewer saw his side lose 4-2 at home to Rotherfield.

EAST Grinstead Town Ladies are away to Haywards Heath on Sunday in SE Counties League Division Three. Last Sunday's match at Eastbourne Town was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.


[Monday, 4th November 2002]

East Grinstead Town 0, Worthing United 1 - Click here for match report

WASPS lost valuable ground in the promotion race after they were mugged by Worthing at rain-lashed East Court on Saturday.
The visitors soaked up tremendous second half pressure before breaking away to grab an 82nd minute winner through Andy Walsh and sentence Grinstead to their first home defeat of the season in Division Two.

Manager Bob Smith said: "Of all the games we have lost this season that one was the hardest to accept.
"But if you miss the sort of chances we did then you are always going to struggle to win games.
"We played well in the second half and if we had scored first I think we would have won comfortably. Let's just hope that it doesn't cost us at the end of the season."


All of Grinstead's five league and cup defeats this season have been on Saturday and Smith must be hoping that trend continues on Friday night when leaders Eastbourne Town visit East Court (7.30pm).
Eastbourne are unbeaten in the league and have an eight point lead at the top. They are 13 points clear of sixth-placed Grinstead who, realistically, are already battling for one of the other two promotion spots.
Smith will decide nearer kick-off whether to make changes, but Matt Thorpe, Phil Thompson and Kris Trevor are still ruled out by injury while Andy Rabbetts is unavailable.
Wasps can ill-afford another defeat, but their record against the better teams in the division last season was good. They defeated Town twice and seem to raise their game against decent opposition.
"Eastbourne already look good for one of the promotion places so it's going to be another hard game," said Smith.
"What we have to do is find some consistency. We don't seem to be able to string together a run of good performances at the moment although there is no doubt we are missing some key personnel."
Grinstead strengthened their squad this week by completing the signing of former Crawley Down midfielder Lee Hansen from Three Bridges.
He may well get a runout on Saturday when the reserves travel to Newhaven in the league, kick off 3.00pm.
Smith added: "When everyone is available I'm going to have a very difficult job because the squad we are building is the strongest I've had since I became manager. There is more expectation because we have gone close to promotion for the last two years and I'm confident we can soon get a run going, hopefully starting on Friday."
One positive to emerge on Saturday was the excellent condition of the pitch despite torrential rain. The summer drainage work has clearly had an effect because this game would never have been played a year ago.

GRINSTEAD Reserves' League Cup second round replay at Hassocks on Friday was postponed because of a waterlogged pitch.

East Grinstead Town Ladies 1, Tonbridge Ladies 5

EAST Grinstead Town Ladies lost 5-1 to a Tonbridge team who are two divisions higher than Grinstead in the first round of the SE Counties League Cup on Sunday.
But it was the best performance of the season from Ray Collier's team who conceded two goals in the last five minutes as they chased an equaliser.
Siana Sisley scored for Wasps from the penalty spot but skipper Carrie Dawn-Thomas also missed a penalty.
Up front young Amy Watson worked her socks off and the spirit and attitude of the team suggest good results in the league are not far away.
This Sunday they return to league action in Division Three away to Eastbourne Town (ko 1.00pm).


[Thursday, 31st October 2002]

East Grinstead Town 3, Pease Pottage Village 0 - Click here for match report

EAST Grinstead Town returned to winning ways after Saturday's debacle against Steyning to collect three more important league points with a 3-0 victory over Pease Pottage at East Court on Tuesday.


[Monday, 28th October 2002]

East Grinstead Town 1, Steyning Town 6 - Click here for match report

WASPS must be getting sick of the sight of Steyning after crashing to their second heavy defeat against the newly promoted side in the space of three weeks.
Beaten 5-0 in the league earlier in the month, Grinstead were dumped out of the Division Two Cup on Saturday after a dismal performance in front of their own supporters at East Court.
In mitigation, manager Bob Smith was without eight players, but he didn't offer that as an excuse afterwards.
Matt Thorpe and Phil Thompson are still a fortnight away from playing again as they recover from groin and ankle injuries. Goalkeeper Scott Kenward was confined to bed with sickness, which meant a first start of the season for Phil Meakin, while Ben Burns, Jamie Liddell, Kris Trevor and Chris Raymond were all unavailable.
It meant a debut for new signing Drew Cooney, who completed his move from Redhill last week, and the 17-year-old's defender's performance is one of the few positives for Smith who is promising changes for Tuesday night's league game against Pease Pottage.
He said: "We made a good start and scored first, but the turning point was their second goal just before half-time.
"They scored again after we'd had a good spell early in the second half and that finished us off. We lacked fight. They are a big, physical side and we didn't seem to want to compete with them.
"Not having eight players is frustrating. Without Jamie and Ben in particular we lack a bit of pace but that's no excuse for losing 6-1 at home. We have the best squad in the five years I've been manager and we should be able to cope."

Only Thorpe and Thompson are likely to be missing this week which will give Smith more options with Worthing United at East Court on Saturday for a Division Two match, ko 3.00pm.
He may also be tempted to give a debut to youngster Adam Dart who has impressed at leftback for the reserves and under-18 team this season.
Last week's 3-0 home win over Wealden lifted Wasps into fifth place and successive wins this week will put them right back in the promotion frame.
Good performances will certainly help erase the memory of the Steyning debacle.
"Six points from the next two games is a must," added Smith. "We will have everyone available and hopefully determined to put this performance behind them."

Maresfield Village 5, East Grinstead Town Reserves 4 - Click here for match report

East Grinstread Town's young Reserve team travelled to play Mid Sussex Premier League Leaders, Maresfield Village, in the Mid Sussex Senior Cup Competition.

EAST Grinstead Town Ladies host Tonbridge in the first round of the SECWFL Cup on Sunday, kick off 1pm at East Court.
Player unavailability meant the ladies could only field 11 players in last Sunday's Division Three match against Woking Reserves which they lost 10-0.

EAST Grinstead Town under-18s entertain Southern Youth League leaders Chessington & Hook at East Court on Thursday Oct 31, kick off 7.30pm


[Monday, 21st October 2002]

Wantage Town 5, East Grinstead Town 2 - Click here for match report

GRINSTEAD conceded three goals in the second period of extra time as their dreams of progress in the FA Vase ended in rural Oxfordshire on Saturday.
Wasps looked like bringing their Hellenic League opponents back to Sussex for a first round replay despite twice surrendering the lead in a thoroughly entertaining tie at Alfredian Park.
But they fell behind for the first time in the match in the 107th minute. Andy Rabbetts was penalised for a foul on Lee Newport on the corner of the box and Chris Roche's low free-kick eluded everyone including goalkeeper Scott Kenward as it rolled into the bottom corner.
As Wasps pushed more men forward in search of an equaliser Wantage punished them on the break. Newport made the game safe with his second of the game in the 117th minute and there was still time for Roche to complete his hat-trick in the last minute with an exquisite chip over Kenward from the right-hand edge of the penalty area.
It was too much for Kenward who was sent off as the players headed back to the dressing rooms for protesting about the validity of the free-kick which led to the decisive third goal and he now faces suspension at a crucial time of the season.
Manager Bob Smith said: "It was a silly thing for Scott to do but he was as frustrated as the rest of us. The referee made some poor decisions but we were our own worst enemies.
"We were in control of the game for an hour and a draw after 90 minutes would have been a fair result. The team who scored first in extra time was always going to win and unfortunately for us it was Wantage."


GRINSTEAD return to league action against Wealden tomorrow night (Tuesday), anxious to get their promotion challenge back on track after frustrating draws at home to Lancing and Oakwood. Against Oaks last Tuesday they went behind to an Andy Rabbetts' own goal on 32 minutes only to equalise straight away when Paul Otway headed Dave Garrett's cross back across goal and Ben Burns touched in from close range.
Burns is unavailable for the Wealden match and this Saturday's Division Two Cup first round tie against Steyning at East Court (3pm) so Chris Arrow and Steve Banks are likely to play up front.
Kris Trevor should be involved after recovering from a stress fracture of the heel which has kept him out for ten games but Matt Thorpe (ankle) and Phil Thompson (groin) are another week away at least from a comeback.
Wasps badly want to avenge their 5-0 league defeat at Steyning earlier this season. Smith said: "We were terrible that day so it would be nice to get revenge and also make progress in a competition we have a genuine chance of winning."

GRINSTEAD Reserves were two minutes away from knocking Premier Division Hassocks out of the Reserve Section Cup on Friday when a controversial penalty in extra time earned the visitors a 1-1 draw and a replay. Adam Simpson's rasping drive from 15 yards had put Wasps ahead in the 103rd minute.
This Saturday the reserves travel to Maresfield Village in the first round of the Mid Sussex Senior Cup, ko 2.00pm.

GRINSTEAD'S under-18s play their first home match in the Southern Youth League tomorrow (Thursday) when they entertain Merstham, kick off 7.30pm. The team are unbeaten in their last four games, having come from behind to draw 2-2 at Epsom & Ewell last Wednesday.


[Monday, 14th October 2002]

East Grinstead Town 0, Lancing 0 - Click here for match report

WASPS' boss Bob Smith refused to criticise his players after they were held to a draw by fellow promotion candidates Lancing on a frustrating afternoon at East Court on Saturday.
Grinstead took the form they had shown in defeating first division Redhill 3-0 in last Tuesday's League Cup tie into the game and should have been at least a goal to the good after dominating the first half hour.
It was a similar story of squandered chances in the second half and, as they gained in confidence, a well organised and resilient Lancing team came close to snatching all three points when Matt Kelly and Jamie Cole, twice, all missed glorious opportunities in the same attack with eight minutes to go.
That would have been harsh on the hosts and Smith who is still some way short of being able to field his strongest side.
Matt Thorpe (ankle) should resume light training this week, but fellow midfielder Phil Thompson is still at least two weeks away from a return to action as he recovers from a groin strain.
The good news is that Kris Trevor, absent for the last eight games with a stress fracture of the heel, is expected to play for the reserves on Friday against Hassocks with a view to joining the squad which travels to Oxfordshire on Saturday for a first round tie in the FA Vase against Hellenic League Wantage Town (ko 3.00pm).
And Chris Arrow, holidaying at the weekend, was back in the squad for last night's home match against Oakwood.
In his absence Smith paired Steve Banks and Ben Burns against Lancing and Banks, though still lacking match fitness, squandered two second half opportunities which he will surely gobble up as he gets fitter.
The second, a header which he flashed wide from six yards, came from a cross by Jamie Liddell who marked his debut with an encouraging display on the right wing.
He gave Lancing defender Dan Ford a tough afternoon and the only criticism was that he could easily have gone on and tested goalkeeper Simon Davey himself on several occasions rather than trying to play in a team-mate. Liddell says he is equally adept in a more forward role which gives his manager another option.
Smith said: "If the score had been 1-0, which I think would have been deserved, then we would have said it had been an excellent afternoon for us because in a lot of ways it was a good performance.
"Lancing are a hard side to break down and we needed to be careful in the second half because they looked capable of nicking something on the break. But we've kept a second cleansheet after losing 11 goals in our previous three games and I know we are capable of getting even better, especially when everyone is available to me."


GRINSTEAD are running a supporters' coach to Saturday's FA Vase tie at Wantage. It leaves East Court at 11am and the fare is £10 (adults) and £6 (under-16s and senior citizens). Just turn up at the ground and hop on board.

GOALS from James Horner (penalty), Chris Arrow and Steve Banks earned Grinstead a comfortable 3-0 win over first division Redhill at East Court last Tuesday in the first round of the John O'Hara League Cup. Wasps now travel to Steyning in the second round on a date to be decided.

PREMIER Division Hassocks are the visitors to East Court on Friday (7.15pm) for a second round tie in the Reserve Section Cup.

A GOAL from Matt Garrett wasn't enough to prevent the third team from losing 3-1 at Ashurst Wood in Saturday's Mid Sussex League Division Two game.

Crawley Town Ladies 5, East Grinstead Town Ladies 0

GRINSTEAD'S newly formed ladies team are hoping to secure their first league win of the season this Sunday when they entertain Worcester Park Reserves at East Court, ko 2.00pm.
In four matches so far in the SE Counties League Division Three they have played the top two and unbeaten Lindfield and it was no surprise that they succumbed to second placed Crawley for the second time in a month on a wet Sunday afternoon on a pitch next to Crawley's Broadfield Stadium.
Unavailability of players and injuries meant manager Ray Collier's squad was severely decimated and losing a goal inside the first minute was hardly the start they wanted.
Crawley's finishing was excellent despite the brave goalkeeping of stand-in Kim Vince and they led 4-0 at half-time. But Wasps showed plenty of spirit throughout the match and in the second half Jess Dooley twice went close to pulling a goal back. Other good performances came from Siana Sisley, man of the match Anne Kane, Becky James and Laura Southey.


[Monday, 7th October 2002]

Steyning Town 5, East Grinstead Town 0 - Click here for match report

THE goals flew in at the appropriately named Shooting Field on Saturday, but unfortunately for Grinstead they were all in their net as Bob Smith's side suffered their heaviest defeat for over four years in County League Division Two.
The absence through injury of goalkeeper Scott Kenward and midfield pair Phil Thompson and Matt Thorpe was keenly felt as Wasps slumped to their first league defeat of the season and only their third since last December.
No one in an amber and black shirt emerged with much credit, but Smith shouldered the blame instead.
He said: "I take responsibility because we werenıt sufficiently motivated and motivating the team is down to me.
"Credit to the players, they held their hands up afterwards. They accept that collectively we have had an off day and the important thing is how they react."


Wasps have a quick opportunity to get the game out of their systems on Tuesday night when first division strugglers Redhill visited East Court in a League Cup first round tie.

Kenward will be back after missing two games with a hip injury and Smith hopes Thorpe and Thompson will be able to test their fitness ahead of the FA Vase game at Wantage on September 19 in next Tuesday's rearranged league game at home to Oakwood (ko 7.30pm).
Before then Wasps have another important league match at home to a Lancing side who also suffered their first league defeat of the season at the weekend. Lancing visit East Court on Saturday (ko 3pm).

Striker Steve Banks, who has had two reserve games to try and get match fit following his move from Three Bridges, is due to start on the bench against Redhill.
And Smith is likely to strengthen his squad again this week with the capture of midfielder Jamie Liddell from Broadbridge Heath. The pacy Liddell, who can also play up front, has scored five goals already this season and he will give Smith another option as the season unfolds.


[Wednesday, 2nd October 2002]

Whitehawk 2, East Grinstead Town 0 - Click here for match report

WASPS were beaten 2-0 by first division Whitehawk in Tuesday night's Sussex Senior Cup 1st round tie at East Brighton Park.

Phil Thompson (hamstring) is the latest addition to the injury list and could be out for 3-4 weeks. But Matt Thorpe is close to a comeback after recovering from an ankle injury and Andy Rabbetts should be fit for Saturday's league game at Steyning after missing two games with a dead leg.
Steve Banks will continue to get match fitness by playing for the reserves at home to Southwick on Saturday.
The club have made a seven-day approach to Broadbridge Heath for goalscoring midfielder Jamie Liddell who played against Wasps ten days ago.


[Monday, 30th September 2002]

EAST Grinstead Town boss Bob Smith hopes the return of striker Steve Banks to East Court is the final piece in his promotion jigsaw.
The 27-year-old is back at Grinstead for a third spell after completing his transfer from first division Three Bridges last week.
Banks scored for the reserves on Saturday in only his second competitive run out of the season and was added to Smith's squad for tomorrow night's (Tuesday) Sussex Senior Cup first round tie at Whitehawk.
Ironically, goalscoring has not been a problem for Wasps who have managed 23 in eight games but Smith is delighted to have a player with a proven record in front of goal in his squad.
"I have always wanted to get Steve back to his home town club and I couldn't be more delighted that he is with us again," said Smith.
"One player doesn't make a team, but Steve's signing means we have what I consider to be the strongest squad since I became manager and hopefully one good enough to get us back into the first division after two narrow failures."
There is no doubt about the validity of that last statement although Smith is currently having to wrestle with an injury crisis at East Court.
Defender Andy Rabbetts, strikers Chris Arrow and Kris Trevor and midfielder Matt Thorpe were all absent on Saturday when Wasps threw away a 2-0 lead against first division Sidlesham to go down 4-3 in an RUR Cup first round tie at East Court, their first defeat of the season and only their third in all competitions since December 15 last year.
Phil Thompson, whose first half double appeared to have put Wasps in control, limped off with a hamstring problem.
Rabbetts and Arrow should return against Whitehawk, but Thorpe and Trevor will be out for at least another ten days.
Smith added: "Injuries are a problem at the moment, but when everyone is fit we will have 17 or 18 players all good enough competing for a first team shirt and that's what you need if you are going to challenge to win things."

East Grinstead Town 3, Sidlesham 4 - Click here for match report

Smith was less than pleased with the way his side folded in the face of a robust Sidlesham side in the second half on Saturday when they conceded four goals in 13 minutes after leading 2-0 with 20 minutes left.

GRINSTEAD return to league action on Saturday when they visit newly promoted Steyning Town (ko 3.00pm).
Next Tuesday first division Redhill visit East Court in a League Cup first round tie, ko 7.15pm when Kenward, Horner and assistant manager Dave Gellatly senior come up against their old club.

Lingfield Reserves 2, East Grinstead Town Reserves 2 - Click here for match report

The reserves are at home to Southwick on Saturday in the first round of the League Cup, ko 3.00pm.


[Wednesday, 25th September 2002]

East Grinstead Town 3, Broadbridge Heath 0 - Click here for match report

GRINSTEAD maintained their unbeaten league record on Tuesday night, moving into the top six after a 3-0 home win over Broadbridge Heath.
AFTER the game manager Bob Smith completed the signing of Steve Banks from Three Bridges. This will be the prolific striker's third spell at East Court and he will make his debut on Saturday in the reserve team game at Lingfield as he bids to regain full fitness.

FA VASE

Grinstead have been drawn away to Hellenic League Wantage Town in the first round proper on October 19, ko 3.00pm.
A coach will leave East Court at 11am and supporters are welcome to attend. Tickets are £10 (adults), £6 under-16s and senior citizens. Book your place with Alan Woolley at East Court on matchdays.


[Monday, 23rd September 2002]

East Grinstead Town 4, Herne Bay 3 - Click here for match report

WASPS won only their second FA Vase tie in 15 years after seeing off Kent League Herne Bay in an incident-packed second preliminary round tie at East Court on Saturday.
The visitors finished with ten men after Danny Maxted was sent off for his second bookable offence six minutes from time, but it got worse for Herne Bay a couple of minutes later when Sam Denly suffered a suspected broken leg as he challenged Andy Rabbetts for a 50-50 ball inside the Grinstead penalty area.
The match was held up for 30 minutes for an ambulance, but most of the crowd hung on to salute Bob Smith's men on an excellent victory.

THE only disappointment for Smith on Saturday was a first half injury to midfielder Matt Thorpe who may have suffered ankle ligament damage.
Striker Kris Trevor has a stress fracture in his heel which is going to sideline him for a month, but Smith has signed striker Adam Simpson from Oakwood and is close to bringing another forward to East Court.
Simpson made his debut against his old club in the reserves last Thursday, but they went down to their first defeat of the season, losing 5-2 despite leading 2-1 at one stage thanks to two goals from James Horner.
Wasps are due to entertain Broadbridge Heath in the league tomorrow night (Tuesday, ko 7.30pm). This Saturday first division Sidlesham are the visitors in a first round tie in the RUR Charity Cup, ko 3.00pm.


[Monday, 16th September 2002]

EAST Grinstead Town boss Bob Smith is urging his side to end the club's dismal FA Vase record on Saturday.
Wasps have won just once in the competition since 1987 and they face tough opposition again against Kent League Herne Bay, ko 3.00pm.
Smith said: "We haven't got a great record in the Vase over the years, but it is a national competition and County League teams like ourselves are capable of getting through a couple of rounds and enjoying the publicity which goes with it."
Wasps lost pre-season friendlies to two other Kent League teams, Deal Town and Tunbridge Wells, and expects another hard match.
"I don't know a lot about Herne Bay but I'm sure they will make it difficult for us. But we won't go into the game with an inferiority complex and our side tends to do better against good opposition.
"We showed that last season against Horsham in the Floodlight Cup and hopefully we can do it again."

Apart from striker Kris Trevor, who has had an x-ray on his injured heel and should know the full extent of the problem, Smith should have a full-strength squad to chose from.
Striker Adam Simpson is due to complete his move from Oakwood this week, but won't be registered in time for the Vase while Smith is hoping to add another forward to his squad in the next couple of weeks.
Dave Garrett, who has missed all five league games so far, continued his comeback in the reserves on Saturday and will be in the squad, giving his manager a further option in defensive and midfield positions.
Any replay will take place next Tuesday, ko 7.45pm and if none is needed, Grinstead will be at home to Broadbridge Heath in a Division Two match, ko 7.30pm.

Wasps had no league match last Saturday and they dropped a place to sixth after Crawley Down overtook them with their goalless draw against Mile Oak.

RESERVES

Westfield Reserves 1, East Grinstead Town Reserves 4 - Click here for match report

East Grinstead Town Reserves made it three wins out of three in the County Reserve Section following an emphatic win at high flying Westfield.

LADIES FOOTBALL

Grinstead's Ladies team lost 8-0 to Eastbourne Town in the first round of the Sussex Women's Trophy on Sunday, but new manager Ray Collier was pleased with the commitment and enthusiasm shown by the girls.
They are in league action on Sunday against Crawley Town at East Court, ko 2.00pm in their first home match in Division Three of the SE Counties League.


[Saturday, 7th September 2002]

Oving 2, East Grinstead Town 2 - Click here for match report

GRINSTEAD remain unbeaten after five games in County League Division Two, but not for the first time this season they let maximum points slip from their grasp, this time to an equaliser in the 86th minute.
Chris Arrow and Phil Thompson had twice given Wasps the lead, but they squandered other chances to make the game safe and had two strong penalty appeals turned down by referee Martin Hollands on a frustrating afternoon for boss Bob Smith.
He said: "Like Saltdean and Shinewater earlier in the season, we got one point when we should have had three.
"I'd better be careful about what I say about the referee, but no one in the ground didn't think we should have had two penalties.
"We didn't play as well as we can, but the encouraging thing is that we are scoring goals and I know we are capable of improving as a side. We won 5-0 at Mile Oak last week and played really well, there's no reason why we shouldn't maintain the standards we showed in that game every week."


WASPS have no game this weekend, but they then embark on a run of cup fixtures starting with an FA Vase preliminary round tie against Herne Bay at East Court on Saturday week, September 21 - the first match there this season because of the drainage work done on the pitch during the summer.

Smith was delighted to welcome back Dave Garrett to the squad at Oving after his recovery from the back injury which has plagued him since pre-season and he is hoping to complete the signing of striker Adam Simpson from Oakwood this week.
While Garrett returns, the news on influential striker Kris Trevor is not so good. He has a suspected stress fracture of his heel although a full extent of the problem won't be known until later this week.

The reserves return to action after an enforced two-week break with away games against Westfield on Saturday (3pm) and Oakwood next Thursday (7.45pm).


[Saturday, 31st August 2002]

Mile Oak 0, East Grinstead Town 5 - Click here for match report

BEN Burns plundered a superb hat-trick as Wasps produced their best performance of the season so far.
Last season's top scorer hadn't registered in the first three County League Division Two games, but he made up for it on Saturday as Grinstead recorded their best away win since April 1999 to move onto the shoulders of the early pacesetters.
Manager Bob Smith said: "We played really well and could have won by a lot more to be honest.
"Mile Oak is always a difficult place to get a result because the pitch is quite small and slopes away. They had beaten a first division side in the cup on Monday and must have been full of confidence, but I thought we were good value for a big win."

Smith could soon have all his players available. Dave Garrett hopes to have a run out for the reserves this weekend as he recovers from a back problem while Chris Arrow is having treatment for a groin injury.
Grinstead have also made an official approach to Oakwood for striker Adam Simpson as Smith tries to increase the depth of his squad.
He added: "Competition for places is always good although the players in possession of the shirts at the moment haven't done too much wrong."
Wasps visit bottom of the table Oving, who have lost all six games so far, on Saturday (3pm) and Smith will make sure there is no complacency.
"We struggled there last year and although they have had a poor start we need to maintain the level of performance we showed on Saturday. If we can keep that consistency then we are going to be challenging again."


[Tuesday, 27th August 2002]

Shinewater 2, East Grinstead Town 2 - Click here for match report

A HOTLY disputed second half penalty robbed Wasps of maximum points against early pacesetters Shinewater on Saturday.
Matt Thorpe, playing as a sweeper in the absence of Steve Moore, was ajudged to have handled a through ball but Thorpe claimed afterwards that it had hit his shoulder. The assistant nearest Thorpe did not signal handball but referee Philip Eames remained adamant, even though the official was some 30 yards from the incident.
Shine captain Jason Morley beat Scott Kenward from the spot and Grinstead's 100 per cent record on their five visits to the Eastbourne club had disappeared.
Wasps remain unbeaten after three games in County League Division Two, but manager Bob Smith admitted this was two points dropped even though his side came from behind to take the lead with two goals in the space of three first half minutes.
Smith said: "I was quite pleased with the way we played. Matt did a really good job as sweeper and our midfield players were good.
"We had quite a few chances, especially late in the game, to win the match. Shinewater are much improved so a point away from home isn't bad, but I felt we should have won."

Grinstead should be back to full strength for Saturday's trip to Mile Oak (3pm) with Moore and striker Chris Arrow both returning to the squad. Dave Garrett, who hasn't played yet because of a back problem, is a couple of weeks away from being in contention.
Wasps visit Oving the following Saturday before playing their first home game on September 10 against Broadbridge Heath. Their return to East Court has been delayed by the drainage work carried out on the pitch during the summer.

GRINSTEAD Reserves made it two wins out of two in the east division, courtesy of a goal from Steve Norris in their 1-0 victory at Shinewater. They have no game this weekend.


LADIES FOOTBALL...

EAST Grinstead Town Ladies are enthusiastically preparing for their first ever league game on Sunday, even though they will go into their opener in the SE Counties League Division Three without a manager.
First team boss Bob Smith is running the side in the interim, but the club are still searching for someone with suitable coaching experience to look after the team who play their home matches on the main pitch at East Court.
Smith said: "We are hoping someone comes forward. It's a good job because the girls are enthusiastic, willing to learn and listen and to try and improve their skills and fitness."
Grinstead played their first match last week when they lost to Lewes, who play two divisions higher, 6-0 in a friendly.
But there were still plenty of encouraging signs for Smith. They already have nearly 20 players signed on after a successful taster session in May, a new kit, courtesy of club sponsors Rydon Group, and a dedicated physio and team secretary.
"Everything is in place and we hope managing our first ever ladies team will appeal to someone in or around East Grinstead," added Smith.
Their opening match on Sunday in Division Three is away to Crawley Wasps. The first home game is on September 15 against Crawley Down.
Anyone interested in managing the team should contact Bob Smith on 07850 779937.


UNDER-18s

NEW manager Mark Leggett could hardly believe what he was seeing as Grinstead's under-18s went down 4-3 to Three Bridges in their opening match in the Southern Youth League (South) at the Jubilee Field last Thursday.
Wasps were seemingly cruising to victory when they led 3-1 with three minutes to go thanks to goals from Keiron Brady, Elvis Lynn and Seb Mann, but they then conceded three goals in rapid succession.
On Wednesday night they make the trip to Leatherhead (7.45pm) and have away games at Chessington & Hook and Woking in the next fortnight before opening their home programme on September 18 against Epsom & Ewell.


[Monday, 19th August 2002]

The site is now up to date with the current league tables, match reports, match fixtures and results! The site will continue to be updated regularly throughout the season with current fixtures, results, league tables and of course the match reports and club news which appear on this site first!
So to keep up to date on all the current news and events at East Grinstead Town F.C. bookmark this site now!

Saltdean United 1, East Grinstead Town 1 - Click here for match report

WASPS' boss Bob Smith was disappointed with his side's performance as they were held to a draw by relegated Saltdean on the sweltering Sussex coast on Saturday.
Perhaps it was the 90 degree heat, but Grinstead rarely matched their display in their opening-day win at Westfield although, on the face of it, a point against a side who were playing Division One football last season is not a bad return.
Grinstead struggled to retain possession and their passing rarely functioned. Matt Thorpe was badly missed in midfield although his replacement Grant Hearn did a decent job on his full debut.
Smith said: "We weren't very good, to be honest. We got off to a good start and took the lead but instead of taking the game by the scruff of the neck we allowed them to get back into it.
"The service to the front players was poor and we didn't create a great deal. A point is better than nothing, but I know we can play an awful lot better."

Thorpe returns for this Saturday's trip to surprise early leaders Shinewater (2.00), a side Grinstead have beaten in all their previous visits there, but skipper Steve Moore is unavailable so Chris Raymond is likely to return after losing his place to Scott Woolley against Saltdean.

GRINSTEAD Reserves got their East Division campaign off to a winning start with a 2-1 win over Saltdean thanks to goals from Kris Trevor and Scott Woolley. This Saturday they also make the trip, along with the firsts, to Shinewater, kick off 4.30pm.

GRINSTEAD'S under-18s, readmitted to the Southern Youth League, kick off their campaign in the south division on Thursday night (22nd) at Three Bridges, ko 7.45pm.



[Tuesday, 13th August 2002]

Westfield 0, East Grinstead Town 3 - Click here for match report

WASPS recorded an opening day win for the first time in seven years as they made an encouraging start to their County League campaign on Saturday.
Goals from midfield pair Dave Gellatly and Matt Thorpe and an own goal by Westfield defender Trevor Burgess earned Grinstead a victory margin which thoroughly reflected their superiority.
Apart from a brief spell midway through the first half, Westfield were mastered for long spells and with better finishing, notably by last season's top scorer Ben Burns who missed a hat-trick of one-on-ones, Grinstead could have started their Division Two campaign with an even bigger win.
Boss Bob Smith, who have debuts to midfielder Paul Otway and striker Chris Arrow, was delighted with their display.
He said: "It was an excellent performance on a ground where we have found it difficult in the past. The early goal settled us down and I thought we controlled the game for long spells.
"We made a poor start last season and it ended up costing us promotion so it's nice to get a good win in the first game to build on."


Grinstead face another tough test on Saturday when they visit relegated Saltdean (2.00) and Smith will have to make at least one change with Thorpe unavailable. But striker Kris Trevor will return to the squad after injury although he may have to settle for a place on the bench.

NEW reserve team manager Phil Major makes his East Division debut on Saturday when Grinstead visit Saltdean for the second match of a double-header, kick off 4.30pm.



[Monday, 5th August 2002]

MIDFIELDER Paul Otway and striker Chris Arrow are likely to be the only new faces in the East Grinstead Town side which kick off the new Sussex County League campaign on Saturday at Westfield.
Manager Bob Smith, who starts his fifth season in charge at East Court, has managed to retain virtually all of last season's squad and it's that element of continuity which could help Wasps win promotion after successive near misses when they have finished just outside the top three.
Of last season's first team squad only Steve Greig, who has joined the Met. Police, will not be available on a regular basis.
Otway, who has plenty of County League experience with Redhill and Pease Pottage, should fill the gap created by Greig's absence while in other areas of the side it's pretty much as you were.
Smith said: "Staying in Division One is probably easier than getting there in the first place, but there's no reason why we can't go close again this time.
"Losing that final match of last season to East Preston and staying down was the biggest disappointment I have had at the club and the same goes for the players. I want them to remember how they felt that day and be determined not to have to experience that feeling again."

Arrow is expected to get the nod up front alongside last season's top scorer Ben Burns although there is a chance that Kris Trevor, who only returns from holiday on Saturday morning, could still figure. Steve Norris pulled a hamstring in Saturday's friendly against Deal Town and is likely to be out for at least a fortnight.
Smith added: "I think we have the best goalkeeper and one of the strongest defences in the league and our midfield is very creative.
"We would like to have signed another striker, but Ben and Kris will always score goals and I've got high hopes for Chris Arrow as well."

Wasps start their campaign at Westfield on Saturday (ko 3.00pm), a ground where they have suffered defeats on their last two visits.
"It will be a difficult match," added Smith, "But it's probably a good time to be going there.
"We started last season poorly and only had five points after five games. We ended up playing catch-up for the rest of the season and we don't want to be in that position again."


GRINSTEAD lost 1-0 to a strong Deal Town outfit in Saturday's friendly at Ardingly College.
Defensive hesitation by Chris Raymond allowed the Kent League side to score their winner early in the second half. Dave Gellatly had just fired wide when clean through while Matt Thorpe saw a late header tipped over by the goalkeeper.
Wasps were again without key players including Scott Kenward, Andy Rabbetts, James Horner and Kris Trevor, who are all on holiday, while Dave Garrett is still struggling with a back injury and is unlikely to be fit to face Westfield in the league opener.

Last Tuesday Grinstead won 4-1 at Godstone thanks to two goals from Ben Burns, one a penalty, and one apiece from Steve Norris and Chris Arrow (penalty).

The reserves lost 6-2 to Deal Town Reserves on Saturday despite goals from Damian Duvall and Stuart Moseley.



[Monday, 29th July 2002]

EAST Grinstead Town boss Bob Smith wasn't too unhappy despite two pre-season defeats in three days.
Wasps went down 1-0 to County League first division Hassocks last Thursday and then suffered 4-1 reverse against Kent League Tunbridge Wells on Saturday.
But Smith was unable to field anything like his full strength side in either game, particularly against Wells where seven players who can expect to play a part in the opening league match on Saturday week were absent.
Four - Scott Kenward, Kris Trevor, James Horner and new signing Clive Marshall - were on holiday while minor injuries ruled out Steve Moore and Dave Garrett with Andy Rabbetts sidelined through illness.
A powerful Wells outfit raced into a 4-0 lead before Phil Thompson got a consolation for Grinstead in the closing stages.
The absence of several key players at least enabled Smith to run the rule over more potential new signings.
Striker Chris Arrow, who played in the club's youth team for three years before going to university for three years, played up front with Ben Burns while Paul Otway, a midfielder who helped second division new boys Pease Pottage secure promotion to senior football last season, had a run out in midfield.
Smith said: "It was hard to judge individuals because we had a lot of players out of position and they were a very solid, physical side who made it hard for us.
"With a full side I think we would have beaten them, but at least the guys who did play got match fitness out of it which is good."

Grant Hearn, a star in midfield in the previous week's win over Eastbourne Town, was pressed into service in the centre of defence with Stuart Moseley, whose first team activity last season was restricted to the occasional appearance on the bench, played as sweeper.
With Kenward away and Phil Meakin injured, Ray Collier was pressed into service in goal while skipper Dave Gellatly, who is struggling to shake off a back injury, came on as a second half substitute.
Smith had used two different forward pairings against Hassocks on Thursday who won the game with a goal in the last ten minutes.
Otway and Trevor played together in the first half with Steve Norris, who has moved back to the town and lost over a stone in weight in a bid to regain a first team place, partnering last season's top scorer Burns in the second half.
Teenage goalkeeper Paul Rowe got a run out in the second half and triallist Ian Gavin played in midfield.
Teams - v Tunbridge Wells: Collier, Woolley, Hearn, Moseley, Wright; Thorpe, Otway, Raymond, Thompson; Burns, Arrow. Subs: Gellatly, Dunstan.
v Hassocks: Kenward, Dunstan, Rabbetts, Woolley, Raymond; Thompson, Gavin, Hearn, Thorpe; Otway, Trevor. Subs: Norris, Burns, Benton, Marshall, Rowe.
Grinstead round off their pre-season games with a double-header against another Kent League outfit Deal Town this Saturday at Ardingly College. The first team kick-off at 2pm and the reserves, playing their first game under new boss Phil Major, a couple of hours later.
Next Tuesday they visit Bletchingley (6.30pm) before the second division campaign kicks off on August 10 at Westfield. The league have yet to release the fixtures, but because of the summer drainage work on the East Court pitch Wasps won't play their first home game until the end of the month.
Their first home gamr is scheduled for Tuesday, August 27 against Broadbridge Heath while in the League Cup Wasps have been drawn at home to first division Redhill.



[Friday, 26th July 2002]

MANAGER Bob Smith was full of praise for two of his new signings after watching his East Grinstead Town side begin their preparations for the County League campaign with a victory over a side expected to be one of their closest rivals for promotion this season.
Former Merstham player Grant Hearn and fellow midfielder Clive Marshall, who was with Lingfield last season, both did well as Wasps beat Eastbourne Town 3-1 in their opening pre-season friendly at Ardingly College on Saturday.
Hearn's no-nonsense approach and Marshall's skill on the ball impressed Smith whose team came from behind to win with goals from Ben Burns, Kris Trevor and Dave Gellatly.
Smith said: "The two new guys did really well. I don't think we've had an aggressive player like Grant at the club for a while and he is going to be a real asset.
"Clive looked very accomplished on the ball and looks like he could be a real prospect as well."

Virtually all of the squad which just missed out on promotion were in action against Grinstead's Division Two rivals who gained revenge for two league defeats by knocking Wasps out of the Division Two Cup at the semi-final stage last season.
Burns, last season's top scorer, converted a through ball to equalise before Trevor finished off a mazy run down the left with a neat chip. Gellatly rounded off an encouraging performance when he skipped past several challenges before firing home.
Smith added: "We looked fitter and sharper than them which is encouraging although we only really played well in patches so there is plenty of room for improvement."
The only two notable absentees were Matt Thorpe, who was away, and Kevin Wright who is receiving treatment for a shoulder injury.
Both are likely to be involved in Grinstead's next three friendlies. Last night (Thursday) they visited first division Hassocks (7pm) before entertaining Kent League Tunbridge Wells at Ardingly College on Saturday (3pm).
Next Tuesday Grinstead send a side to Crawley League Godstone (6.30pm).




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Click Here to view all 2001 / 2002 Season Archived News
Click Here to view all 2000 / 2001 Season Archived News

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