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Archived News 2008 / 2009 Season

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Division Two Champions 2007/08

:: Monday 11th May 2009 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
Footie Fun Day success

IT was a long day for all those involved, but FFD '09 was another resounding success which once again showed how much importance the club places on one of its core aims - to provide football for the community of East Grinstead.

Around 400 youngsters aged from under-7 to under-10 took part. EGTFC would like to thank all those managers, parents, referees and, of course, the players for making sure the event was a great success.

Ian Watts and his hardworking backroom team deserve our thanks as well. Organising and running an event of this sort is a massive undertaking and wouldn't be possible without the many volunteers who did everything from erect the portable goals, mark the pitches to cooking literally hundreds of burgers and hot dogs!

Here's to FFD '10 and thanks once again for making this year's event such a success.

:: Thursday 7th May 2009 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
Croydon Athletic 3, East Grinstead Town 2

Wasps reserves finished their season last night with a narrow defeat against the League runners up at East Court. Although the match was an away fixture, it had to be switched to East Court at short notice.

East Grnstead Town U18s 4, Redhill U18s 0

Wasps Under 18s had a comfortable win against Redhill on Tuesday evening at East Court and moved back into third place. They are now six points behind leaders Oakwood with two games in hand but with a 18 goal inferior goal difference. They face second placed Three Bridges tonight at the Jubilee Field (ko 7.45pm). Wasps are curently 5 points behind Bridges with a game in hand.

:: Saturday 2nd May 2009 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
With Horsham YMCA beating Oakwood today, Wasps have definitely finished outside of the relegation places, no matter what action the league take against Chichester.

:: Wednesday 29th April 2009 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
League in turmoil

The Sussex County League has been thrown into turmoil after one of its clubs was discovered to have fielded a player who has been suspended for TWO years.

Chichester City's Calum Cutler was given a lifetime ban by the Hampshire FA in April 2007 for failing to play outstanding fines while playing Sunday League football. But Cutler signed for Chi earlier this year and has played in 14 games including ten County League matches.

The problem only came to light when Cutler was sent off in a Charity Cup tie in March. If the club are found guilty of fielding an ineligible player the 19 points Chichester won with Cutler in the side would be deducted from their total and awarded to their opponents.

That could have implications at both ends of the first division with six clubs getting three points including title-chasers Horsham YMCA and Wick and more importantly from Wasps' perspective, Oakwood. They would be on 32 points and would climb out of the bottom three IF they beat YMCA on Saturday, relegating East Grinstead.

Chairman Richard Tramontin believes it is unlikely Wasps would be relegated even if Oakwood overtook them as a result of being awarded another three points. Besides the FA directive that clubs in Division One must meet FA ground grading requirements, which East Grinstead Town do unlike the many others, the league could potentially run with an odd number of teams in Division One next season if only East Preston and Worhing United are relegated, three promoted from Division Two, Crowborough rejoin and YMCA replace them in the Ryman League.

:: Tuesday 28th April 2009 :: back to top Go to the top of the page

MANAGER Steve Johnson believes Wasps can be a County League force next season after escaping relegation.

We looked like heading straight back to the second division a season after promotion when Steve and assistant Paul Thomsett arrived in February when Grinstead only had 12 points and had been in the bottom three since October.

But 21 points in their remaining fixtures was enough to keep us up with Saturday's 2-0 victory at Whitehawk securing our top-flight status and relegating Oakwood, East Preston and Worthing United.

Simon Funnell capitalised on a mistake by the Whitehawk goalkeeper to score his 12th goal of the season from 30 yards after 17 minutes.

It always looked like being enough against a disappointing Whitehawk team but Wasps made sure in the last minute when Jack Johnson's cross teed up fellow midfielder Andy Ducille who scored his fourth goal in three games.

The celebrations continued long into Saturday but this week Steve has been setting out his vision for next season, having always been convinced that Grinstead would beat the drop.

He said: "I was brought in to keep us up and I always felt confident we would do it and it's great to have done it through our own result on Saturday rather than relying on other teams dropping points.

"I certainly don't want a relegation battle next season and I don't think we will be in one. We may lose one or two players which happens every summer but the bulk of the squad will be here again and if we can bring in one or two new faces I definitely feel we can challenge at the right end of the table.

"I really can see us doing well. The team spirit and camaraderie is great and it's not as if we had to bring in loads of players. We brought in Luke Piscina, Andy DuCille, John Sinclair and, for the last two games, Jack Johnson but the bulk of the squad was already here."

A priority next season is improving Wasps' dismal home form. They only won two league games at East Court after going through the campaign unbeaten the previous year and in the end it was their excellent away form - they only lost once on the road under Johnson - which made the difference.

Steve admits his own reputation has been restored after he was sacked by Crowborough in February.

He added: "My own stock needed to improve after what happened there and at Ringmer. I wanted to make a success of it for personal reasons and because East Grinstead is a good, well-run club with some great people involved."

Steve has already started work on Grinstead's pre-season schedule and the squad are likely to be back at the end of June for training. In the meantime, though, he is looking forward to re-charging his batteries ahead of the club's presentation night on May 29.

:: Saturday 25th April 2009 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
Whitehawk 0, East Grinstead Town 2

Wasps secured their place in the top flight of County football for next season by winning at Whitehawk, with goals from Si Funnell and Andy DuCille, and East Preston losing to Horsham YMCA. That means that East Preston, Oakwood and Worthing United are relegated.

Congratulations to Steve Johnson, Paul Thomsett and all the squad. Chairman Richard Tramontin was delighted and relieved. He said: "The committee appointed Steve at the end of January with the task to keep us up when many had already written us off. I am delighted with what Steve and Thommo have achieved. Steve, the committee and I had to endure a lot of criticism after the appointment but we remained determined and it has paid dividends. Team spirit has been superb and I know that Steve is very grateful for the support he has had from everyone at the club. He has been quick to single out Phil Major and the reserve and youth team squads."

Bob Smith's Third Team finished out of the relegation places of Division Three of the Mid Sussex League on Thursday after a draw with AFC Grinstead while Ron Holah's Fourth Team won the Division 9 title today and completed a league and cup double.

:: Thursday 23rd April 2009 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
East Grinstead Town 0, Libya 1

Tonight's friendly finished with a win for the visiting Libyan team with a late goal.

:: Wednesday 22nd April 2009 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
International football comes to East Court

East Grinstead Town are hosting an international team at East Court tomorrow night.

Wasps will play the Libyan National Under 21 Olympic side in a prestige friendly kicking-off at 7.30pm.

The Libyan national team are currently holding a training camp in England and will also be playing a friendly against Bristol City next Tuesday.

Grinstead boss Steve Johnson said: "They asked me if we would play them on Thursday. It is great that they have picked us out.

"A lot of people know me from my Latvian days (working with the national team) and they have obviously kept my number.

"It will be a great evening and hopefully we will get a few people along."

:: Tuesday 21st April 2009 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
Ringmer 6, East Grinstead Town 3

Wasps fought bravely after going 2 - 0 down within the first 15 minutes and having Mannie Neville sent off for handball which resulted in a penalty and Ringmer's second goal........[Full Match report]

With East Preston losing to a late goal by Shoreham, they remain one point below Grinstead with a game in hand against title chasing Horsham YMCA. Both teams' final games are against Whitehawk - Wasps away this Saturday and East Preston are at home on Thursday 30th April. Oakwood didn't play tonight and are 4 points behind Wasps with a game in hand. They play Hailsham on Saturday and then Horsham YMCA the following Saturday. Worthing United are already relegated.

:: Monday 20th April 2009 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
Selsey 0, East Grinstead Town 2

WASPS kept their first division survival hopes alive on Saturday with an excellent win over a Selsey side beaten just twice at home in the league this season.

With our relegation rivals Oakwood and East Preston also winning, it made this well-deserved fifth away win of the campaign even more important.

Manager Steve Johnson shuffled his pack, bringing back Steve Causon and switching Mannie Neville to central defender with John Sinclair pushed into midfield. Neil Taylor made a solid debut at leftback with Ray Collier returning in goal.

The match was won by two headed goals, one in the first half by Andy Ducille from a good cross by David Major and a rare headed goal by Ben Burns at the start of the second half following good work by Luke Piscina........[Full Match report]

Johnson said: "It was a great performance all over the pitch. We worked hard to close them down and when we broke we looked a threat. We need to do that in our last two games and hope that it is enough to keep us up."

Grinstead travel to Ringmer on Tuesday (ko 7.30pm) and are at Whitehawk for the final match of the season on Saturday (ko 3pm). Before that, we have the honour of playing a friendly at East Court against the Libyan National Under 21 Olympic Team (ko 7.30pm).

:: Friday 17th April 2009 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
End of season presentation

The senior section end of season presentation will take place at Chartham Park Golf Club on Friday 29th May, 7.30pm for 8pm start. Dress code is 'smart casual'. This covers the First Team, Reserves, Under 18s, Third and Fourth Teams. Places are limited so book your tickets early. Tickets are £20 per head and include a 3 course meal. To reserve your place, please pay your team manager or Richard Tramontin and Brian McCorquodale.

A Golf Day is being organised for the same day by Phil Major but at another venue close by. Details will be available soon and anybody interested in taking part should contact Phil Major directly.

:: Thursday 16th April 2009 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
200 Club Winners March 2009

1st prize £70 - M Gamon
2nd prize £30 - D Mann
3rd prize £10 - C White

:: Wednesday 15th April 2009 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
Raynes Park Vale Reserves1, East Grinstead Town Reserves 3

A Steven Major hatrick secured 3 points for Wasps reserves tonight in the Suburban League.

EAST Grinstead Town's fight for County League survival could go to the last game of the season.

But boss Steve Johnson is confident Wasps will still be playing first division football next year.

It looked like being a pointless Easter for his side when they trailed 2-0 at Lingfield in Monday's derby with 14 minutes to go after losing 2-1 to a controversial goal in the eighth minute of stoppage time against Hassocks on Saturday.

But Ben Burns poached his fourth goal of the campaign from close range after good work by Dave Gellatly and five minutes from time defender Marc Pelling popped up in the six yard box to score after Gellatly had flicked on Simon Funnell's left-wing cross........[Full Match report]

Johnson said: "I was pleased with our spirit because we didn't deserve to be 2-0 down, especially after there was a blatant handball for the first goal.

"We have three games to go and I'm happy that they are away from home because our form on the road has helped us climb out of the bottom three in the first place. I think one more win will be enough because the three sides below us are not making much headway but we'll be trying to win all three."

Wasps make the long trip to Selsey (3.00pm) on Saturday before Johnson returns to his former club Ringmer next Tuesday (7.45pm).

Collier, who missed the Lingfield game because of illness and had to be replaced by third-team keeper Alex Over, will return on Saturday but work commitments are expected to keep Funnell out.

Johnson added: "Simon will probably be missing which is a shame because he's been outstanding for us.

"But the team spirit is still good and I definitely believe we are good enough to stay up and so, more importantly, do the players."

:: Monday 13th April 2009 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
Lingfeld 2, East Grinstad Town 2

Wasps came from 2 - 0 down to earn a point at this Easter Monday local derby........[Full Match report]

Players wore black armbands and a minute's silence was held before the match in memory of Maurice Tomsett, President of Lingfield FC, who sadly passed away on Saturday evening. Our deepest sympathy goes out to Pam and their family.

Grinstead had the better of the first half and Si Funnell was unlucky not to open the scoring when his lob over the keeper hit the bar.

The second half saw Lingfield take a two goal lead but Wasps never gave up. Following a corner, a shot from Dave Gellatly from the inside the box was chested in by Ben Burns. Another corner saw Marc Pelling head home a well deserved equaliser.

:: Saturday 11th April 2009 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
East Grinstead Town 1, Hassocks 2

Two blatant errors by the match officials cost Wasps three points this afternoon at East Court........[Full Match report]

Si Funnell put Grinstead ahead in the first half in a game they never looked like losing. To the astonishment of everyone in the ground including the Hassocks players and officials, referee Darren Eaton decided that Neil Kane who fell to the ground in the box after being unable to control a ball that then went out for a goal kick had been pushed despite neither the player nor his teammates making any appeal. Anthony Hibbert scored from the spot.

Just before the end of the match Neil Kane was again the centre of controversy as he received the ball when at least two yards offside, but the assistant referee did not raise his flag and Kane went ahead to win the match for Hassocks who were honest enough after the match to state that neither the penalty nor the winning goal should have been awarded.

That is two games on the trot where Wasps should have had three points but they have ended up with just one point from the two games due to mistakes by match officials recognised by opposing officials. Those decisions may have a devastating effect on the outcome of the club's Division One status and club Chairman Richard Tramontin has made his thoughts known to the League Chairman.

Grinstead remain one point ahead of East Preston who still have a game in hand. They lost 4 - 0 to Eastbourne Borough and face second placed Wick on Easter Monday.

Wasps travel to Lingfield on Easter Monday determined to beat their local rivals who have faired well in their first ever season in the top flight of County League football.

Fellow strugglers Oakwood drew with Shoreham and are now 4 ponts behind Grinstead while Worthing United lost and are 7 points behind with a game in hand.

:: Saturday 4th April 2009 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
East Grinstead Town 1, Arundel 1

A cool finish from Si Funnell earned Wasps a draw this afternoon at East Court after they went behind to a first half goal from Howard Neighbour which everyone including the Arundel officials agreed was 2 yards offside except for the assistant referee. [Matchday photos]Paul Thomsett who took charge in Steve Johnson's absence was happy with a point but at the same time disappointed as he felt that his side had done enough to claim all three........[Full Match report]

:: Wednesday 1st April 2009 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
East Grinstead Town IV 2, United Services 0

Congratulations to Wasps Fourth Team who won the Mid Sussex League Division 9/10 Tester Cup beating United Services in the inaugral final at the Hanbury Stadium in Haywards Heath. .......[Full Match report]

:: Tuesday 31st March 2009 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
East Grinstead Town 1, Redhill 2

A stirring second-half fightback was not enough for Wasps who remain in relegation trouble after their poor home form continued on Tuesday night........[Full Match report]

Of the sides below them, Oakwood won and Worthing United drew while East Preston lost which means Wasps still have a four-point cushion above the drop zone, although their fellow strugglers all have games in hand.

But Grinstead have not won a home league game now since September 13. a statistic they will be anxious to improve on Saturday when Arundel are the visitors to East Court (ko 3pm).

:: Saturday 28th March 2009 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
East Grinstead Town Reserves 4, Cobham Reserves 2

This Afternoon's Suburban League match at East Court was totally dominated by Wasps and the scoreline did not reflect the pressure and control Grinstead had on the game. Wasps were able to field a strong team including Dave Gellatly, who missed last week due to a family wedding, Alex McEwan, who was also away last week and Marc Pelling and David Major, who were back from suspension........[Full Match report]

There was no County League Divison One match for Wasps this afternoon, but two of the three teams below them in the league did play. Oakwood lost to Chichester 7 - 1 and Worthing United had a goalless draw against Whitehawk. The two swapped places with Oakwood now bottom, 7 points behind Wasps with a game in hand. Worthing Utd are on the same points as Oakwood but with 2 games in hand on Grinstead. East Preston remain 4 points behind Wasps with 2 games in hand.

All four teams are in action on Tuesday night:
East Grinstead Town v Redhill (7.30pm)
East Preston v Shoreham
Worthing United v Arundel
St. Francis Rangers v Oakwood

:: Tuesday 24th March 2009 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
East Grinstead Town Under 18s 0, Greenwich Borough 1

WASPS' Under 18s went out of the Southern Youth League Cup tonight through an own goal midway through the first half. Grinstead were the better team in the second half but failed to penetrate in the final third.


Former Wasps' chairman Bruce Talbot is in training for this year's London Marathon on April 26.

Bruce is running for children's charity Rainbow Trust (www.rainbowtrust.org.uk), who provide respite care and support to families of children with serious illnesses.

Bruce said: "I have been in training for the last six months and I am hoping to raise £1,500 for this very worthwhile cause. I know money is tight at the moment but I would appreciate any sponsorship and support I can get from my many friends at the football club. I am pleased to report that I am a far better runner than I ever was a player."

You can donate online at www.justgiving.com/brucetalbot

Thanks very much to those of you who have sponsored me already and I hope your support will inspire me to get round the 26.2 miles and raise funds for the Rainbow Trust.

:: Tuesday 24th March 2009 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
East Preston 0, East Grinstead Town 2

BOSS Steve Johnson hailed an "outstanding" performance from his side after Grinstead pulled further away from the County League relegation zone.

Late goals from Luke Piscina and Simon Funnell earned Wasps a thoroughly deserved win which stretched their unbeaten run to five games and means they have lost just twice in their last nine matches........[Full Match report]

They are now four points clear of the bottom three, all of whom have games in hand, but Johnson says his side are looking up rather than down the first division table.

He said: "They could have gone above us if they'd won but we thoroughly deserved the victory. It was an outstanding performance from everyone concerned considering the importance of the game."

Johnson now wants his side to transfer their good away form to East Court where they play the first of three successive games next Tuesday (March 31) against Redhill, kick off 7.30pm.

Johnson added: "A lot has been made of our home form but at the moment we feel confident taking on anyone. There is a great atmosphere in the camp at the moment and long may it continue."

Midfielder Dave Gellatly, absent on Saturday because of a family wedding, will return to the squad next Tuesday and Johnson will be back in the dugout after serving a three-match touchline ban incurred for an incident when he was at Crowborough.

Johnson has completed the signing of his nephew Jack Johnson and the 19-year-old winger could be involved against Redhill. Johnson has been at Fulham's academy and also had a spell with Woking.

:: Saturday 21st March 2009 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
East Preston 0, East Grinstead Town 2

A stunning strike by Luke Piscina and a simple finish by Si Funnell after some cool and unselfish work by sub Grant Rigler gave Wasps all three points this afternoon in this all important relegation battle........[Full Match report]

Meanwhile back at East Court, Michael Belli was sent off as the reserves lost 2 - 1 to top of the table Leatherhead after Wasps had taken an early lead.

:: Tuesday 17th March 2009 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
International clearance has now been received for new signing, Jack Johnson. He will be eligible to play for Wasps in this weekend's relegation battle away at East Preston, who together with fellow strugglers Oakwood lost tonight.

200 Club Winners

Winners of the 200 Club draw for February were:
1st prize £70, no 12 R Phillps
2nd prize £32, no 113 B McCorquodale
3rd prize £10, no 30 M Lyons

Winners of the 200 Club draw for January were:
1st prize £70, no 62 D Owen
2nd prize £32, no 1 R Tramontin
3rd prize £10, no 18 J Greig

:: Monday 16th March 2009 :: back to top Go to the top of the page

BOSS Steve Johnson says a happy dressing room is helping Wasps in their fight for survival.

Saturday's hard-earned point at Middle Road lifted Grinstead out of the first division relegation zone for the first time since November and extended their unbeaten away record to four games following draws at Hailsham and Three Bridges and last Tuesday's 5-1 win at Oakwood........[Full Match report]

Johnson said: "We have got a hardworking bunch of players whose confidence is improving with every good result we get.

"I'm more like Billy Butlin than Sven-Goran Eriksson before kick-off but we enjoy a laugh together and the new players have bought into the mentality of the club and it all helps team spirit."

Wasps took the lead through Dave Gellatly and although Owen Callaghan levelled before half-time the visitors had chances to snatch all three points.

Johnson added: "A month or so ago it's a game we would have lost. The pitch was awful - hard and bobbly - but we battled away and it was a fair result."

Six of Grinstead's nine remaining games are away so the improvement in their form on the road could not have been better timed. This Saturday they face a crucial trip to East Preston (3pm), who slipped back into the bottom three on Saturday with a 2-1 home defeat to Hailsham.

Johnson hopes to have Simon Funnell and Steve Causon available to bring some more experience to his line up.

He added: "We are giving the youngsters a chance. Blair Cooney, Chris Smith and David Major all played at Shoreham and did well but we will need our experienced heads at East Preston - that's a massive game for us."

:: Saturday 14th March 2009 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
Shoreham 1, East Grinstead Town 1

WASPS earn a well deserved point away at Shoreham and move above East Preston........[Full Match report] [Matchday photos]

Reserves hit Chessington & Hook for 6 with no reply at East Court........[Full Match report]

Wasps Fourth Team make it through to Mid Sussex League Division 9/10 final in extra time.......[Full Match report]

:: Thursday 12th March 2009 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
Oakwood 1, East Grinstead Town 5

WASPS' bid to avoid the drop got a huge boost with a rare win at Tinsley Lane in Tuesday's battle of two sides in the relegation zone.

Grinstead have only made two successful trips to Oakwood before but a superb attacking display, allied to a strong defensive performance, improved that statistic - much to the delight of manager Steve Johnson........[Full Match report]

"It was our best performance since I came to the club but we have been threatening it to be honest," said the boss.

"We played great in their final third with good movement and pace and defended well. Just as pleasing was how well we kept possession. There is still a long way to go but we are moving in the right direction."

:: Tuesday 10th March 2009 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
Oakwood 1, East Grinstead Town 5

WASPS smashed 5 past fellow strugglers Oakwood at Tinsley Lane tonight. Si Funnell and Ben Burns both scored a brace and Andy DuCille opened his account with a poweful header from a pinpoint free kick by Luke Piscina........[Full Match report]

New signing Jack Johnson didn't feature in tonight's match as International Clearance did not come through in time. It is hoped that this will be with the FA later this week and he will be eligible to play on Saturday at Shoreham (ko 3pm).

Wasps Under 18s also hit 5 tonight as they beat Dorking 5 - 0 at East Court. The win moves them back into second spot in the Southern Youth League, 3 points behind Oakwood with a game in hand.

:: Monday 9th March 2009 :: back to top Go to the top of the page

STEVE Johnson is happy that East Grinstead Town's survival hopes may depend on their away form.

Wasps are still in the bottom three after twice letting a lead slip in Saturday's 2-2 draw at high-flying Pagham on Saturday........[Full Match report]

But it was the third successive away game where they have picked up a point and maintaining that form and hopefully improving on it is key to Grinstead's hopes of remaining in County League division one with seven of their ten remaining games on the road.

Johnson said: "Playing away from home seems to suit us. Perhaps the opposition don't treat us with enough respect and there is less pressure on us but we are unbeaten in our last three away and should have won two of those.

"We have now got three more away games coming up and none of them will be easy. But we are improving and I'm confident we will get the four or five wins we'll need to stay up.

"More importantly, the players believe that too. The spirit throughout the club is excellent."

Johnson has used family connections to secure a fifth new signing since taking over at East Court last month.

His 21-year-old cousin Jack Johnson, a winger who recently returned from a spell coaching in America, is due to make his debut against Oakwood tomorrow night and will feature in Saturday's game at Shoreham (3pm).

His uncle said: "Jack was at Fulham's academy for 3-4 years and then had a spell at Woking. He's very fit, quick and will give us something extra in midfield."

Johnson is still being hampered by the unavailability of players for various reasons and is grateful for the backing of reserve-team manager Phil Major.

"It has been a nightmare and I have had to ravage the reserves but Phil has been magnificent in making players available," added Johnson.

"I do appreciate it because the sort of co-operation we have doesn't always happen at other clubs."

:: Sunday 8th March 2009 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
East Grinstead Town U16s, 1, Worthing Dynamos U16s 1 AET (8 - 7 on penalties)

WASPS Under 16s won the Sussex U16 mAnagr.com Minor Cup at the County FA ground at Lancing this afternoon.

Wasps appeared to be overawed by the occassion during the first 15 minutes during which time a composed Worthing took the lead from a corner.

Grinstead then settled and played some good football. James Rhodes scored the equaliser that Wasps fully deserved just before half time.

The scores remained level after extra time and so it came to a penalty shootout. Both sides scored each of their first 7 spot kicks. Worthing's 8th kick hit the bar and Wasps followed on to win the County Cup........[Full Match report]

:: Saturday 7th March 2009 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
Pagham 2, East Grinstead Town 2

Wasps led twice and their all round play deserved all three points this afternoon. Luke Piscina was denied a winner near the end when his powerful volley was superbly parried around the post by Pagham keeper Wes Hallett........[Full Match report]

:: Tuesday 3rd March 2009 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
East Grinstead Town 3, Whitehawk 5

Wasps gave away sloppy goals but showed great character to come back from 5 - 1 down and Si Funnell had a penalty kick saved on this very wet night at East Court........[Full Match report]

:: Monday 2nd March 2009 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
WASPS' improvement under new boss Steve Johnson continued as they ground out a point on their travels for the second successive County League game on Saturday........[Full Match report]

Johnson had to make four changes to the side which held high-flying Three Bridges to a goalless draw last Tuesday against a Hailsham side who had won 4-0 at East Court earlier in the month.

But his players did Johnson proud and a neat 83rd-minute flick from Grant Rigler - his first goal of the season - earned Grinstead a deserved point.

Johnson said: "We are making progress. We have tightened up at the back and still look a threat going forward and the attitude among the players is very positive. We all feel we can get out of relegation trouble."

Only four points seperate the bottom four in County League division one after Oakwood won and Worthing United drew and it looks like three from them, Wasps and East Preston for the drop.

Grinstead go to Oakwood next Tuesday (March 10, 7.45pm) and still have to travel to East Preston.

Johnson gave a debut to the experienced Andy Ducille on Saturday and the former Eastbourne Borough and Crowborough man impressed in midfield.

Johnson added: "Andy does the simple things well. He keeps the ball, can spot a pass and brings energy to the side. He does a lot of things that go un-noticed but he was a big factor in the result."

Grinstead face another tough trip on Saturday when they go to fifth-placed Pagham but Johnson hopes to have a full squad at his disposal with Mannie Neville, Dave Gellatly, Steve Causon and Simon Funnell all back in contention for Tuesday night's (March 3) home game against Whitehawk.

WASPS Under 18s were beaten by a late goal tonight away at South Park and missed the opportunity to regain top spot in the Southern Youth League.

:: Sunday 1st March 2009 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
Hailsham Town 1, East Grinstead Town 1

Grant Rigler earned Wasps a point with an 83rd minute equaliser against Hailsham on Saturday after Dan Leach had put the home side ahead with a fortuitous first half goal........[Full Match report]

Grinstead face Whitehawk on Tuesday at East Court (7.30). New signing, Andy DuCille is due to make his home debut and Mannie Neville, Dave Gellatly, Si Funnell and Steve Causon will be available after missing the Hailsham match.

Before that, Wasps' Under 18s travel to South Park on Monday night in the Southern Youth League (ko 7.30pm), where they will look to avenge their sole home defeat in December. A win would put Wasps back on top of the table.

:: Friday 27th February 2009 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
GRINSTEAD will have Luke Piscina and new signing Andy DuCille available for tomorrow's trip to Hailsham where Wasps bid to avenge their 4-0 home defeat earlier this month.

Ducille, who has joined from Wealden, will probably slot into central midfield as both Dave Gellatly and Mannie Neville are unavailable.

Top scorer Simon Funnell is working so Piscina will take his place in attack.

Manager Steve Johnson said: "They lost 7-1 to Ringmer in midweek and will be desperate to put that result behind them but our boys have something to build on after Tuesday's result and we're looking forward to the game."

WASPS Under 18s beat Oakwood 4 - 1 at Tinsley Lane last night and are now back in joint top spot with Oakwood and Cobham with a game in hand over both.

:: Thursday 26th February 2009 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
Three Bridges 0, East Grinstead Town 0

BOSS Steve Johnson hailed Tuesday's battling point against high-flying Bridges as Grinstead's best performance since he came to the club.

After conceding 19 goals in their five previous games, a clean sheet was much needed and achieved thanks to a solid defensive display marshalled by Danny Wackett and some brave goalkeeping by Ray Collier........[Full Match report]

Johnson said: "The attitude among the boys was first class. They were determined to get something from the game.

"We weren't at our strongest but everyone worked their socks off and we had the chance to nick it at the end. But a point is a good result there and gives us something to build on."

:: Tuesday 24th February 2009 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
East Grinstead Town 3, Wick 5

GRINSTEAD seem to have rediscovered a threat up front but now they need to stop leaking goals if they are to get out of relegation trouble.

Steve Johnson's men looked to be on course for a valuable win against a lively Wick side when they overturned a 2-1 deficit to lead 3-2 at East Court on Saturday.

But Wick hit back to score three times in the last 20 minutes and to compound Wasps' misery, Marc Pelling got a straight red card for a professional foul on John Lawson five minutes from time while fellow defender Danny Wackett went off with a badly bruised eye.

Johnson said: "It's not just the guys at the back - the whole team has to take responsibility defensively. We are making little mistakes like not picking up opponents and are getting punished. We scored three decent goals but when you have to do that or even better every time to win games you're in trouble.

"But I'm still positive. It looks like three from four at the bottom to go down so we need to start putting a consistent run together soon. But the team is definitely improving in a lot of areas and I'm still trying to bring in one or two more new faces."

Johnson picked out Scott Johnson, who made only his second first-team start at leftback, and strikers Simon Funnell and Luke Piscina for special praise but Wick, with Sussex strikers Scott Murfin and Phil Turner often causing havoc, have terrorised better sides than Grinstead this season and often had too much class at times for the hosts........[Full Match report]

STEVE Johnson yesterday completed the signing of the experienced Andy DuCille from Wealden.

Andy's former clubs include Eastbourne Borough and Crowborough and the midfielder goes straight into the squad for tonight's tough-looking league game at Three Bridges.

Danny Wackett (eye) is a doubt so the versatile John Sinclair could slot into the defence.

Steve said: "It's another difficult game but I know we drew at home to Bridges earlier in the season so we won't go there with any fear. We still have things to work on but there are a lot of positives to take from the Wick game as well. I'm delighted to have signed Andy DuCille who will do a solid job for us."

:: Thursday 19th February 2009 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
Fixtures released

County League fixtures for the rest of the season have been released and can be seen on the Fixtures page.

:: Wednesday 18th February 2009 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
Wasps reserves held Eastbourne Borough to a 4 - 4 draw at Priory Lane tonight after going 2 - 0 down after 5 minutes, then leading 3 - 2 before equalising near the end through Grant Rigler.

The Under 18s were also away tonight and beat Guildford City 4 - 1 in the Southern Youth League Cup. They will now face Greenwich Borough at home in the quarter finals.

:: Tuesday 17th February 2009 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
Worthing United 2, East Grinstead Town 3

JOHN Sinclair scored a debut winner ten minutes from time on Saturday to revive Wasps' bid to avoid the drop and give boss Steve Johnson his first win since taking over at East Court. [Matchday photos]

Grinstead looked to have thrown away the opportunity of a morale-boosting victory against another of the strugglers when they surrendered a 2-0 lead and had goalkeeper Ray Collier sent off in the 74th minute for deliberate handball outside the penalty area.

But Sinclair produced a superb finish with his right foot after turning a defender on the left-hand side of the box and curling his shot inside the far post. Wasps' first win since November 29 lifted them a place to 18th in the table........[Full Match report]

A delighted Johnson said: "John and our other new signing Luke Piscina made a big difference but it was a really good team performance.

"John has loads of energy which is why he was able to do what he did when others were starting to tire but he still feels he can play better.

"It's a great boost for our confidence and the players got a big lift. We played some nice football and I thought the scoreline flattered them a little bit."

Johnson may have another new face in the line-up to face Wick at East Court on Saturday (3pm) after making a seven-day approach to Wealden for former Eastbourne Borough midfielder Andy DuCille.

But other players could be leaving Grinstead as Johnson sets about re-shaping the squad.

Nick Sullivan, who scored the second goal on Saturday, and brother Dan have had their transfer requests to former club Crawley Down agreed with the club waiving the required seven-day approaches.

The club have received a seven-day approach from Three Bridges for Dave Gellatly who is also wanted by Lingfield and Crowborough have come in for Tom Saunders.

Johnson added: "I need players here who are up for the challenge and want to be part of what we are trying to build here, both in the short-term where our sole aim is staying up and long-term too.

"I'm not going to tread on eggshells anymore. If players want to leave then they should speak to me and we will take it from there but I'm surprised at Nick and Dan, who have both been in the team."

Johnson welcomes back midfielder Steve Causon on Saturday and is desperate to put on a good show for Grinstead supporters who haven't seen their side win at East Court since October 4.

He added: "It will be a tough game against a team who are always decent but I would love us to put on a performance for our own supporters. Those who came on Saturday were impressed with what they saw because we are definitely improving."

:: Saturday 14th February 2009 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
Worthing United 2, East Grinstead Town 3

The addition of the two new signings John Sinclair and Luke Piscina inspired a confident all round performance from the Wasps in this vital bottom of the table clash. Grinstead went in at half time with a well deserved 2 - 0 lead with a great header from Marc Pelling and a super strike from Nick Sullivan. Southee then pulled the home side equal with two goals in 6 minutes after the break. Ray Collier, playing in goal for Wasps, was shown a red card for an alleged handball which was all the more ironic as the game should have been stopped as the ball came through for a clear offside. Marc Pelling pulled on the goalkeeper's shirt and rather than being stretched with 10 men, Wasps played some good passing football and John Sinclair rounded his debut off with the winning goal with 10 minutes to go........[Full Match report]

The reserves were back in action in the Suburban League and had a good 4 - 2 win over Molesey........[Full Match report] The Third and Fourth Teams rounded off a good day for all the senior Grinstead teams, with 2 - 1 and 5 - 0 victories respectively.

:: Friday 13th February 2009 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
Boss Steve Johnson has made two quality additions to the side ahead of tomorrow's important league game against Worthing United.

John Sinclair, who can play in defence or midfield, and striker Luke Piscina have both signed. The boss said: "John and Luke were with me at Crowborough and our supporters will be as made up as I am because they are both really good players.

"John can play anywhere really and has a fantastic engine on him. He is strong and uses the ball well. Luke is very quick - one of the quickest players I have worked with. Ashford, who are going well in the Ryman League, wanted him but he knows John, who has played with Mannie Neville so there is a connection. I'm sure both lads will fit in well."

Steve also revealed that a seven-day approach had been made for Andy DuCille, whose former clubs include Eastbourne Borough. The striker has been playing with Wealden since leaving Crowborough, whom he helped win the County League title last season.

:: Wednesday 11th February 2009 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
NEW boss Steve Johnson is stepping up his efforts to re-shape his East Grinstead Town squad ahead of Saturday's relegation battle against Worthing United.

Johnson is due to complete the signing of utility player John Sinclair from his former club Crowborough on Thursday and there could be three more new faces in the side for the clash between the bottom two at Worthing (3pm).

But two players have left the club this week. Skipper Drew Cooney, who has made over 200 first-team appearances for Grinstead, has joined promotion-chasing Horsham YMCA while Luke Gedling, who made his solitary appearance in the 4-0 defeat at Hailsham in Wasps' last outing, has returned to Burgess Hill, one of his former clubs.

Johnson said: "Good players are hard to get, especially in the position we find ourselves in. There is no point in bringing in ten new faces who are no better than what we already have.

"It has been a busy few days but we are making progress. I'm excited about Sinclair who can play in centre midfield or central defence. He's such an all-action player and already knows a couple of our lads which will help him settle in.

"I'm also hoping to sign another three experienced players before Saturday. I'm spinning a lot of plates in the air at the moment and they might not all land until next week but these are players who will definitely improve the side."

Johnson was philosophical about the departures of Gedling and Cooney. He added: "Luke got the offer to return to the Ryman League which he wanted to do. I know a lot of our supporters will be upset that Drew has gone because he has been at the club for a long time and it is disappointing to lose any player who is so well respected but we have to get on with it.

"If we can bring in the four players we are after and add it to what we already have I'm really confident that our results will improve because they are quality additions.

"We haven't had the best of starts since I came to the club but they respect what I do and stand for and it has given me a bit of a fillip too."

Mannie Neville (hamstring) and Dave Gellatly (tonsillitis) are hoping to be fit for selection against United.

Grinstead's trip to Whitehawk last Saturday was postponed together with the reserves' home match against Colliers Wood United.

The reserves entertain Molesey in the Suburban League on Saturday, kick off 3pm.

:: Saturday 7th February 2009 :: back to top Go to the top of the page

Today's away match against Whitehawk has been postponed due to a frozen pitch.

Today's reserve match at home to Colliers Wood Utd, the Third Team away at Uckfield Town and Fourth Team at home to Barcombe have also been postponed as have all our youth team home matches. Tomorrow's vets match away to Franklands Village has also been postponed.

:: Friday 6th February 2009 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
Reserves match off

Tomorrow's reserve match against Colliers Wood Utd at East Court has been postponed.

:: Tuesday 3rd February 2009 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
Tonight's match postponed

Tonight's scheduled Division One match at East Court against Redhill has been postponed.

U16s in County Cup final

Wasps Under 16s earned their place in the County Cup Final on 8th March after beating a good Hove Riverdale side 1 - 0 in Sunday's semi final in Hove. Kieran Towner scored Wasps' first half goal. The final will probably be staged at Lancing FC.

:: Monday 2nd February 2009 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
East Grinstead Town 0, Hailsham Town 4

AN eye-catching debut by his first signing Luke Gedling was the only crumb of comfort for new boss Steve Johnson as Wasps sunk deeper into relegation trouble at East Court on Saturday.

Gedling, whose previous clubs include Aldershot, Lewes, Ringmer and Crowborough, was superb in midfield and Johnson is poised to bring in more new faces as he plots a survival course for a Grinstead side drained of confidence after a run of five defeats in their last six games.

This was a must-win game against another of the struggling teams. Instead, Wasps are now six points from safety after their heaviest home defeat of the season and were fortunate not to suffer a bigger reverse. Hailsham hit the post twice and Danny Leach saw his penalty saved by Lee Whibley........[Full Match report]

Johnson said: "I didn't want to be radical when it came to bringing in new faces but seven goals conceded in two games tells its own story.

"The first thing you have to do against any Hailsham team is match them in the battle but we were so far off the pace - we were treading water.

"I won't accept mediocrity. We had some words at half-time and I think most of the players accepted it. We simply cannot afford to play as badly as that again."

This weekend Wasps now embark on a run of four away games out of the next five starting at in-form Whitehawk on Saturday (3pm).

Johnson added: "We will regroup at training this week and hopefully on Saturday I will have been able to add to the squad. I thought Luke was our best player on Saturday with Drew Cooney not far behind but if we play like that again we won't win a game for the rest of the season."

:: Tuesday 27th January 2009 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
East Grinstead Town 2, Eastbourne United Association 3

Steve JohnsonNEW boss Steve Johnson remains confident he can steer Wasps out of trouble despite his first game in charge on Saturday ending in a fifth County League defeat in their last six games.

Eastbourne's victory took them to the top of the first division but Johnson, who has appointed the experienced Paul Thomsett as his assistant, sees plenty of reasons for optimism.

He will try and add to the squad this week but says wholesale changes are not required for Grinstead to climb out of trouble. Johnson said: "For a side struggling near the bottom the quality of our performance and the players surprised me.

"I thought we deserved to take something from the game. We played a new system which worked well and the boys responded to what we asked of them. You can see that confidence is a bit low but that will soon change after a couple of decent results.

"I have got some irons in the fire as regards new players. I think everyone at the club - committee, supporters and players - would expect one or two signings to lift everyone but we don't need lots of changes."

Wasps have two home games in four days with Hailsham the opponents on Saturday (3pm) followed by a visit from Redhill next Tuesday (7.30pm).

Ben Burns, who made his first start of the season, limped off with an ankle ligament injury which will keep him out for two weeks while Mannie Neville (hamstring) was also absent.

Burns played just behind the front two in a 3-4-1-2 formation but the biggest surprise was the inclusion of Dave Gellatly in the back three with Marc Pelling moving into midfield.........[Full Match report]

"Dave is not fit enough to play central midfield at the moment - he's only just come back after an eight-game suspension," explained Johnson. "It was difficult for him to adjust for ten minutes but I thought he did really well and Marc was a revelation. He scored a great goal and nearly got another."

200 Club Winners

Winners of the 200 Club draw for December were:
1st prize £75, no 113 B McCorquodale
2nd prize £25, no 66 P Presland
3rd prize £10, no 55 B Wallis

Winners of the 200 Club draw for November were:
1st prize £77, no 80 D Moore
2nd prize £27, no 34 M Wrintmore
3rd prize £10, no 37 T Brockbank

Congratulationms to the winners. Don't forget it only costs £4 per month to be in the 200 Club and the more people in it the higher the prize money. Contact Gary Willsher to join or for details by emailing gary.willsher @egtfc.co.uk

:: Saturday 24th January 2009 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
East Grinstead Town 2, Eastbourne United Association 3

Wasps played well enough to deserve at least a draw against table topping United. Against the run of play they found themselves two down after 22 minutes. Si Funnell pulled one back from the penalty spot and Marc Pelling hit the crossbar with the keeper well beaten. With 17 minutes to go, United went 3 - 1 up and within a couple of minutes Wasps responded with a great strike by Pelling. [Match report to follow]

:: Thursday 22nd January 2009 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
New boss appoints assistant

Steve Johnson hasn't wasted any time appointing a new assistant manager following Graham Rashbrook's decision not to remain at the club.

Paul Thomsett is one of the most well-known names in Sussex non-league football and was delighted to be approached by Steve. Thommo will be joining the new boss tonight for their first training session with the senior squad and Phil Major, reserve and under-18s manager.

Paul's former clubs include Lewes and Ringmer and earlier this season he was working as joint manager at Wealden.

Former Wasps' boss Bob Smith tried to bring him to East Court in 2006 and Thommo is delighted to have joined Grinstead to work alongside Steve.

Chairman Richard Tramontin said: "I am delighted that Paul has joined Steve's team. He brings a wealth of experience and it is great to have Thommo on board."

Regarding Graham Rashbrook, he added: " Gavin Neville spoke to Graham after he had taken the decision not to remain as coach and regrettably Rashers decided that he would also leave. On behalf of everyone at the club, I would like to thank Rashers for his dedication and all that he has done in the relatively short time he has been at the club and wish him every success in the future. He will always be welcome at East Court."

:: Wednesday 21st January 2009 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
WASPS new boss

East Grinstead Town are delighted to confirm the appointment of Steve Johnson as their new first team manager.

Steve has a wealth of managerial experience in Sussex non-league football at Arundel, Burgess Hill Town, Ringmer and most recently Crowborough Athletic.

Chairman Richard Tramontin said: "This is the first time we have gone outside the club for our manager and we are very excited about appointing Steve.

"Steve is very experienced, has a track record of success and the committee were very impressed with his ideas and his passion when we met him earlier this week.

"We are in a difficult position in the league and Steve is well aware that the club needs to keep its first division status if it is continue the progress we have made on and off the field in recent years.

"We still have half our league fixtures to play and we are confident that Steve can galvanise the current squad and, where necessary, add to it as well to bring about an improvement in results."

Steve Johnson said: "I was very keen to get quickly back into management and have heard a lot of good things about East Grinstead. The facilities are among the best in Sussex now and the club is ambitious, but the priority is to make sure we stay up this season and build from there.

"I love being involved in football. You get used to management and being around players. I even got ready for training last Thursday and then realised I wasn't at Crowborough any more! East Grinstead are a progressive club and the people behind the scenes are very passionate about doing well and I can't wait to get started."

Gavin Neville, who has been in charge since Steve Norris resigned in October, was offered a place on the coaching staff but Gavin decided to step down from his role after last night's game against Horsham YMCA which Grinstead lost 5 - 2.........[Full Match report]

Richard Tramontin added: "I would like to place on record the club's gratitude for what Gavin had done since he came to the club in 2006. He is an excellent coach who took over in difficult circumstances this season and was totally dedicated to the club. I fully respect his decision and he will always be welcome at East Court. We wish him every success for the future."

:: Saturday 17th January 2009 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
Chichester City Utd 1, East Grinstead Town 0

Wasps played the better football, created most goalscoring opportunities and should have won this game by at least 3 - 1 but it was another match of missed opportunities. [Match report to follow]. With East Preston earning an away win at Hassocks, Grinstead now find themselves second from bottom.

In the Suburban League, the reserves beat high flying Croydon Athletic 3 - 2........[Full Match report]

:: Wednesday 14th January 2009 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
Under 18s match off

Tonight's scheduled Southern Youth League match away at Horley Town has been postponed.

Good news at East Court though. Following a latest pitch inspection at 4pm today, tonight's friendly against Horsham is ON.

:: Tuesday 13th January 2009 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
Friendly put back a day

Tonight's friendly against Horsham has had to be rescheduled for tomorrow, Wednesday (ko 7.30pm) because of a waterlogged pitch.

EAST Grinstead Town are to step up their search for a new manager as they continue to battle for top-flight survival in the County League.

Gavin Neville, who took over when Steve Norris resigned last November, is happy to continue until the end of the season and remains confident that Wasps, currently third from bottom in division one, can avoid the drop.

But Neville says he will happily step down before then if Grinstead can attract the right calibre of candidate.

The club's management committee met on Monday and chairman Richard Tramontin said: "Our priority this season is undoubtedly making sure we remain in the first division - everyone at the club is working towards that aim.

"Gavin is happy to continue until the end of the season and remains confident that we will stay up.

"But he also recognises the need to make some long-term decisions and that is why we are inviting anyone with the necessary experience to come forward.

"We are a progressive club with some of the best facilities in the league and a very good youth set-up. We feel we have a lot to offer to the right person so it is time to see who is out there."

Anyone interested in the position can contact the chairman on 07973 803997 or by emailing richard.tramontin@egtfc.co.uk

Wasps hope to return to action after a three-week weather-enforced lay-off on Saturday when they travel to Chichester City United (3pm). It is followed by three successive home games, the first of them against Horsham YMCA next Tuesday (7.30pm).

Skipper Drew Cooney misses the trip to Chichester because of a one-match ban but Neville will have an otherwise full-strength squad to choose from, a rarity in a season blighted by suspensions and injuries.

:: Sunday 11th January 2009 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
Ryman Premier Horsham at East Court for friendly

Wasps boss Gavin Neville was keen to agree to Horsham boss John Maggs' request for the club to host a friendly to give both sets of players a much needed run out this Tuesday (kick-off 7.30pm). "I'm very grateful to East Grinstead Town for agreeing to play us at such short notice," said Maggs. "We're desperate to get some sort of a game under our belts after all the postponements and it'll give me an opportunity to have a look at my new signing, Claude Stephane Seanla."

Neither side has been able to play a competitive match since the day after Boxing Day and the frozen conditions even prevented Wasps training on the synthetic pitch last week.

:: Saturday 10th January 2009 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
Matches off

Frozen pitches have meant that the First Team match at East Court against Arundel and the Reserves Suburban League match at Leatherhead have both been called off.

Today's Third and Fourth Team matches have also been postponed.

:: Wednesday 7th January 2009 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
QUIZ NIGHT - Friday 30th January commencing at 8pm.

The Annual Football quiz will take place at the clubhouse on Friday 30th January and will kick off at 8pm.

This is a popular event so please contact quiz master Phil Major as soon as possible regarding entering a team - maximum 4 persons and £10 entry fee per team. Phil can be contacted by e-mail : at phil.major@egtfc.co.uk or by telephone on 07748 622948.

:: Tuesday 6th January 2009 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
Matches off

Both tonight's scheduled reserve match at Eastbourne Borough and the Under 18s match at home against Redhill have been postponed due to frozen pitches.

:: Monday 5th January 2009 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
EAST Grinstead Town hope to fight fire with fire when they host County League title favourites Arundel at East Court on Saturday.

Boss Gavin Neville should have three more strikers available after Nick Sullivan, Simon Funnell and Tom Saunders all missed the unfortunate 1-0 defeat in Wasps' last game against Lingfield on December 27.

Grinstead will need to be at their best against free-scoring Arundel, who are joint-top scorers in division one with 45 goals - six of them against Wasps in November when a 6-0 defeat brought a disappointing end to Steve Norris's managerial career.

With skipper Drew Cooney also available after serving a one-match ban and Dave Gellatly back in action after his eight game suspension Neville will have some options but knows the size of the task facing his side.

He said: "It is going to be a difficult game but we have made ourselves hard to break down in recent weeks and a side like Arundel are always going to give you opportunities. It will be a big test but one we are looking forward to.

"January is a big month for us. We have four home games and we need to do well in them to start climbing the table."

Wasps' trip to Oakwood last Saturday was postponed with the match referee calling the game off an hour before kick off because of a frozen pitch.

The reserves' Suburban League tussle against Cobham was also postponed. Tomorrow night they are due to travel to Eastbourne Borough (7.45pm) weather permitting, and this Saturday they are away to Leatherhead (3pm).

:: Saturday 3rd January 2009 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
Matches off

Both the First Team match at Oakwood and the reserves match at East Court against Cobham have been postponed due to frozen pitches.

:: Wednesday 31st December 2008 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
Happy New Year

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year from everyone at East Grinstead Town FC.

Grinstead begin the new year with a trip to Oakwood on Saturday (3pm). Oaks are currently a point and place better off than Wasps so there is every incentive for both sides to give themselves some breathing space at the bottom of the table. Mannie and Miles Neville will both be unavailable but Tom Saunders and Drew Cooney return after serving one-match suspensions.

Grinstead reserves take on Cobham at East Court in the Suburban League (3pm) before making the trip to Eastbourne Borough next Tuesday (7.45pm).

:: Saturday 27th December 2008 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
East Grinstead Town 0, Lingfield 1

WASPS enter 2009 facing a fight to retain their top-flight status after an unfortunate derby defeat left them in the relegation zone.

Pani Ortis's 38th-minute goal proved the difference at East Court on Saturday but Wasps deserved something for their efforts after dominating the second half.

Manager Gavin Neville was on holiday and reserve-team boss Phil Major, who was in charge of the side, was without six players. The absence of three strikers - Nick Sullivan, Simon Funnell and Tom Saunders - was most keenly felt.........[Full Match report]

:: Saturday 20th December 2008 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
East Grinstead Town 1, St Francis Rangers 1

Wasps were held to a draw this afternoon after Micheal Belli had put them in the lead half way through the first half.........[Full Match report]

:: Thursday 18th December 2008 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
Geoff Harris

The funeral service for Geoff Harris who sadly passed away last Saturday will be held on Tuesday 23rd December at the Surrey & Sussex Crematorium at 4.45pm.

Family and football club flowers only.

Geoff's children Sandra, Margaret, Brenda, Andrew, Julie, Ian, Paula and families have requested that any donations should be for St Catherine's Hospice or East Grinstead Town Football Club care of Ballard & Shortall Funeral Directors.

:: Tuesday 16th December 2008 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
Matches off

Both tonight's Reserves match away at Leatherhead and the Under 18s match against Dorking have been postponed.

BOSS Gavin Neville will have a virtually full-strength squad to choose from as he targets two home wins from our Christmas fixtures.

Only midfielder Dave Gellatly, who completes an eight-match suspension, will be missing on Saturday when St Francis Rangers visit East Court (3pm).

Steve Causon is fit and looks likely to line-up in midfield after three months out with a knee injury which required surgery while strikers Simon Funnell and Nick Sullivan are also available.

Another forward, Ben Burns, is back in training after recovering from a hamstring injury which has kept him out since the start of the season.

Neville is delighted to have Causon back. He said: "I know Steve of old and will have no problem putting him straight back into the side.

"He works hard, is great in possession and uses the ball well and we have really missed his presence in midfield.

"It's great to have virtually everyone available and Burnsy could soon be back in contention which gives us another option.

"We had a poor result against Worthing United a fortnight ago after producing our best result of the season in the previous game and we're desperate to bounce back."

Grinstead host neighbours Lingfield on December 27 in the first ever top flight local derby (3pm) when Gellatly will be available after completing his ban.

:: Saturday 13th December 2008 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
Matches off

Today's first team match at East Preston and the reserves' match at Raynes Park Vale have both been postponed due to waterlogged pitches together with all other matches in the Sussex County League and the Suburban League South. Third XI and Fourth XI matches have also been postponed.

Geoff Harris

Geoff Harris It is with great sadness that the club has to report that life member Geoff Harris passed away on Saturday morning in St Catherine's Hospice, Crawley, after a brave battle against cancer.

Geoff's association with the club stretched back to post-war days when he was a regular at our old West Street ground and often followed the Wasps on coach trips to away games too.

He stuck with the club during our brief 'exile' at King Georges Field and was among the spectators when we finally played our first game at East Court in 1967 against Crystal Palace.

Geoff, who celebrated his 80th birthday in February this year, joined the committee in the late 1980s and became an integral part of the fabric of the club. He really came into his own during the summer months when, paintbrush in hand, he would make sure the ground was spick and span in time for the new season. If it didn't move, Geoff would paint it!

He loved the banter and 'chatter' on Saturday mornings when the committee members gathered to get the ground ready for matches and chew the fat. A lot of micky-taking would take place but Geoff always gave as good as he got!

He was well known throughout the county because invariably he would be the first contact for opposition supporters when Geoff walked into the committee room with a big pot of tea at half-time!

Until a few weeks ago Geoff was still coming down to the ground regularly, a familiar sight as he made his way down the drive to the ground on his motorbike - his trusted method of transport for most of his life.

He was delighted when the side got promoted back to the first division at the end of last season. He was proud, too, of the part he played in transforming the facilities at East Court in 2007, even if it was only making sure that the 'workers' always had a cup of tea when they wanted one.

God bless Geoff. We're going to miss you.

:: Wednesday 10th December 2008 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
A WEEK after enjoying their best result of the season Wasps came crashing back to earth with a home defeat against bottom-of-the-table Worthing on Saturday.

The visitors won for the first time in 22 league and cup games and Grinstead could have no complaints about the outcome. Manager Gavin Neville started with the 4-5-1 formation he had successfully employed against Eastbourne but it appeared to give the visitors the iniative rather than his own side.

And to make matters worse, skipper Drew Cooney was sent off for two bookable offences - both fouls - and will soon become the fourth Grinstead player to be suspended this season.........[Full Match report]

With fellow strugglers East Preston and Hassocks also winning, Wasps remain in the bottom three and face another crucial game this Saturday when they visit East Preston (3pm).

It is a ground where Grinstead have traditionally done well and Neville will have both Dan Sullivan and Marc Pelling available again while midfielder Steve Causon, an unused substitute last Saturday, should soon be back in the fray after recovering from a knee operation.

Under 18s match off

Tomorrow night's scheduled Under 18s match away at Oakwood has been postponed.

:: Saturday 6th December 2008 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
East Grinstead Town 1, Worthing Utd 2

Wasps lose to bottom club. [Match report to follow]

This afternoon's scheduled Reserves match away against Chessington and Hook in the Suburban League was postponed.

:: Tuesday 2nd December 2008 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
East Grinstead Town U18s 3, South Park U18s 4

WASPS Under 18s threw away a 3 - 1 lead conceding three very sloppy late goals in their first league defeat of the season.

:: Monday 1st December 2008 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
Eastbourne United Association 0, East Grinstead Town 1

WASPS produced their best performance since promotion back to the County League's top flight and boss Gavin Neville hopes it is a springboard for a climb up the first division table.

Liam Bull's first-half goal toppled leaders Eastbourne United as Wasps collected their first three points since September 13 and kept a clean sheet for the first time in nine games.........[Full Match report]

They are still in the relegation zone but have a great chance to climb out of it when bottom of the table Worthing United visit East Court on Saturday (3pm).

Neville, celebrating his first victory since taking over from Steve Norris last month, felt his side got what they deserved.

"It was our best performance this season. We set out with a plan and we stuck to it and all 11 players did their job," he said. "We worked very hard behind the ball and it paid off. Liam took his goal well and worked hard the whole game and the back four, which have taken some stick recently, were very solid. We have got what we deserved but it won't mean a lot if we don't build on it on Saturday."

Neville will have to make one change with Dan Sullivan, who was superb against Eastbourne, suspended. Dave Gellatly is also banned for two more games and Marc Pelling unavailable.

:: Monday 24th November 2008 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
Under 18s match called off

Tonight's scheduled Southern Youth League match at South Park has been postponed.

:: Saturday 22nd November 2008 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
East Grinstead Town 2, Chichester City United 3

TWO goals in the last three minutes stunned Wasps when it looked as if they would celebrate their first league win since September 13.

Grinstead squandered two great chances to make the game safe at 2-1 and were punished when Russell Hardwell equalised from a hotly-disputed free-kick before James Temple stunned East Court with Chi's injury-time winner.........[Full Match report]

Manager Gavin Neville said: "Our performances are improving but to lose that game when we led 2-1 with a couple of minutes to go is hugely disappointing.

"It was a very open game - too open for me - but we are still switching off and conceding easy goals and while that continues we are going to make life hard for ourselves.

"But there were some positives. We looked a threat up front, were dangerous from set pieces and we still have five players to come back who will all strengthen the side."

Missing were goalkeeper Lee Whibley (stiff neck), Steve Causon (knee), the suspended Dave Gellatly and unavailable Drew Cooney and Liam Bull.

Cooney and Bull return to the squad for Saturday's away game against new leaders Eastbourne United Association (3pm) while Neville expects Causon to be back in light training soon after recovering from an operation.

:: Tuesday 18th November 2008 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
East Grinstead Town 1, Three Bridges 1

WASPS picked up their first league points since September 13 after substitute Simon Funnell stunned high-flying Three Bridges with an 89th-minute equaliser at East Court on Tuesday.........[Full Match report]

:: Monday 17th November 2008 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
Aylesbury Vale 4, East Grinstead Town 0

IT looks like a hammering, but Wasps matched their opponents for long spells in Saturday's FA Vase second round tie but never recovered from losing a goal after just three minutes.

A controversial penalty put Vale in charge just before half-time and they picked off Wasps on the counter-attack with two more goals in the last 15 minutes as Grinstead committed more men forward in search of a way back into the tie.........[Full Match report]

Reflecting on a fifth successive defeat, boss Gavin Neville admitted that Grinstead's poor start had left them chasing the game.

He said: "We spent a lot of time before the game focusing on defending and not conceding goals but it seems that the players are not taking on board what is being said.

"We were second best in the first 15 minutes and that is where we lost the game.

"Then we matched them and played well for an hour and created a number of chances but it was only a matter of time as we pushed forward that they would catch us on the break.

"I didn't think they were four goals better than us but when your struggling things seem to go against you."

Wasps suffered another injury blow with goalkeeper Lee Whibley, back in the side after missing two games with a calf problem, hurting his neck late in the first half as he fell awkwardly after punching away a cross.

:: Thursday 13th November 2008 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
FA Vase

Gavin Neville and his squad are looking forward to their trip on Saturday to Aylesbury Vale of the Spartan South Midland Premier League in the Second Round Proper of the FA Vase. Seats are still available for supporters on the coach that will leave East Court at 11.30 am - cost is just £5 per person.

The Moles are currently 12th in the league, and have so far won 6, drawn 1 and lost 6. The Spartan South Midland Premier League is a Step 5 league, which is the same level in the Football Pyramid as the Sussex County Division One.

Aylesbury Vale got through to this round of the FA Vase after beating Harrow Hill 5 - 1 in front of a crowd of 27. Since then they have been knocked out of the FA Cup, won 3 and lost 3 league matches. Their avearge home attendance this season has been 54. Their top scorer with 11 goals in all competitions is 26 year old midfielder Neil Roberts, with 28 year old striker Luke Melisi on 8.

:: Wednesday 12th November 2008 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
East Grinstead Town 2, Crowborough Athletic 2

A hardworking performance by Wasps Reserves gave them a well deserved point in this end-to-end Suburban League contest at East Court on Tuesday evening. The match saw two teams of contrasting styles of play; Wasps had the majority of possession and territory and built from the back and used the widths; whereas the visitors played on the break with pace and hitting their front men early..........[Full Match report]

:: Monday 10th November 2008 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
200 Club winners

Winners of the 200 Club draw for October were:
1st prize £76, no 10 Geoff Harris
2nd prize £30, no 94 Lorraine Parrett
3rd prize £10, no 98 Doreen Tramontin

Congratulationms to the winners. Don't forget it only costs £4 per month to be in the 200 Club and the more people in it the higher the prize money. Contact Gary Willsher to join or for details by emailing gary.willsher @egtfc.co.uk

:: Sunday 9th November 2008 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
Selsey 1, East Grinstead Town 0

There were plenty of encouraging signs for boss Gavin Neville despite a fourth successive defeat for Wasps in Saturday's League Cup third round tie.

Grinstead played with ten men for an hour following the controversial dismissal of defender Marc Pelling for a professional foul, but took the game to their hosts and only a superb save late on by Selsey's Steve Phillips prevented extra time..........[Full Match report]

All this after Wasps' team bus broke down on the way to the game and the squad piled into the back of a transit van driven by goalkeeper Ray Collier to complete the journey to the south coast.

Neville said: "It wasn't ideal preparations but we showed a good attitude and played some decent football.

"We set out to play higher up the pitch and we got stronger as the game wore on. We are getting one or two players back now and when we start getting a bit of luck we will win games."

Wasps make the long trip to Aylesbury Vale on Saturday for their second round tie in the FA Vase (3pm) against a side currently 12th in the South Midlands League.

Neville hopes to have strikers Simon Funnell and Nick Sullivan available while Tom Saunders is due to play for the reserves on Tuesday and could give Neville another option up front. Dave Gellatly is still ruled out through suspension while fellow midfielder Steve Causon is recovering from knee surgery.

It was Grinstead's best performance for some weeks and Neville says they will approach Saturday's Vase game with renewed confidence. "It will be difficult as they have home advantage but we have nothing to lose and if we play as well as we did on Saturday we are capable of getting a result."

A coach to the game leaves East Court at 11.30am. Fare for supporters is just £5.

Under 18s match off

Monday night's scheduled Under 18s match away at South Park has already fallen victim to the weather and has been postponed.

:: Thursday 6th November 2008 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
Cobham U18s 0, East Grinstead Town U18s 2

Two goals from Harry Thompson sees Wasps go back up to joint top of the Southern Youth League tonight. [Match report to follow]

:: Wednesday 5th November 2008 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
East Grinstead Town 2, Oakwood 3

A GAME which started so promisingly for Wasps ended with a seventh successive league defeat which leaves them firmly in the County League's bottom two.

Manager Gavin Neville brought back experienced trio of Mannie Neville, Simon Funnell and Liam Bull after injury and suspension but they have played just eight games between them this season and when their influence waned in the second half Oakwood took charge..........[Full Match report]

DAVE Gellatly will not play again this month after receiving a four-match ban for his red card against Arundel. Dave is already suspended for four matches for his dismissal against Shoreham. His new suspension starts on November 15, ruling him out of games against Aylesbury Vale in the FA Vase and league matches with Three Bridges, Chichester and Worthing United.

BOSS Gavin Neville should have striker Nick Sullivan available for Saturday's League Cup third round tie at Selsey (3pm).

:: Monday 3rd November 2008 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
Wick 3, East Grinstead Town 0

A GRINSTEAD side missing seven first-choice players suffered their sixth successive defeat as they slipped into the bottom two after defeat at wet and windy Crabtree Park.

With Dave Gellatly and Mannie Neville suspended, Liam Bull, Miles Neville and Steve Causon injured and Tom Saunders and Simon Funnell unavailable, Gavin Neville did not have too many options in his first match in charge.

And although his young side acquited themselves well against in-form opponents, they were punished for defensive mistakes.

To compound their disappointment, goalkeeper Lee Whibley had to go off ten minutes from time with a calf injury and centre-half Marc Pelling went in goal..........[Full Match report]

Midfielder Causon had a knee operation last week which will rule him out for six weeks while Bull is a week away from returning following an ankle problem.

Gellatly is suspended and Saunders will need to test his fitness in the reserves first after a hamstring problem.

Grinstead face Oakwood tomorrow night and then travel to Selsey on Saturday in the third round of the John O'Hara League Cup (3pm) while the reserves entertain Eastbourne Town in the third round of the Sussex Intermediate Cup (3pm).

The weather on Saturday had a devastating effect on numbers attending the town's firework display which is organised by the club and held at its East Court ground. A crowd of less than 300 braved the weather but were treated to a superb display and a glimpse of the stars of tomorrow as part of the pre-event entertainment by the East Grinstead Football Academy, as well as music, commentary and interviews by Meridian FM.

A big thank you go to those that braved the weather and came along to watch or to help and to the guys at Meridian FM.

However the low turnout has meant the club incurred a considerable financial loss on the event.

:: Tuesday 28th October 2008 :: back to top Go to the top of the page

Steve NorrisIT is with regret that East Grinstead Town have accepted the resignation of first-team manager Steve Norris with immediate effect. Steve, who took over at East Court in October 2006, has had to step down because of work commitments.

He said: "Unfortunately I cannot commit the time necessary to the job of manager because of my own work situation.

"I could have carried on but that would not have been fair to the rest of my staff, the players, committee and our supporters. The job of managing a club at this level needs someone who can make a much bigger time commitment that I am able to at the moment.

"Managing the club I first played for as a 16-year-old has been a tremendous honour and to lead us back to division one after winning the league by 18 points last season is an achievement I regard as my biggest in over 20 years in football. I will still be involved in some capacity, work commitments permitting."

Steve's assistant, Gavin Neville, has been appointed caretaker-manager and he will be assisted by Graham Rashbrook, who joined the management team at the start of the season.

Gavin NevilleNeville said: "I have really enjoyed working with Steve and I fully understand his reasons for stepping down. He has told me that he will assist me in any way possible and I will definitely be calling on his experience at some stage.

"I am looking forward to trying to get the team higher up the first division. Injuries and illness have been a big factor in our start to the season but the league table does not lie - we are struggling at the moment but hopefully I can bring in one or two fresh faces and when we start getting a settled side I am confident we will climb the table.

"I don't think we are as bad as our position in the table suggests but we need to improve quickly."

Chairman Richard Tramontin said: "Steve said at the start of the season that his work commitments were increasing but was hoping that the situation might improve.

"Unfortunately that has not been the case and Steve has taken the decision to step down now in order to give Gavin and Graham as long as possible to get us back up the table.

"Steve will always have a special place in our history for what he achieved as a player and then as manager. But he recognises how important it is that we stay in the first division and build from there and felt he could not commit the time necessary to be successful in such a demanding job.

"We wish Gavin and Graham all the best. The situation will be reviewed on an ongoing basis but I have every confidence that they can build on the foundations laid by Steve and Gavin for the last two years."

Contact: Richard Tramontin 07973 803997; Gavin Neville 07702 303133

:: Saturday 25th October 2008 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
Wasps suffer heavy away defeat

An understrength Wasps side decimated by injuries, sickness and suspensions suffered a heavy 6 - 0 defeat to Arundel this afternoon. They also had Dave Gellatly sent off and he already starts a 4 match ban from next Saturday..........[Full Match report]

:: Tuesday 21st October 2008 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
Bexhill United 0, East Grinstead Town 2

WASPS won on the road for the first time as two second-half goals sunk second division Bexhill in Saturday's John O'Hara League Cup tie..........[Full Match report]

It was a comfortable enough victory in the end for Steve Norris's side which included three sets of brothers.

After successive league defeats Grinstead needed the confidence boost of a victory, although a trip to Selsey in the third round was hardly the reward they were hoping for.

With Mannie Neville suspended, Norris will be hoping that the injury position improves soon as he begins the more important task of trying to improve Wasps' league position. On Saturday they visit Arundel in Division One (3pm).

Grinstead lost 2-1 to Raynes park Vale in the Suburban League on Saturday despite leading for 88 minutes.

They had four good chances to add to a 25th minute opener from Liam Bull, who was making his first appearance after dislocating his shoulder in pre-season.

Those misses proved costly when the visitors equalised before snatching an unlikely winner in injury time..........[Full Match report]

This Saturday Grinstead entertain Godalming in the Suburban League, kick off 3.00pm.

Grinstead are running a supporters' coach to their FA Vase game at Aylesbury Vale on November 15. Anyone who would like to travel should email Richard Tramontin, club chairman, at richard.tramontin@egtfc.co.uk or call 07973 803997.

:: Wednesday 15th October 2008 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
Wasps Under 18s back on top

Redhill 2, East Grinstead Town 3

Wasps battled for a valuable 3 points against a very competitive and hard working Redhill team tonight and went back on top of the Southern Youth League..........[Full Match report]


A goal on his full senior debut by 17-year-old David Major was not enough to prevent Grinstead from suffering their fourth successive league defeat at Gorings Mead on Tuesday.

The home side's opening goal looked to be suspiciously offside and after Major had equalised, they were awarded a controversial penalty. Wasps were understandably further aggrieved when Matt Geard scored YMCA's winning goal. It was felt that he should have received his marching orders prior to scoring..........[Full Match report]

Nonetheless, manager Steve Norris would have been pleased with the way his injury-hit side responded to last Saturday's 3-0 home defeat by Shoreham.

Back at East Court, the Reserves comprehensively beat Oakwood 6 - 3 in the Suburban League..........[Full Match report]

:: Tuesday 14th October 2008 :: back to top Go to the top of the page

WASPS slipped into the relegation zone for the first time this season after they were outplayed by a stylish Shoreham side at East Court on Saturday..........[Full Match report]

Manager Steve Norris had no complaints about the result or the red card dished out to midfielder Dave Gellatly midway through the second half.

Gellatly became the second Wasps player to be sent off in successive league games, lashing out at an opponent in retaliation after he had been brought down. Norris said: "Dave was getting very frustrated and the referee had no choice really."

Wasps have now failed to score in their last three Division One games and Norris added: "We didn't create a great deal although Shoreham were probably the best side we have played this season. They never allowed us to get any momentum."

Norris is still without injured quartet Steve Causon, Liam Bull, Michael Belli and Simon Funnell although there is a slight chance that Funnell might feature at some stage at tonight's match against Horham YMCA (ko 7:45pm).

With Bull, Belli and Funnell expected to be back in training this week, Norris should soon have a bigger squad to choose from. He is adamant that the best is yet to come from his side, who travel to second division Bexhill in the second round of the John O'Hara League Cup on Saturday (3pm).

But Grinstead need to start finding some form soon if it is not to develop into a long winter at East Court.

GRINSTEAD'S reserves came from 2-0 down to win 4-2 at County League division three side Saltdean United in the first round of the Sussex Intermediate Cup on Saturday..........[Full Match report] This Saturday the reserves entertain Chessington & Hook at East Court in the Suburban League, kick off 3pm.

:: Tuesday 7th October 2008 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
Wasps Leave It Late

East Grinstead Town Reserves 3, Merstham Reserves 3

A Steve Major hat trick earned Wasps a well deserved point in a competitive Suburban League game tonight at East Court..........[Full Match report]

:: Monday 6th October 2008 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
Steve will do his homework on Vase opponents

STEVE Norris admits his East Grinstead Town side didn't get much luck when Monday's second round draw paired them with South Midlands League outfit Aylesbury Vale.

Wasps will travel to Buckinghamshire on November 15 looking to reach the third round for only the second time in their history.

Norris said: "We would have loved to have been at home but it's still a tie to look forward too. They are a step five club, like us, and hopefully we can take plenty of support up there with us. I have some contacts up there so we will have them watched and will prepare thoroughly."

Norris was delighted with Wasps' 4-2 win over Rye in Saturday's first round tie at East Court..........[Full Match report]

He added: "Apart from ten minutes when they scored twice I thought we controlled the game, we played some of our best football of the season."

Mannie Neville celebrated his first home game with a goal and Norris says last year's captain has now committed himself after missing the first seven weeks of the season after moving to London.

On the injury front, Norris expects Michael Belli, Simon Funnell and Liam Bull to be training again in 10-14 days but Steve Causon is seeing a consultant about his ankle problem this week. Ben Burns (hamstring) remains a long-term absentee.

As well as Neville, fit-again Danny Wackett returned against Rye and Norris hopes his side have turned a corner.

"We played some good football on Saturday and to score four goals was another positive," he said. "In 2-3 weeks we will have virtually everyone fit and available and hopefully we can start producing some more consistent performances."

Meanwhile, Tobi Hutchinson has left the club to take up a player-coach role with Eastbourne United.

Norris said: "We have parted on the best possible terms. Tobi's son trains with Gillingham two nights a week which will restrict the commitment he can make to training with us and Eastbourne are local to him. In the 16 months he was with the club he did a great job and played a key part in helping us to get promotion. We wish him all the best and thank him for what he did for East Grinstead."

Striker Grant Rigler made his first appearance of the season on Saturday and impressed Norris with his hold-up play. He is likely to keep his place on Saturday when Grinstead entertain Shoreham in the County League (3pm).

Norris added: "It is important we build on Saturday's result. Our league position is not great and we need to start putting a run of good results together."

Wasps go to Horsham YMCA next Tuesday in the league (kick off 7.45pm).

FA Vase draw

Wasps have been drawn away to Aylesbury Vale of the Spartan South Midland Premier League in the Second Round Proper of the FA Vase. The tie will take place on Saturday 15th November. Travel details for supporters will appear here shortly.

The Moles are currently 15th in the league, but have played the fewest games. They have so far won 3. drawn 1 and lost 2. The Spartan South Midland Premier League is a Step 5 league, which is the same level in the Football Pyramid as the Sussex County Division One.

Aylesbury Vale got through to this round of the FA Vase after beating Harrow Hill on Saturday 5 - 1 in front of a crowd of 27 and they were recently knocked out of the FA Cup by Gosport Borough 4 - 0 in a 2nd Round Qualifying replay.

:: Saturday 4th October 2008 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
East Grinstead Town 4, Rye United 2

WASPS go through to the second round proper of the FA Vase for only the second time in our history after beating Rye this afternoon at East Court..........[Full Match report]

:: Wednesday 1st October 2008 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
East Grinstead Town U18s 3, Three Bridges U18s 2

From the first whistle this was a game that Wasps dominated and the scoreline very much flattered the visitors. The victory puts Town top of the Southern Youth league and it is certainly a position they deserve after their performance in this game...........[Full Match report]

:: Tuesday 30th September 2008 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
Hassocks 3, East Grinstead Town 0

Wasps started brightly but fell behind after 14 minutes and then struggled for the rest of the half and went in 2 nil down at the break. Mannie Neville came on for his first appearance for the second half together with Danny Wackett, back from injury, and they made an immediate impact giving the team a better shape and more control. Midway through the second half, the referee initially sent Dave Gellatly off with a straight red for allegedly swearing at the ref after he had already booked him in the first half for dissent - the referee later confirmed this first booking was for Gellatly's body language. Following protests from the players and the assistant flagging, the ref realised it was mistaken identity, apologised to Gellatly and then proceeded to show Neville a red card.

Hassocks made it 3 - 0 five minutes from time although three Hassocks players looked to be clearly offside when a ball over the top was initially played. One player tracked back and didn't interfere with play but the other two combined to score..........[Full Match report]

:: Monday 29th September 2008 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
BOSS Steve Norris is confident his side's fortunes will improve once Grinstead's lengthy injury list starts to ease. Midfielder Michael Belli became the latest addition when he was carried off with a knee problem in Saturday's home defeat to the County League leaders.

Belli, who is Wasps' top scorer, was seeing a specialist this week to discover the extent of the problem but he is definitely out for 2-3 weeks.

Simon Funnell, fellow striker Liam Bull and midfielder Steve Causon are also sidelined although Norris expects them all to be available by the end of October.

But it is not all bad news for Norris, who hopes to have last year's captain Mannie Neville available for Saturday games at least.

Defender Danny Wackett made his comeback after five weeks out in the reserves on Saturday and Grinstead have also made an official approach for Oakwood's top scorer Jack McNabb.

In addition, striker Nick Sullivan is now based in the south and should be available more often.

Norris said: "Once we get a few players back it will be full steam ahead and I'm convinced we can have a good season. We don't need any more injuries but we have some quality players to come back."

Wasps are at home to Rye United in the first round of the FA Vase this Saturday (3pm).

"We would love to have a run in the Vase and this is a winnable tie, although Rye are a very good second division side," added Norris.

The manager says he has not seen a first division side yet which frightened him and that was certainly the case on Saturday in an absorbing rather than entertaining tussle when defences on both sides kept chances at either end to a premium...........[Full Match report]

Norris added: "It had 0-0 written all over it. Both sides had a couple of chances and it was a decent game but they took one of the oppportunities which came their way. I can't complain about our effort or commitment though, it was a good performance."

:: Saturday 27th September 2008 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
Wasps lost to Division One leaders Ringmer 0 - 1 this afternoon at East Court...........[Full Match report]

:: Thursday 25th September 2008 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
Ebbsfleet United 3, East Grinstead Town 1 - FA Youth Cup

WASPS Under 18s gave their Nationwide Conference Youth League opponents a good run for their money tonight in the FA Youth Cup. Their hosts had beaten Redhill 14 - 0 in the previous round and things started badly for Wasps as they went behind to a Sam Callander goal when he found space on the edge of the box and went clean through with barely a minute gone. Fifteen minutes later Callandar made it 2 - 0 when he ran onto a clearance and took the ball round keeper Ben Abbott although he looked to be at least a yard offside. Dean Coomber was brought down in the box on 21 minutes after a good run, took the spot kick himself and brought it back to 2 - 1.

To the astonishment of the home support, Ben Abbott made two penalty saves from Callandar in the last five minutes of the first half.

Grinstead were playing some good football against a very good side but just couldn't find the time and space to create any real chances. Abbot continued to make a number of important stops but with 10 minutes to go Ebbsfleet made it 3 - 1. Five minutes later, they were awarded their third spot kick and Abbott pulled off a hatrick of penalty saves.

Chairman Richard Tramontin said: "I was really proud of the lads' performance tonight against a very strong Ebbsfleet United. They have a terrific set up and run two Under 18 sides. One plays in the Kent League and our opponents tonight play in the Nationwide Conference Youth League and are part of their Programme of Academic and Sporting Excellence Scheme which has produced a number of players that have progressed to professional clubs."

:: Wednesday 24th September 2008 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
FA Youth Cup

Wasps Under 18s travel to Ebbsfleet United tomorrow night for a FA Youth Cup 1st Round Qualifying tie. Their hosts beat Redhill 14 - 0 in the previous round.

:: Tuesday 23rd September 2008 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
East Grinstead Town 0, Crawley Down 0 AET - Crawley Down win 4 - 3 on penalties

Wasps hit the woodwork three times and Crawley Down Keeper Shane Goldsmith kept his side in the match with a series of fine saves in normal time and extra time. When the match went into penalties, Goldsmith pulled off two saves and Wasps went out of the Sussex Senior Cup...........[Full Match report]

:: Monday 22nd September 2008 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
East Grinstead Town 2, Lancing 1

WASPS have made a habit of coming back to win games this season and they did it again on Saturday to reach the first round proper of the FA Vase.

Trailing at half-time against their second division opponents, Michael Belli scored his third goal of the season to equalise before Tobi Hutchinson rewarded persistent pressure with the winner three minutes from the end of extra time...........[Full Match report]

Boss Steve Norris said: "We've been slow starters in a lot of games this season but I couldn't fault our commitment and effort on Saturday, even though we went a goal behind. We created lots of chances as Lancing did and although we left it late I felt we thoroughly deserved to go through." Another second division side, Rye United, will be Wasps' next Vase opponents on October 4 but before that they host neighbours Crwaley Down tomorrow night in a Sussex Senior Cup replay (7.15pm) and this Saturday Norris's men return to league action with a home game against early pacesetters Ringmer (3pm).

Wasps have already taken four points from top two Redhill and Pagham and Norris is expecting another good performance.

"We seem to do better against the top sides," he said. "We won't need any motivating on Saturday in what I expect will be one of our hardest games of the season."

:: Saturday 20th September 2008 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
Wasps through to First Round Proper of the FA Vase

WASPS had to come from behind despite absolutely dominating the first half of this afternoon's FA Vase Second Round Qualifyong tie against Lancing at East Court, before Michael Belli's equaliser in the 72nd minute took the tie into Extra Time. A great volley from substitute Tobi Hutchinson then secured Wasps' place in the First Round Proper on 4th October at East Court against Rye United...........[Full Match report]

:: Tuesday 16th September 2008 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
Hailsham 3, East Grinstead Town 1

Wasps started this 2nd round RUR Cup tie brightly but then found themselves 2 - 0 down after 18 minutes. Within two minutes of the second half, Dave Gellatly marked his comeback after suspension with a goal. Grinstead had come out a different team in the second half and even though they were trailing, they looked to be the side that would go ahead and win the tie. All the sustained pressure came to nothing however and Hailsham netted a third with a quarter of an hour to go..........[Full Match report]

Wasps are back at home on Saturday when second division Lancing are the visitors in the preliminary round of the FA Vase (3pm). They then entertain Crawley Down next Tuesday in a Sussex Senior Cup first round replay after last week's game ended 2-2. Kick off is 7.15pm.

Meanhile Wasps Under 18s comprehensively beat neighbours Crawley Down 4 - 0 at East Court tonight.........[Match report]

:: Saturday 13th September 2008 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
East Grinstead Town 2, East Preston 1

Wasps had to come from behind this afternoon to clinch three points against lowly East Preston. Steve Causon got his first goal for the club with Charlie Adsett netting the winner and his second in consecutive matches..........[Full Match report] The Reserves travelled to Colliers Wood and won 3 - 1 with two goals from substitute Elvis Lynn and one from Grant Rigler............[Match report]

:: Tuesday 9th September 2008 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
Crawley Down 2, East Grinstead Town 2 AET

THESE two local rivals fought out a hard-fought Senior Cup first round tie at The Haven tonight which ended with honours even and a replay at East Court Tuesday week, 23rd September (ko 7.15pm)..........[Full Match report]

Also tonight, the Under 18s drew 1 - 1 with Merstham at home [Match report] while the Reserves lost 5 - 2 at Crowborough.............[Match report]

:: Saturday 6th September 2008 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
Superb Win For Reserves

East Grinstead Town Reserves 3 Walton Casuals Reserves 1

Wasps Reserves, sponsored by Aquabuild, put in one of their best displays in recent times against a very competent and lively Walton Casuals team. Reserve team manager Phil Major was very proud of his very young side with the oldest player being just 22 years old. The victory completed an excellent week for the Reserves who recorded two wins and a draw in the last eight days.........[Full Match report]

:: Friday 5th September 2008 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
St Francis Rangers 4, East Grinstead Town 1

Wasps bossed the opening 15 minutes but failed to convert any chances and then went behind to a soft goal on the home side's first attack. A long hopeful ball coupled with a slip by Matt Holmes on the stroke of half time led to a second. Lee Whibley dropped a corner kick in very wet conditions onto Turpin's feet for St Francis' third and then a good move saw them go a very flattering 4 - 0 up. Wasps did get one stroke of luck when a St Francis defender headed a cross into his own net three minutes from time..........[Full Match report]

Grinstead dominated for long spells in horrendous conditions but their hosts shaded it where it matters most - in front of goal.

Steve Norris insisted: "I was pleased with our performance."

He added: "I asked for a reaction after our FA Cup defeat and although the score might suggest otherwise, I got one.

"We dominated and their manager admitted afterwards that the result flattered them but at this level if you don't take your chances you will be punished, especially by a good side like St Francis."

Norris introduced two new faces as second-half substitutes and was impressed with midfielders Charlie Adsett, who has signed from Horley Town, and Andy Hancock. Both are likely to be involved on Saturday when Wasps take on East Preston at East Court in a County League fixture, kick off 3pm.

Grinstead will also have strikers Simon Funnell and Nick Sullivan and midfielder Michael Belli available, but Dave Gellatly is still suspended.

Norris added: "Charlie and Mark did well and give us more options. We are starting to get players back and I know that when we have our strongest squad available we will be a match for any side in this league.

"East Preston haven't had the best of starts but it won't be easy - we will need to show the same level of commitment and hopefully take our chances."

:: Wednesday 3rd September 2008 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
East Grinstead Town U18s 2, Lingfield U18s 1

Wasps Under 18s came from behind to secure all three points in tonight's local derby against Lingfield at East Court in a hard fought opening match of the new Southern Youth League season.........[Match report]

:: Tuesday 2nd September 2008 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
Horsham YMCA Reserves 1, East Grinstead Town Reserves 1

Simon Tadman was the goalscorer in Wasps Suburban League match tonight.........[Match report]

:: Monday 1st September 2008 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
Norris disappointed

BOSS Steve Norris did not hold back after his side's hopes of an FA Cup run bit the dust at East Court.

Norris labelled his side's limp performance the worst in his two years in charge as their Combined Counties League opponents eased into the first qualifying round.

He said: "If I could have I would have personally apologised to all our supporters and given them their money back. It was our worst performance since I took over - we were awful."

Norris was without four first-team regulars but refused to use their absence as an excuse.

"We couldn't string more than two passes together, we had no energy and everyone had a bad day," he added. "When three or four players don't play well you can sometimes get away with it but not nearly all of the team - it was embarrassing and I can assure everyone there won't be a repeat."

Wasps return to County League action on Friday (7.45pm) when they visit early pacesetters St Francis but Norris will again be without several players.

Dave Gellatly is suspended, Alex McEwan, Michael Belli and Simon Funnell are all on holiday and Nick Sullivan's availability depends on work commitments. Defender Danny Wackett is out with a hamstring injury.

Norris has had no luck in adding to his squad this week with the trail of two Horley Town players, who were the subject of official approaches, going cold. But defender Adam Dart, an integral part of last season's promotion-winning squad, has re-signed although he needs games under his belt first.

Norris added: "It is a testing time because the squad is down to the bare bones but we do have options. Steve Causon did okay on Saturday on his full debut and Tom Saunders will benefit from playing 90 minutes. I certainly expect a much better performance although it will be a tough game."

Wasps travel to local rivals Crawley Down Tuesday week in a Sussex Senior Cup first round tie (7.30pm).

Grinstead supporters must have been baffled at their side's display against Colliers Wood, a week after they had shown determination to come from behind to beat league leaders Pagham.

Colliers Wood were hardworking and in striker Ramzi Bedj-Bedj they had the best player on the pitch but they will not be the best side seen at East Court this season.........[Full Match report]

:: Saturday 30th August 2008 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
East Grinstead Town 0, Colliers Wood Utd 3

Wasps crashed out of the FA Cup this afternoon at East Court, losing to Colliers Wood United of the Combined Counties League 3 - 0. There were a number of key players unavailable through injury, holidays or other committments, but a disappointed boss Steve Norris described his team's performance as "the worst since I have been in charge".........[Full Match report]

Meanwhile the Reserves, who are now sponsored by Aquabuild, earned their first win of the new Suburban League campaign against a strong Molesey team.........[Full Match report]

:: August 2008 :: back to top Go to the top of the page

EAST Grinstead Town have scored a hat-trick off the pitch this season thanks to the support of local businesses.

The club, who are celebrating their return to County League division one, have tied up three sponsorship deals for their teams.

The main club sponsors are once again the Forest Row-based Rydon Group, whose support of the club began back in 1991.

That makes it the longest-running sponsorship agreement in the history of non-league football in Sussex.

Bob Bond and Richard TramontinRydon chief executive Bob Bond said: "Over the years we have seen the Wasps go through highs and lows and it is really rewarding now to have followed them through one of their best seasons.

"Having gained promotion to the first division of the County League in style, we know that they are intent on proving that they can maintain that standard. As long-term sponsors we are delighted with their success and will be following with interest as the season unfolds."

The club also have new reserve-team sponsors for their Suburban League campaign in Aquabuild, the local company who install swimming pools, hot tubs, jacuzzis and spas.

Meanwhile, La Farola, the Restaurant and Tapas bar in London Road have taken over as sponsors of the third team who will be managed by former first-team boss Bob Smith in their Mid Sussex League campaign this season.

Club chairman Richard Tramontin said: "These are difficult economic times and it can be hard for businesses to make sponsorship commitments so we are delighted to have three local businesses supporting the Wasps.

"Rydon have been fantastic backers of the football club for an incredible 18 years now and we are grateful for their continued support.

"It is also great to welcome Aquabuild and La Farola on board as two new team sponsors. Their help is appreciated and will help the club grow so we can offer more football to the local community, particularly youngsters, as well as trying to establish our senior teams in their respective leagues.

"I hope as many of our supporters, where possible, help us by using these businesses and others who support the club, whether it is through junior team kit sponsorship, pitch-side board or programme advertising. We are lucky to have so many good sponsors on board who really are the lifeblood of the club."

Another of these local businesses is Mid Sussex Timber who are sponsoring the Wasps' matchday programme.

Tramontin added: "Mid Sussex Timber have been supporters of the club for a few years now with pitch-side and programme advertising and we are truly grateful that they have stepped up to be our official match-day programme sponsors. We are keen to maintain the standard we set ourselves which has earned us the accolade of having the best County League Programme, but as with everything, quality comes at a price. The sponsorship support will greatly assist our resolve".

:: Wednesday 27th August 2008 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
200 Club

The August draw for the 200 Club was made last Saturday and the close season winners were also announced at half time at Saturday's match.

August: 1st prize £70 D Owen, 2nd prize £28 C Raymond, 3rd prize £10 G Hearn.
July: 1st prize £70 I Brown, 2nd prize £32 B McCorquodale, 3rd prize £10 A Hayward.
June: 1st prize £70 M Arnold, 2nd prize £32 J Blades, 3rd prize £10 M Hill.
May: 1st prize £70 S Hatswell, 2nd prize £30 A Evans, 3rd prize £10 B McCorquodale.

:: Saturday 23rd August 2008 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
East Grinstead Town 2, Pagham 1

Michael BelliSUPER-sub Michael Belli was the hero with two goals as Wasps came from behind to clinch their first league win of the season at East Court.[Click here for matchday photos courtesy of First Focus]

Belli was introduced in the 68th minute and within a minute he had levelled with his first touch.

The 18-year-old then finished off a flowing move seven minutes from time to secure a victory Grinstead just about deserved.........[Full Match report]

Manager Steve Norris switched from 4-4-2 to 4-3-3 when he brought on Belli and was delighted to see his attacking move pay off.

He said: "We conceded a poor goal just after half-time against a solid first division side but I was pleased with the character we showed.

"We kept our shape and discipline and Michael came on and helped to make the difference. Overall, we just about deserved to win. It was important for confidence to get that first three points under our belt and I think our supporters enjoyed our performance, particularly in the second half."

Unfortunately, Belli is not available this Saturday because of a holiday when Wasps entertain Colliers Wood United, of the Combined Counties League, in the preliminary round of the FA Cup at East Court (3pm).

But last season's top scorer Tom Saunders is back and could replace Funnell, who is also on holiday.

There could also be a place in the starting line-up for new signing Steve Causon. The 24-year-old was a regular for Whyteleafe in the Ryman League last season and came on for his debut late in the second half against Pagham.

Norris said: "Steve looked very accomplished. He was a calming influence and passed the ball well. He's played at a good standard and is an excellent addition to our squad."

Wasps are still hoping to sign two more players and Norris added: "It's significant that on Saturday we had a really strong bench for the first time this season and it showed when Michael came on and helped change the game.

"We're looking forward to the FA Cup tie. It will be a hard game but we have every opportunity of getting into the first round when we would be away to Horsham, which would be a terrific occasion. But first we have to beat what I'm sure will be a tough Colliers Wood team."

Link to Colliers Wood United website - link to Colliers Wood United playing history

:: Friday 22nd August 2008 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
The Sussex Senior Cup away tie against Crawley Down has been re-scheduled for Tuesday 9th September (ko 7:30pm).

:: Saturday 16th August 2008 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
Wealden 3, East Grinstead Town 4

Wasps through to face Colliers Wood in the Preliminary Round of the FA Cup after beating Wealden this afternoon. There was more than a touch of déjà vu when Simon Funnell drilled in a free kick from just outside the box and Lee Whibley made a penalty save early on, both carbon copies of last Tuesday at Redhill. Wasps were cruising 4 - 1 at half time and then took their foot off the pedal and allowed their hosts to nearly claw back.........[Full Match report]

Meanwhile back at East Court, the Reserves lost their opening match of the league campaign 4 - 2 against Epsom & Ewell.

:: Tuesday 12th August 2008 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
Redhill 3, East Grinstead Town 3

Wasps showed their character coming from behind three times to snatch an equaliser in stoppage time at Kiln Brow tonight. Danny Wackett was added to the long injury list before the game suffering with a back problem sustained against Selsey on Saturday. Simon Funnel was able to play however, despite suffering concussion in the same match. Steve Norris was pleased to be able to add Nick Sullivan to the bench.

Lee Whibley made a penalty save after just 3 minutes and Grinstead's goals came from Tobi Hutchinson, Simon Funnel and Michael Belli.........[Full Match report]

:: Saturday 9th August 2008 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
East Grinstead Town 0, Selsey 2

WASPS' first game in County League division one for three years ended in a disappointing defeat.

But manager Steve Norris is confident his side will improve - if they take their chances.

Grinstead dominated the opening stages but Ross Woolf's 16th-minute header was a blow they struggled to recover from and Scott Hishelwood made the game safe 13 minutes from time when he arrived at the far post to convert Woolf's cross.

Norris said: "Selsey won't be the best side we have played this season but when they had chances they took them and that is the difference between this division and the one we have been promoted from.

"When you are on top you have to take your chances. We played very well until they scored and for a while afterwards but our second-half display was very disjointed. We started chasing the game and lost our shape. If we had maintained the tempo we'd had in the first 25 minutes we would have won."

Norris gave debuts to all three of his summer signings. Alex Mackay played at rightback and Matt Edwards was pressed into service up front because of Grinstead's early season striker shortage while Matt Holmes came on in the second half.

Liam Bull will be out for at least three months after sustaining ligament damage to his shoulder in the friendly against Tonbridge last week. Ben Burns is out for even longer because of a hamstring problem while last season's top scorer Tom Saunders was on holiday. If that wasn't bad enough, Simon Funnell was knocked unconscious in a collision with Selsey goalkeeper Steve Phillips late on and is a doubt for Tuesday's trip to Redhill.

It meant Wasps finished the game with Edwards and Grant Rigler up front, although Norris has signed Nick Sullivan and he is available for the trip to Kiln Brow.

Norris said: "Our front line has been decimated but we are looking at bringing in a couple of players still to boost the squad."

Although midfielder Mannie Neville has signed, he has just moved to London and Norris does not yet know if he will commit himself for the season.

Norris added: "We have gone from having six or seven forwards at the club to just two. We have got options: Matt did a decent job on Saturday and Tobi Hutchinson can play up front.

"It is disappointing to lose your first game but there are another 33 to go and if we learn our lessons from Saturday we will improve."

Wasps visit second division Wealden on Saturday (3pm) in the extra preliminary round of the FA Cup (3pm). Any replay will take place at East Court next Tuesday.

The reserves start their Suburban League (south) campaign at home to Epsom & Ewell on Saturday (3pm).

:: Tuesday 5th August 2008 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
STEVE Norris has not set his sights too high as East Grinstead Town prepare for their return to the County League's top flight after an absence of four years.

Wasps ran away with the second division title last season, winning it by 18 points, but Norris knows life is going to get a whole lot tougher on Saturday when they kick off their division one campaign against Selsey at East Court (3pm).

Although Norris has retained most of last season's squad, he will be without left back Adam Dart, who appears to have turned his back on senior football, and last season's top scorer Tom Saunders, who misses the first four games because of a holiday.

Norris said: "Apart from Adam we have virtually got the whole of last season's squad and the three players we have brought in - Mark Holmes (Oakwood), Alex Mackay (Tonbridge Angels) and Matt Edwards (Crawley Down) - are all good additions.

"But I can't see us having too many easy games and our start is very difficult. I think we are capable of a mid-table finish and I would love us to have a good cup run. That would be a fantastic season and give us something to build on next year. We have to be realistic, it's a tough division and our home form will be important."

Wasps didn't lose a league game at East Court last season but Selsey, who improved after a poor start and reached the final of the RUR Cup, will give that record an immediate test.

"We have Selsey, Arundel and Pagham at home before the end of the month and next Tuesday we go to Redhill (7.45pm) - that to me is a very difficult start," added Norris.

"But we are looking forward to the challenge. We worked hard to get back into division one and it will be a special day on Saturday and one the players are looking forward too."

Wasps got exactly what Norris expected in their penultimate pre-season friendly on Saturday when a full-strength Horsham side won 5-1 at East Court.

Norris began with an unaccustomed 5-3-2 formation and Grinstead held their own until a spell of three goals in ten minutes rocked them before half-time.

Saunders hit the bar with a penalty and Liam Bull pulled one back in the second half. Simon Funnell also got more game time up front and he is likely to partner Bull on Saturday in Saunders' absence.

Last Wednesday, Dave Gellatly got the goal as Grinstead drew 1-1 with Lancing at Culver Road. They round off their pre-season fixtures against another Ryman Premier outfit tonight (Tuesday) when Tonbridge Angels are the visitors.

Norris added: "Saturday was absolutely what we were looking for in terms of our fitness and playing against a side who moved the ball around quickly. Of course the boys didn't like losing 5-1 but it was a very useful exercise."

:: Wednesday 30th July 2008 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
EAST Grinstead Town step up their preparations for the new County League season with two high-profile friendlies in the next few days.

Horsham, who reached the second round of the FA Cup last season, are Saturday's visitors to East Court (3pm) and next Tuesday more Ryman League premier division opposition are the visitors in Tonbridge Angels (7.30pm).

Boss Steve Norris deliberately organised his pre-season schedule to give his side their toughest tests before Wasps kick off their first top-flight campaign in four years at home to Selsey on August 9.

He said: "Pre-season has gone well so far and I have tried to give as many of the players as possible time on the pitch but the plan is to field our strongest possible teams in the last two games.

"They are going to be a real test for us. I have really been impressed with our fitness levels but this is another step up for the players but it will hold us in good stead for the start of the league campaign."

Wasps played friendlies against three of their old second division rivals last week at Worth Abbey, winning two and drawing 1-1 against Westfield.

They defeated Steyning Town 2-0 and on Saturday beat Storrington 3-2, a victory which Norris says was more comfortable than the scoreline suggests.

Goals came from Tom Saunders, who netted both against Steyning, Liam Bull and Elvis Lynn.

Grinstead were without several players who realistically will be in contention to start the league campaign with Mannie Neville, Dave Gellatly, Dan Sullivan, new signing Alex Mackay and Ben Burns, who is suffering from a long-term hamstring injury, all absent.

With only Adam Dart of last season's title-winning squad yet to re-sign, the leftback slot was again filled by 18-year-old Alex Thompson, who broke into the first team at the end of last season.

Matt Edwards, who has joined the club from Crawley Down, made his debut and Mark Holmes, another summer signing, also impressed.

Midfielder Michael Belli had his first game after returning from holiday in midfield and Norris was pleased with the performance of his front two Saunders and Bull.

He said: "It may sound tight but afterwards Storrington's manager said we let them off easily and that's right.

"We conceded a couple of sloppy goals but we were always in control and it was our best performance of pre-season. We have got better in every friendly and youngsters like Alex Thompson are really making an impression."

Wasps have friendlies at Lancing tonight (Wednesday) and Pease Pottage (Thursday) this week when again Norris will be rotating the squad and using as many players as possible.

Three of Grinstead's first four league games are at home with the Selsey opener followed by a trip to Redhill on August 12.

Pagham are the visitors on the 23rd and Arundel arrive a week later with a local derby at Crawley Down on the 26th in the first round of the Sussex Senior Cup in between. The winners will be at home to Ryman League Worthing.

Wasps start their FA Cup campaign in the extra preliminary round on August 16.

:: Tuesday 22nd July 2008 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
STEVE Norris introduced one of his two new signings at the weekend as East Grinstead Town stepped up their preparations for the new County League season.

Midfielder Alex McEwan was with Tonbridge Angels - the same club skipper Mannie Neville came from - last season and scored twice in one of two games against South Park of the Combined Counties League.

Rather than a conventional first and reserve fixture, Norris opted to mix the sides up to give as many players as possible a run out and McEwan's brace came in a 5-1 win in the second fixture after Park won the opener 7-4.

Norris said: "The main aim was to give everyone a run out and I was pleased with our performances in both games. Results are irrelevant at this stage of pre-season, it's all about giving the players minutes on the pitch and working on pattern of play."

Grinstead have also signed defender Mark Holmes from division one rivals Oakwood and Norris added: "Mark and Alex are two good additions to the first-team squad who will give us more competition for places."

Holmes is due to make his debut in one of the friendlies against Westfield (Tuesday) and Steyning (Thursday) this week before Wasps return to Worth Abbey School on Saturday for a double-header against Storrington, the first game kicking off at midday.

Norris added: "Pre-season has gone really well and it is obvious that a lot of players have worked hard on their fitness before we came back which is encouraging.

"Division One football is going to be a lot more demanding physically but we have looked really sharp so far and everyone is in a positive mood about the challenges which lie ahead."

Meanwhile, Grinstead will face local rivals Crawley Down in the first round of the Sussex Senior Cup. The winners have the incentive of a home tie against Ryman League Worthing, who beat Wasps 2-0 at the same stage of last season's competition.

The County League campaign kicks off on August 9 and Wasps will definitely be at home, although early fixtures are not likely to be announced until early next week.

:: Wednesday 9th July 2008 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
EAST Grinstead youngster Keiran Smith is joining a group of elite young players at Championship club Charlton Athletic. Keiran, 6, was spotted by Charlton when he went to their training ground as part of a squad from the East Grinstead Town Academy which is run by coach Bob Wallis.

He will train on Wednesdays and play weekly matches on Friday during the coming season.

Keiran, who attends Blackwell Primary School, has been training at the East Grinstead Town Academy for the last 18 months and is also the first-team mascot.

Proud father Roger said: "My wife Samantha and I would like to thank Bob for all the training he has given Keiran who would not be able to reach this standard without his hard work.

"It is great for Keiran and proves what a great job Bob is doing for the Academy in providing coaching for local kids."

Keiran will now be coached by Charlton's under-7s manager Graham Draper, who lives in the town.

:: Tuesday 1st July 2008 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
Cup Draws

The draws for the FA Cup, FA Vase and FA Youth Cup have been made and Wasps have the following ties:

FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round - Saturday 16th August away vs Wealden (winners at home in Preliminary Round on Saturday 30th August against winners of Banstead Athletic and Colliers Wood Utd)

FA Vase 2nd Round Qual - Saturday 20th September at home vs Lancing

FA Youth Cup 1st Round - Date tbc Away vs Ebbsfleet Utd or Redhill

:: Monday 30th June 2008 :: back to top Go to the top of the page

BOSS Steve Norris is hopeful of making some additions to his East Grinstead Town squad before the new County League season starts on August 9.

Wasps begin preparations for their return to division one when pre-season training gets underway tomorrow. Sessions will continue on Tuesdays and Thursdays at East Court.

Norris said: "All of last season's squad have told me they are coming back and I will be trying to bring in one or two new faces as well.

"But everyone starts the same in pre-season. In the first few friendlies we will be mixing the teams around to give everyone the opportunity to prove themselves."

Norris has strengthened his backroom team by bringing in Graham Rashbrook to work alongside him and coach Gavin Neville. Rashbrook had a wealth of experience as a player with several County League clubs including Three Bridges, Oakwood and Crawley Down and played alongside Norris at Crawley Town. Last season he was on the coaching staff at Horley Town.

Norris said: "Graham is someone who knows County League football extremely well. He will help with coaching, be part of the selection process along with Gavin and myself and assist with player recruitment. He's what I call a football person and we're delighted to have him on board."

Phil Major will continue to manage the reserves in the Suburban League, assisted by Brian Tilley, whilst former first-team boss Bob Smith is back at East Court to run the third team. He will be supported by Colin Day and Alex Over. The fourth team will continue to be managed by Ron Holah with Bob Fletcher assisting him for the coming season.

Another ex-Grinstead defender, Bob Chambers, has joined the club as assistant to Major with the club's under-18s. Chambers' experience will be invaluable to the young Wasps as they look forward to another season in the Southern Youth League. Major and Chambers will be supported by a coaching team of Bob Wallis and Ian Nicholls.

Norris added: "We have put together a really strong management team which I believe can take the club forward."

The East Court pitch has undergone further work during the close season and the playing surface will be even better than last year. The club received a number of compliments throughout last season for the quality of the pitch and will certainly be one of the better surfaces in County One. As well as an excellent pitch, the covered seating area provides the best view of foootball in the Sussex County League.

Grinstead's pre-season schedule starts with a double-header against South Park on July 19, but the highlight of their warm-up programme are games against two Ryman League premier division sides.

Horsham visit East Court on August 2 and Tonbridge Angels are the visitors on August 5. The County League campaign kicks off on August 9.

Meanwhile, the club's Annual General Meeting will take place at East Court next Monday (July 7) at 7.30pm.

:: Friday 9th May 2008 :: back to top Go to the top of the page
Wasps celebrate

Presentation Night 2008 MIDFIELDER Mannie Neville picked up the main award as East Grinstead Town celebrated one of the most successful seasons in their history.

Neville, who scored 17 goals in Wasps' title-winning campaign in County League division two, was named Footballer of the Year at the club's presentation dinner last week.

The award from boss Steve Norris went to reliable defender Danny Wackett while top scorer Tom Saunders, who finished with 22 goals as Grinstead won the league by a massive 18 points, was also honoured.

The reserves' players player went to young defender Blair Cooney, who is the brother of first-team captain Drew, while Phil Major's manager's award went to goalkeeper Scott Owens, who got a taste of first-team action when Lee Whibley was injured towards the end of the season.

Grant Rigler was top scorer in the Suburban League campaign with 13 goals and he was also honoured.

Major won the Club Person of the Year accolade in recognition of his tremendous service to the club over several years as manager of the reserves and youth teams while special awards were made to Norris and chairman Richard Tramontin.

Tramontin said: "It was a fantastic way to finish off a memorable season. We will all have a break now, but work on renovating the pitch and sprucing up the ground is already underway and Steve is already busy organising pre-season friendlies and training in anticipation of our return to Division One." Awards - First XI, Manager's player: Danny Wackett; Footballer of the Year: Mannie Neville; Top Goalscorer: Tom Saunders; Sportsman: Raj Seuwagi.

Reserves, Manager's award: Scott Owens; Player of the Year: Blair Cooney; Top Goalscorer: Grant Rigler.

Third team: Players' player: Colin Day; Manager's player: Zac Curtis; Top scorer: Alex Thompson.

Fourth team: Players' player: Will Irvin; Manager's player: Curt Bean; Top scorer: J. McLean.

Under-18s: Players' player and top scorer: Alex Thompson; Manager's player: Michael Belli.

Club person: Phil Major.

For photos of the event go to www.firstfocusphoto.com

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