Newhaven face a tricky start to the 2020/21 Southern Combination Football League Premier Division season, as they face three of last year’s voided top-six in their first three games.
Only the first month’s fixtures have been released by the league, due to the later starting of the National League and Isthmian League, with the Dockers opening up away at Horley Town on Saturday 5th September.
Horley were a place and a point above Newhaven when the 2019/20 season was halted, but the Dockers did manage to get the better of their Surrey opponents in both league fixtures last term – winning 2-0 at the Trafalgar Ground in September, before a comprehensive 4-1 victory at the New Defence in February.
Following that, Newhaven welcome the two Eastbourne teams to the Trafalgar Ground on consecutive Tuesdays, with United visiting on Tuesday 8th and the Dockers hosting Town on Tuesday 15th.
Eastbourne United were sixth when last season ended in March, and, due to a combination of weather and floodlight failure, the two sides never completed a game against each other.
Eastbourne Town, who were well placed in second going in to the last month or so of last season, were disappointed to leave the Trafalgar Ground with a point having conceded in the last minute in a 1-1 draw. And then an entertaining encounter at the Saffrons in January saw Newhaven come away with a 4-3 win.
Next up, on Saturday 26th September, is a trip to the Shooting Field to play Steyning Town. The Dockers drew 1-1 there last season – having conceded a late penalty – and the reverse fixture, scheduled for the final day of the season, was never played.
Newhaven end the month by hosting another Eastbourne-based team on a Tuesday night. Little Common, who play their games at Eastbourne United’s the Oval ground, visit the Trafalgar Ground on Tuesday 29th September. Both of last season’s matches ended in draws, with Common fighting back from 3-1 down to draw 3-3 at the Oval in August, and then defending their way to a well earned 0-0 stalemate at Fort Road in January.
There are a few spare days in the first month of the season, mainly saved for dates when there are FA competitions being played. Newhaven face Lingfield in the Extra Preliminary Round of the FA Cup on Tuesday 1st September and if they win that game they will play the next round at home on Saturday 12th.
Saturday 19th September is FA Vase First Qualifying Round day, and Newhaven are exempt from that competition until the First Round Proper. The other date kept free is Tuesday 22nd September, with FA Cup First Qualifying Round games being scheduled for that day.
Fixtures are subject to change and there is potential for cup games to be added to the schedule where there are spare dates. Keep an eye on the website and social media for such changes.
Lingfield (H) – FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round – 7.45pm kick off
Horley Town (A) – SCFL Premier Division – 3pm kick off
Eastbourne United (H) – SCFL Premier Division – 7.45pm kick off
Spare – Potential FA Cup Preliminary Round
Eastbourne Town (H) – SCFL Premier Division – 7.45pm kick off
Spare – Potential FA Cup First Qualifying Round
Steyning Town (A) – SCFL Premier Division – 3pm kick off
Little Common (H) – SCFL Premier Division – 7.45pm kick off
A full list of fixtures is available here.