The Dockers made the long trek to Loxwood and after extra time came away with an excellent win to progress to the 2nd round of the Reserve Section Cup.
The match proved to be a very good spectacle with two sides competing in a typical cup tie. After a cagey first half of few chances the second half came to life with 4 goals including a last minute equaliser courtesy of young substitute Jack Webber, which took the match to extra time.
Newhaven then proved to be the stronger with Liam Keith wrapping up the victory with a header in the first period of extra time.
The side saw changes from the defeat at the hands of Little Common last Friday. Tom Mason, Josh Tomkins, James Whatman, Simon Blaxall and Bradley Keith returned to the starting line up and Rob Brown made his third appearance of the season on the bench accompanying Jack Webber, Tom Stevenson, Tom O’Donnell and Andy Cook.
The first 20 minutes saw tidy play from both sides trying to play attractive football on a decent slick surface. With skipper Paul O’Donnell and Joe Mctiffen at the heart of the back four they had a good base, and Whatman and Blaxall posing the threats down the flanks.
The first reasonable chance fell to O’Donnell who found space in the box but wildly sent his left foot shot rising over the bar. Liam Keith had the next chance and sent a rasping left foot drive towards the top corner only to be superbly tipped over by the home keeper.
Harry Stewart was then called into action in the away goal saving excellently down low to his left and tipping a shot destined for the corner round the post.
Whatman linked up well with Liam Keith on the left flank and sent in a cross which just evaded the Dockers strikers. At the other end a slight mix up with Tomkins and O’Donnell nearly let in the Loxwood forward but the chance was snuffed out.
Lambert had a couple of long range efforts and deep crosses but the home keeper was proving to have a solid match. 0-0 HT.
The second half started strong for the away side and they soon took the ascendancy with Liam Keith holding the ball up well and allowing the midfield to push on. And it was Keith who should have given the Dockers the lead when put through by Lambert one on one with the keeper but he sent his shot wide.
Then on 56 minutes a quick throw in from Mason on the right released Lambert who drifted into the box and smashed a low drive into the bottom corner (0-1). It was nothing less than Newhaven deserved.
By now the back four were having really good games with McTiffen particularly playing well. Lambert and Keith had further glimpses of goal but either sent shots wayward or brought the best out of the Loxwood keeper.
Then, mid-way through the second half, against the run of play, the ball was given away in midfield and the Loxwood striker danced unchallenged into the box and shot past Stewart (1-1).
Harry Stewart was called into action again saving down low to his right to keep Newhaven in it. The Dockers continued to press but unfortunately conceded a second in the last ten minutes when the striker outpaced the defence and smashed the ball past Stewart into the bottom corner (2-1).
By now Stevenson and Webber had been introduced for the tiring Whatman and Blaxall. Newhaven threw everything at Loxwood and Liam Keith found his way into the box and could have gone on but chose to shoot wildly high and wide.
Kieran Doherty then had a chance as he broke into the box but the keeper saved well. Rob Brown now entered the fray replacing Bradley Keith to play high up in an advanced midfield role.
With time running out a firm pass from Mason into Lambert was excellently flicked into Webber’s path and he glided his shot into the bottom corner with the last kick of the 90 minutes. (2-2). Extra time.
The away side had their tails up and immediately took control of extra time and it wasn’t long before a superb pass from Brown released Lambert in the left channel and his cross was met by the head of Keith to make it 2-3.
Further chances were created in extra time with Rob Brown finding time and space and playing simple passes from the centre of the midfield and it could have been 5 or 6 with Lambert and Keith having many chances but credit to the home keeper who had a fine match. The Dockers defence also stood strong and an excellent game ended 2-3.
Next up is a return to league action away to Hailsham Town Reserves next Saturday (27th).
Harry Stewart, Tom Mason, Josh Tomkins, Joe McTiffen, Paul O’Donnell, Bradley Keith (Rob Brown), Kieran Doherty, Simon Blaxall (Jack Webber), James Whatman (Tom Stevenson), Damian Lambert, Liam Keith. Unused subs: Tom O’Donnell, Andy Cook.