Two goals from Jack Webber and a header from Barry Knight saw the Reserves returning to winning ways in the league on Saturday after two recent defeats.
With a change in formation and a return to the starting line up for Harry Stewart in goal, Calum Burnett and Paul O’Donnell in defence and Jack Webber in attack, the team played more fluent and attacking football creating many chances.
The match started brightly for the Dockers and it wasn’t long before Damien Lambert was played into box, but he decided to play a square pass when he looked destined to shoot and score. The pass evaded Simon Blaxall, playing as a central striker for the first time this season, and the chance went.
With a central trio in midfield of Matt Harrison, Tom Mason and Barry Knight there was far more drive on the pitch and with Webber and Lambert providing the options out wide the football was more pleasing on the eye than recent weeks.
Newhaven were also looking dangerous from set pieces and it was from a corner on 20 minutes that the home side took the lead. An inch perfect inswinging corner from Lambert found the run of Webber who lost his marker and headed into the top corner.
Another corner shortly after from the same side then found Knight whose goalbound header was this time cleared off the line by his own striker Blaxall who could not get out of the way.
Another scrambled chance in the box was again cleared off the line this time by the Bexhill defence as Newhaven began to turn the screw.
However, just before half time the Dockers defence were caught square and the Bexhill striker was brought down 20 yards out when bearing down on goal. The subsequent free kick curled narrowly wide of Stewart’s right hand post.
Apart from this Bexhill offered little attacking presence and right on half time Harrison broke into the right channel, beating the left back, and was about to cut into the penalty area when he was brought down right on the edge of the box. Another superb dead ball delivery from Lambert found the head of Knight in the penalty area to make it 2-0 at half time.
At half-time Rob Brown replaced the unwell Blaxall.
Bexhill came out the traps for the second half and pressurised the home defence and it wasn’t long before they were back in the game when an unchallenged header from a corner went in off the post and gave the away side hope at 2-1.
The Dockers started to wobble and the away side were now taking control and very soon after another corner was headed in past Stewart only to find the flag raised for offside on the goal-line to rule out an equaliser.
This was the wake up call and the home side introduced Tom O’Donnell for Josh Tomkins for his first appearance of the season.
And it was O’Donnell (T) who brought a great save from the Bexhill keeper when his left foot shot was bound for the top corner. Harry Stewart then kept the hosts in the game when he came out and closed down the Bexhill striker who was clear and through on goal.
Lambert then had a free kick which he blasted over the bar but then followed up moments later with an inch perfect cross finding Brown whose header was again excellently saved by the Bexhill keeper when it was destined for the top corner.
Then with ten minutes to go a moment of brilliance from young Webber who had played well all afternoon. Skipper Paul O’Donnell played the ball to Harrison who flicked it on and Webber kept control of the ball, ghosted past the defenders and placed the ball into the back of the net to make it 3-1.
Further chances were created by the Dockers in the closing moments but they could not convert to give them a 4th goal.
Overall a much improved performance from the defeat at Hailsham two weeks ago. Next Saturday sees the rearranged Vernon Wentworth Cup match at Southwick.
Harry Stewart, Joe McTiffen, Josh Tomkins (Tom O’Donnell), Calum Burnett, Paul O’Donnell (c), Tom Mason, Barry Knight, Matt Harrison, Jack Webber, Simon Blaxall (Rob Brown) Damien Lambert. Unused sub: Andy Cook