Newhaven’s unbeaten home league record came to an end on Boxing Day as they were beaten by local rivals Seaford Town.
It is the Dockers’ second consecutive league defeat – the first time this has happened in just under two years – and their lead at the top of Division Two is now under threat from the teams below.
The advantage at the top is still four points but that lead is now vulnerable due to the number of games in hand for the teams below.
Newhaven just about edged a tight first half, with Dave Attendorff giving the Dockers a 1-0 half-time lead.
Alex Burton got the visitors level from the penalty spot before Tom Porter tapped in at the back post to win the points for Seaford.
The hosts made two changes from the starting eleven that were heavily beaten at Midhurst. Freddie Beale was unavailable and was replaced by Jason Edwards, and Daniel Murray dropped to the bench as Jason Goddard came in at right back.
The pitch was heavy due to the amount of rain that fell during the Christmas period, but an 8am pitch inspection deemed the surface playable.
But the sticky pitch made for a tight, even first half with clear cut chances few and far between.
The first real moment of quality came after 25 minutes when Newhaven took the lead. Goddard picked out Ebou Jallow who then found Naim Rouane. Altendorff made a run in to the box and was played in by Rouane before cooly placing past Sheldon Levett.
Lee Robinson crashed a shot against the post and an Altendorff drive flew narrowly over as the Dockers looked for a second. Mike Lloyd was Seaford’s most likely source of a goal but Jake Buss remained largely untroubled in the Newhaven goal.
The second half started in the worst possible way for the hosts as Seaford won a penalty within the first minute. Nathan Milroy was tripped by Ryan Knight and Alex Burton sent Buss the wrong way with his spot kick.
Richie Watton had an effort saved by Levett and at the other end a swift counter attack ended with an easy opportunity missed at the back post.
Newhaven captain Sean Breach was on the end of a late two-footed lunge by a Town substitute that was incredibly only punished with a yellow card by the referee.
There was still one more chance for Newhaven as a Breach back-heel deflected through to Watton, 8 yards out. Watton’s strike was hit well enough but was straight at Levett and the Seaford goalkeeper saved all three points for Seaford on derby day.
It was a disappointing end to what has been an incredible year for Newhaven. A league and cup double, in April, has been followed by being at the summit of their new league and progression in three cup competitions.
Happy new year to everyone, let’s hope 2013 is as successful a year as 2012.
Jake Buss, Jason Goddard (Daniel Murray), Scott Edwards, Ryan Knight, Jason Edwards, Sean Breach (c), Dave Altendorff (Harrison Cullinane), Richie Watton, Lee Robinson, Naim Rouane, Ebou Jallow (Luke Duchossoy).
|Ryan Knight||Yellow Card|