Newhaven Reserves crashed to their 4th league defeat of the season at Little Common despite dominating the match for large periods.
Three first half goals from Common on the counter attack meant an uphill struggle in the second half for the Dockers but an early goal after half time from Tom O’Donnell gave hope which was then quashed by a harsh penalty award with 20 minutes to go which made the game safe for Common.
With Newhaven missing a few regulars there were call ups to the bench for Sam Leppard and Luke Chatterley for their first appearances of the season and Luke Duchossoy made a welcome return from long term injury. Tom O’Donnell also made his first start of the season.
The game started positively for the Dockers with some early attacks through good link up play between Lambert and the front three of Stevenson, Blaxall and Duchossoy. However against the run of play Little Common took the lead after 7 minutes. A counter attack down the Common left wing exposed the Newhaven defence. The ball eventually found its way across the box and after it was saved by Stewart it was not cleared properly and Liam Hudson on the right flank crashed a shot past Stewart into the top corner.
Newhaven soon bounced back and created numerous chances. Blaxall was clean through but dragged his shot wide, the same player then had a turn and shot in the area which was just wide of the post, a Duchossoy header from a Lambert corner was straight at the keeper and O’Donnell had a volley from the edge of the area which went wide. They were to pay for these missed chances as a rare Common attack resulted in a corner at the other end. Up rose David Ammoun unchallenged on the edge of the 6 yard box to give the home side a 2-0 lead.
Again Newhaven came back and Blaxall, set up time and again by Lambert, had chances but could not convert. Duchossoy shot wide and Harrison had a dangerous run into the box thwarted by the home defence. Lambert, revelling in a free role, had a shot from the edge of the box which narrowly went over and also failed to convert when picking up a goalkeeper miskick on the edge of the area. In between Stewart made a couple of decent saves from long range efforts to keep the Dockers in the game.
With a few minutes before half time Little Common hit with a sucker punch. Adam Smith was allowed to shield the ball on the edge of the Dockers penalty area and had time to swivel and hit an unstoppable shot into the top corner to make it 3-0 at half time.
With the away side not quite sure how they were on the wrong end of a 3-0 scoreline there was a determination as the second half kicked off. Two early corners signalled the intent and after the second was played back out to Lambert he chipped to O’Donnell on the edge of the area who volleyed in to make it 3-1.
Further shots from Blaxall and Lambert failed to hit the target but the Dockers were pressing further to get back into the game. Rob Brown was introduced for Stevenson with half an hour to go. However with 20 minutes left on the clock the game was as good as over when the referee pointed to the spot after the Common striker took a tumble in the box after the slightest of touches from Matt Harrison. Harrison was booked and Ammoun scored his second of the game from the spot to make it 4-1.
Leppard came on for O’Donnell to give fresh legs in the midfield but with the Dockers chasing the game the side lost shape and unfortunately the match was gone.
A very disappointing result was hard to take after playing some excellent attacking football. However the Dockers paid the price for not taking their early chances when the game could have been killed off.
Next week sees Shoreham vist Fort Road in the last league game for the Reserves before Christmas.
H. Stewart, M.Harrison, J.Tomkins (L. Chatterley), B.Knight, J.McTiffen, T.Mason (c), T.O’Donnell (S.Leppard), L.Duchossoy, T.Stevenson (R.Brown), D.Lambert, S.Blaxall. Unused sub: A.Cook