Newhaven Unlucky In Defeat To League Leaders
The young Dockers went into the game sitting in second place behind unbeaten leaders Eastbourne Borough who had won all three of their games amassing a massive +20 goal difference in that time.
Toby Cane and Ian Robinson replaced Daly Tucknott and George Collison as Newhaven looked to inflict Eastbourne’s first league defeat in three years.
They set about their task well as they took the game to the visitors. The early exchanges were evenly balanced, but the only clear cut chance fell to Borough who crashed a 25 yard strike against the bar. Newhaven had chances to break the deadlock, but were unable to finish good opportunities created by Max Stevens, Harry Millar and Ian Robinson.
The game changed on 30 minutes as Harry Millar was controversially dismissed. Ian Robinson was penalised for what seemed a routine tackle, and Millar was sent walking for dissent.
On paper, this would then be a routine victory for Borough, but Newhaven have shown how far they’ve come in recent weeks and were determined to make the game a contest.
Eastbourne took the lead on the stroke of half time despite a superb point blank save from Luke Vidler. The visiting forward was quickest to react to take them ahead.
There’s no doubting that, in the second half, Newhaven had to spend long periods without the ball, but they stuck to their task and stayed very organised to restrict Borough to long range efforts. This frustrated them as they expected to dominate more than they did.
The entire half wasn’t spent in Newhaven’s half, and they could and perhaps should have taken a deserved point when they missed several opportunities from set pieces. Frazer Johnstone and Daly Tucknott were causing all sorts of problems with their deliveries, and some desperate last ditch defending secured three points for Borough.
By no means was the second half a damaged limitation act from the team who felt aggrieved not to have taken something from the game, but will take heart from an excellent performance.
Next week sees the team face Crowborough in a home game.
Dockers – Luke Vidler, Tom Turner, Fenton Boaks ©, Frazer Johnstone, Daniel Green, Kieran Austin, Harry Millar, Toby Cane (Daly Tucknott 64), William Herriott (Jay Thornton 85), Ian Robinson (Ashley Foord 61), Max Stevens. Subs not used: Mike Baker, Theo Piggott.
MoM – Daniel Green.