Newhaven U18 1-1 Sidlesham U18 (AET, HT 0-1, FT 1-1)
Myles Bickmore-Vaughan (65); Alfie Johnson (25)
Newhaven win 4-2 on penalties
The first match of the year is a home game against Sidlesham in the Dennis Probee Cup, the fixture having been switched because the two previous away matches were both postponed because of the weather.
This match should be a close one because of the respective positions of each team in their Leagues.
There were starts for two new players today, Myles Bickmore-Vaughan and Chris Quarrie, and Joe returned in goal after his injury, otherwise the squad was very familiar.
The opening period was fairly even with both teams getting used to the bobbly pitch and most of the play being in the midfield area. Our first attempt on goal came from Miles but his shot was saved and shortly after Joe in goal had to make an important save in a one on one situation from a Sidlesham attack.
Both teams were probing each other without really creating clear chances although both Chris and Aaron did send over some decent crosses and twice our defenders had to make important clearances.
Sidlesham did take the lead on 35 minutes following a cross when the ball fell to one of their players on the edge of our area and he shot home.
Just before half time we won a corner which Aaron took and the ball dropped on the edge of the penalty area but the resultant shot went over the bar and Alfie H sent his effort over the bar. 0-1 at half time.
The team was a little dispirited but while we had not played to our best standard we were only the one goal down and we generally play better in the second half but to win the game we had to press more quickly and believe in ourselves.
Well the second half started very much as the first half finished with both sides creating early chances and Joe again being called on to make an important save to keep us in the game.
However, we did score on the hour mark when a through ball was collected by Myles and he took on the defenders and through sheer strength burst through and slotted home. 1-1.
Shortly after their keeper had to make a double save but a couple of minutes later again Joe had to make another important save from a shot from the edge of our area.
Play was again fairly even with both teams trying to score the vital second goal. Miles connected to an Aaron cross but headed wide and Keddie had to make a goal line clearance shortly after.
At the final whistle the score being 1-1 resulted in 30 minutes of extra play. During that time Myles had an effort well saved and Joe had to make a couple of saves which resulted in a penalty shootout.
Both teams had to find players confident enough to take the penalties and it was Sidlesham who took the first one and Joe saved it, early advantage to us and Aaron converted his effort. Siddlesham scored with their next penalties as did Harry and George T for us but they missed their 4th one so it was left for Keddie to score to complete a 4-2 win.
The match had indeed turned out to be a very close, evenly contested game played in the right spirit and either side could have been the victors so great credit to Sidlesham.
Newhaven: Joe Still, Louis Bass, Myles Bickmore-Vaughan, Keddie Croft, Alfie Haggar, Toby Hunter, Alfie Keelin, Stephen Nash, Scott Pook, Chris Quarrie, George Squires, George Todd (c), Drew Wain, Aaron Winser, Harry Woodward.