Bearsted 1-0 Newhaven (HT 1-0)
Newhaven’s FA Vase adventure ends in a narrow defeat at Bearsted.
The Dockers made the long trip to Bearsted for their latest FA Vase match, on paper this looked to be a close match and so it turned out. Newhaven’s top scorer Lee Robinson could only make the bench following a knock on Tuesday so it meant a start up top for Callum Connor.
Newhaven had the first real chance of the game, Rob Malila was taken out by an awful tackle (no card followed, much to the surprise of everyone). Seb Saunders swung in the resulting free kick and Matt Gunn’s powerful header was well saved by the Bearsted keeper.
There were few chances for either side with the game turning into a bit of a midfield battle, but with 35 minutes on the clock the game sprung into life. I try not to comment on the man in the middle when doing the match reports but on this occasion it is unavoidable as his decisions dominated the rest of the game.
Ebou Jallow made a superb sliding tackle right on the half way line and whilst everyone expected a throw in to follow, the ref decided to produce a yellow card for Jallow due to him “being out of control”, a decision that mystified the Dockers especially considering the earlier tackle on Malila.
Moments later Bearsted produced a deep cross to the far post which was headed goalwards by their striker, Ian Robinson threw himself in front of the ball and blocked it on the line with his shoulder. The ref thought otherwise again and awarded a penalty to Bearsted, booking Robinson in the process. The Bearsted striker made no mistake from the spot and gave Bearsted the lead.
Several Newhaven advances were stopped by Bearsted fouls but once again no cards followed for the home team.
Bearsted almost grabbed a second just before half time, a quick break meant their winger was one on one with Jake Buss but a great save from the Dockers stopper denied them.
The second half saw Newhaven pushing for an equaliser, Robinson got past his man but his low cross was hacked away before any of the Dockers could reach it.
Kyle Woolven was then practically cut in half on the corner of the area and finally one of the Bearsted players found himself in the book, Woolven’s subsequent free kick curled just wide of the near post.
With Newhaven throwing bodies forward gaps were appearing and Bearsted twice hit the woodwork on counter attacks, firstly from a free header and then from a far post volley.
Connor played a ball over the top and Woolven almost got on the end of it but the Bearsted keeper had read the danger well and raced from his area to clear.
Controversy followed when, shortly after being booked for a foul on Woolven, the Bearsted number 7 found himself in an altercation with Jayson Sowter which saw the Newhaven man shoved to the ground, the referee was again lenient to the home side merely having a word with the Bearsted player instead of producing the second yellow.
To compound matters, Harry Docherty was booked moments later for his first ‘foul’ of the game.
Docherty then found himself at the other end of the pitch, and his cross caused chaos in the Bearsted box with the ball eventually falling to sub Lee Robinson, but he hooked his spinning shot just wide.
Woolven’s back heel then played in Ian Robinson whose cross was narrowly headed wide by older brother Lee.
Sowter was then fouled in the middle of the pitch and another melee ensued, Bearsted’s number 8 finally going in the book and being joined by Jack Whitmore. Sowter also then received a yellow (presumably for being fouled?).
Newhaven had one final chance to take the game to extra time but Whitmore blazed over and Bearsted held on for the win.
Overall a potentially great game between two decent footballing sides spoiled by stop/start refereeing and numerous baffling decisions. Good luck to Bearsted in the next round.
Next up for Newhaven is a Sussex Senior cup match against East Grinstead at home Tuesday night.
Newhaven: Jake Buss, Rob Malila (Tom Watson 46), Ian Robinson, Ebou Jallow, Matt Gunn, Harry Docherty, Seb Saunders (Lee Robinson 70), Jayson Sowter, Callum Connor, Jack Whitmore, Tom Cooklin (Kyle Woolven 30).
Unused Subs: Paul Woods, Aaron Winser
Booked: Ebou Jallow, Ian Robinson, Harry Docherty, Jack Whitmore, Jayson Sowter