Newhaven 2-2 (aet) (6-7 pens) East Grinstead (HT 0-0)
Kyle Woolven (63), Callum Connor (93)
Newhaven exit the Sussex Senior Cup on penalties against higher league opposition.
Newhaven made a number of changes for this 2nd round Sussex Senior cup match, Aaron Winser (17) and Marley Ambler (16) made their first starts, and there were also starts for U23 regulars Rhys Smith and Ben Earle. Fellow U23 defender Ryan Hill made his debut from the bench and Henry Carey (16) was also in the first team squad for the first time.
The game started very evenly with both sides largely cancelling each other out. It took until the 38th minute for a genuine chance to materialise, a long throw from Smith found it’s way to Ambler at the far post but he couldn’t get a clean connection on the ball and the EG keeper saved comfortably.
Just before the break the EG left winger swung in a dangerous low cross which went straight across the 6 yard box evading everyone, 0-0 at half time.
Early in the second half Jake Buss was called into action and made a good save down at his near post.
The Dockers then had their own opportunity, Kyle Woolven released Ambler who found himself one on one with the keeper, but his shot was saved by the keepers legs and went behind for a corner.
Matt Gunn went close from the resulting corner but his goal bound effort was blocked on the line.
Newhaven got their deserved breakthrough shortly after, Woolven cut in from the left but his fierce shot was well saved, the rebound came back to him and he shifted the ball to the right before unleashing an unstoppable shot into the top left corner, 1-0.
This seemed to spark EG into life, just moments later they broke well but Buss was equal to their attempt and saved the ball onto the bar with Smith then hooking away the rebound.
EG then rattled the bar again, this time with a free header.
With ten minutes remaining the visitors were awarded a controversial penalty when Seb Saunders was harshly adjudged to have tripped the EG winger. The resulting penalty was comfortably dispatched and took the game into extra time, 1-1.
The Dockers restored their lead just 3 minutes into extra time, Woolven’s excellent pass set Callum Connor free between two defenders and he made no mistake going round the keeper and slotting the ball home, 2-1.
EG had a great chance to level but their striker fired over when well placed.
As the first half of extra time neared its end EG were awarded a free kick on the corner of the Newhaven area, the kick was whipped in and Buss could only palm the ball away which rebounded in off an onrushing EG player to tie the game up again, 2-2.
EG almost nicked it in the final period of extra time but their strike from distance came back off the post with Buss stranded.
The Dockers had a chance to win it with the last attack of the game, the EG defence made a mess of trying to clear Woolven’s cross and the ball fell to Ian Robinson, he managed to knock the ball round the keeper but was forced too wide to be able to finish, instead laying the ball back to Olly Davies on the edge of the area, but his effort drifted wide of the post.
So it came down to the lottery that is penalties, the first 6 for both sides were converted with Robinson, Woolven, Connor, Jayson Sowter, Earle and Buss all on target for the Dockers. The seventh Newhaven penalty came back off the post though and when EG stuck theirs away it was all over.
Overall, an excellent spirited performance from the young Dockers which deserved better.
Next up for Newhaven is a home league game against Chichester on Saturday, this game is on remembrance weekend and all current and former military personnel can gain free entry to the match.
The November 50/50 club draw will take place after the game.
Newhaven: Jake Buss, Olly Davies, Ben Earle, Jayson Sowter, Matt Gunn, Rhys Smith (Ryan Hill 110), Aaron Winser, Jack Whitmore, Marley Ambler (Callum Connor 70), Seb Saunders (Ian Robinson 85), Kyle Woolven.
Unused Subs: Ebou Jallow, Henry Carey
Booked: Kyle Woolven