Newhaven 1-2 Eastbourne Town (HT 0-0)
Callum Connor (87)
Newhaven suffer only their third league defeat of the season against a strong Eastbourne Town side.
The first half had limited chances with neither keeper really being tested in the opening 45 minutes.
Both sides were knocking the ball around quite well considering the conditions but there was a lack of creativity in the final third at each end of the pitch.
Eastbourne had a couple of efforts off target whilst Newhaven came closest to scoring when Matt Gunn’s header from a corner was cleared off the line.
Just before the break Ian Robinson’s run down the left resulted in his low cross being handled on edge of the box, Tom Cooklin’s free kick was cleared comfortably by the Eastbourne defence though.
So unsurprisingly half time arrived with the scores still locked at 0-0.
The second half saw Eastbourne start brightly and Jake Buss had to be alert to pull of a good save down low to his right.
Eastbourne almost opened the scoring following a goal mouth scramble but a combination of Buss and Gunn managed to keep the ball out.
Newhaven had a couple of half chances but nothing of note as the game seemed destined for a draw, but with around 15 minutes to go Eastbourne took the lead, what appeared to be another attack breaking down ended up with a ball rolling out to an Eastbourne midfielder who hit an unstoppable first time left foot shot into the top corner, 0-1.
It wasn’t long before Eastbourne doubled their lead, Rob Malila attempted to tackle an Eastbourne striker in the area but a slight touch on the back was enough to see the striker fall to the ground and a soft penalty was awarded, and converted, 0-2.
Newhaven now had a mountain to climb in the last 10 minutes, they did pull one back though, Lee Robinson played a ball through for Callum Connor to slot home and halve the deficit, 1-2.
Ebou Jallow had a late opportunity to level the game but he pulled his shot wide of the far post.
A draw would probably have been a fair result in a game of few chances, but it wasn’t to be and Newhaven drop points for the second game in a row. With 13 games still to go Newhaven remain second and have plenty of time to close the small gap to Chichester.
The Dockers now face the long trip to Pagham next Saturday.
Newhaven: Jake Buss, Rob Malila, Ian Robinson, Harry Docherty, Matt Gunn, Rhys Smith, Naim Rouane, Tristan Jarvis (Callum Connor 80), Lee Robinson, Lukas Franzen-Jones (Ebou Jallow 70), Tom Cooklin (Kyle Woolven 65).
Unused Subs: Ryan Knight, James Rhodes
Booked: Matt Gunn, Tom Cooklin
Officials: Thomas Price, Nicholas Baker, Ken Brook