AFC Uckfield 2-4 Newhaven (HT 2-3)
This Sundays match for the U18’s was an away fixture against AFC Uckfield U18’s who were lying 2nd in the league and level on points with us while we are currently 3rd in the League. This fixture is always a competitive one between two teams who want to play football in the correct manner and this match was expected to follow that pattern.
There were the usual changes to the squad with Peachy standing in for Steve and starts for Kirk Staley and Marcus Nicholson but the squad was a very strong one. From the kick off we could have scored the opening goal but Luke’s shot was well saved by the Uckfield keeper and the early pressure was from us. However Uckfield then started to gain a foothold in the game and for the next 10 minutes or so pressed us back and were in control of the play. We were relying on breakaways but did not create another goal scoring chance until the 10th minute but our effort was saved. It was Uckfield who opened the scoring from a free kick conceded just outside the area and the chance was converted. 0-1. A response was needed and we nearly equalised within a minute but Luke’s shot was well saved, however our pressure finally paid dividends after 15 minutes. The ball was played out on our left flank and Louis Bass crossed it into the area where Drew collected it before slotting home.1-1. This goal galvanised Uckfield again and they again pressed us back and although Peachy saved the initial shot the ball fell loose allowing a striker to score. 1-2. Again we needed to increase our tempo and Luke created another chance but his effort went wide but Uckfield were still pressing and Peachy had to make another save to keep us in the game. We were still causing Uckfield problems and another effort from Luke went wide but just before the half hour mark we again equalised. The move started in midfield and Drew played the ball forward to Kirk who collected it and went forward before slotting it home. 2-2. This goal seemed to deflate Uckfield somewhat and as half time approached we started to press them back creating a couple of chances that went begging but finally we did score again. Again the move started in midfield and Louis played the ball forward to Kirk who took on the defence before chipping the keeper. 3-2. There were no further chances from either team before half time.
Although we had crept ahead in this game we had not played to our full potential and in reality had presented Uckfield with both of their goals by not playing the simple pass or panicking. However we had fought back twice and gone ahead but the second half would be a testing one and Uckfield were very much still in this game. Indeed it was Uckfield who started the half brightly and they created a couple of decent chances which were saved by Peachy but we weathered the storm and began to assert our play on Uckfield. Sam Dunstall came on as a substitute and could have scored a goal with his first involvement but after taking on the defenders and rounding the keeper he saw his effort hit the post. Shortly after he had another effort go just wide but the pressure was being increased on Uckfield and in the final 10 minutes we scored our 4th goal. Kirk received the ball on our left flank and drove forward into the area and while Sam took the defenders way Kirk used the space created to place the ball into the back of the net. 4-2. Uckfield continued to try to get back into the game but did not create any major problems for us so at full time we had secured a vital win against one of our major rivals for the League title.
This was a very good overall performance against a good team and although not pretty at times all the players involved had done a job and deserve a lot of credit.
Squad – Louis Peach, George Todd (c), Jake Tomsett, Harry Woodward, Sam White, Aaron Winser, Toby Potter-Drake, Nathan Lock, Marcus Nicholson, Drew Wain, George Squires, Louis Bass, Kirk Staley, Luke Gilligan, Sam Dunstall, Henry Carey.