AFC Uckfield 0-3 Newhaven (HT 0-1)
Lee Robinson (27, 90), Ebou Jallow (76)
Not a match for the purists, but another three points for the Dockers as they overcame a very physical Uckfield side.
It was less than a minute before the first free kick was awarded and that pretty much set the tone for the rest of the game. Uckfield’s physical approach was to eventually prove their undoing and the spectators can only be left to wonder what might have happened had a football match broken out.
The game was being mostly played in the middle third of the pitch with neither keeper being particularly troubled, the closest either side came in the first 20 minutes was when Ian Robinson’s cross from the left found Seb Saunders but he couldn’t connect cleanly and the ball drifted wide of the post.
On 27 minutes Newhaven did find the breakthrough though, a looped cross to the far post from Ebou Jallow found Lee Robinson unmarked to head home. After a bit of discussion between the referee and his assistant the goal was awarded and the Dockers had the lead, 1-0.
The rest of the half didn’t see much goalmouth action but it did see plenty of free kicks for Newhaven as Uckfield committed 19 fouls in the first half alone, the majority of which were on young Tom Cooklin as Uckfield appeared to target the smallest player on the pitch.
After being elbowed in the back of the head, which resulted in a yellow card for the Uckfield defender, Cooklin was then stamped on a few minutes later which saw Uckfield reduced to 10 men before the break.
The second half wasn’t much different, with the game being stop start due to the constant free kicks and the fact the ref had to deal with non stop moaning after every decision.
Both sides were lacking the final ball at key moments and the game looked like it would finish 1-0, but in the 76th minute Uckfield failed to clear a Newhaven corner successfully and the ball fell to Henry Watson whose low cross was turned home from close range by Jallow, 2-0.
Moments later Uckfield were reduced to 9 men when the Uckfield defender booked for the earlier elbow received his second yellow of the game after another foul.
Strangely when down to 9 men Uckfield had their best chance of the game, their no. 9 raced through one on one with Jake Buss but was unable to beat the Newhaven no. 1 who saved well to preserve the two goal cushion.
With time running out Newhaven grabbed a third, the Robinson brothers combining when Ian crossed for Lee to slot home and wrap the game up, 3-0.
Overall a very scrappy game to watch but the points were well deserved by Newhaven.
Next up, the Dockers host Eastbourne United on Saturday.
Newhaven: Jake Buss, Freddie Beale, Ian Robinson, Henry Watson, Robbie Keith (Matt Gunn), Rhys Smith, Ebou Jallow, Tristan Jarvis, Lee Robinson, Seb Saunders (Harry Docherty), Tom Cooklin (Kyle Woolven).
Unused Subs: Callum Connor, Marley Ambler
Booked: Robbie Keith, Tom Cooklin
Officials: Carl Smith, Stuart McKenzie, Krystian Kaczala