Newhaven Youth 3-2 Peacehaven Youth (HT 0-0)
The penultimate league game for the U18’s was an evening home fixture against local rivals Peacehaven U18’s and expectations were that we could extend our League winning margin to eight points.
There were many changes to the squad because of injuries, holidays and other club commitments which allowed five U16 players to be included but overall the strength was still high. Louis Peach took over in goal and there were starts for 4 of the U16’s, Alfie Webster, Marcus Nicholson, Howard Squires and Sam Dunstall. The opening period was fairly even with Nathan having an effort saved by the Peacehaven keeper and another effort go just wide and a Luke shot go just over the bar. Peacehaven did have an effort go over our bar but the majority of play was in the mid-field area with very little action in or around the goal. Then Peacehaven upped their game and Peachy had to make a couple of saves in a five minute period and just as half time approached we did create a chance but the shot went just wide. Overall the half was a fairly low key event but the younger players had more than held their own. 0-0.
The half time talk was positive and the younger players were encouraged to continue to do what they had been doing but overall the team could increase the tempo to win the game. Again the opening period of the half was fairly even with Peacehaven creating the first effort on goal and Luke creating a chance but in a one on one situation his shot was well saved. Peacehaven opened the scoring after 56 minutes when the ball was played over the top and fell to a striker who converted the chance. 0-1. We needed a response and there were several changes made to the team with leading goal scorer Marley coming on and it was he who scored the equalising goal after 70 minutes. An attack down our left flank resulted in the ball being played into the penalty area where Marley slotted the ball into the back of the net. 1-1. This goal gave the team encouragement and we scored again 3 minutes later from a corner taken by George Squires and his cross was met by Alfie who headed in. 2-1. Peacehaven responded again and were rewarded with an equaliser on 83 minutes when a cross into our area was headed in. 2-2. However we were not to be denied our win and from a long goal kick by Peachy the ball went over the defenders heads for Marley to collect and rifle a great shot into the back of the net. Peachy then amazed us all with a very long sprint from his goal all the way to Marley to claim his assist. There was no further real goalmouth action for the remaining time so at full time we had done the double over Peacehaven and kept our unbeaten run in 2019 going.
All credit to all the players for this victory and especially the younger ones who we hope will be at the club next year to help to defend our title. The final League fixture to play is on this coming Sunday against Eastbourne Town and after the game the League presentation ceremony will take place. Then the final game will be on the 5th May when we will play either Selsey, Arundel or Haywards Heath in the champion of champions final at Hassocks.
Squad- Louis Peach, Steve Nash, George Todd (c), Harry Woodward, Aaron Winser, Alfie Webster, Fraser Cox, Nathan Lock, Marcus Nicholson, Jacob Neel, George Squires, Henry Carey, Howard Squires, Luke Gilligan, Sam Dunstall, Marley Ambler.