Newhaven U18 4-4 Little Common U18 (HT 2-2)
Tayler O’Brien, this season’s captain, led the U18s team out on Sunday for an opening home match against Little Common U18s who are a difficult team to play.
The team is a very much changed one because of the loss of all but a couple of last season’s players who are now over age but the pre-season has been very positive and we hoped to get off in a positive manner.
Indeed the early play was good with the team passing the ball about confidently and we created our first chance after just nine minutes when Kyle took a free kick and the ball fell to Tayler on the edge of the penalty area but his shot went wide.
Common were being restricted to a long ball game but they scored first when they broke away and with Jack coming out the ball was chipped over him.
Newhaven needed to respond and that is just what they did a minute later with Kyle going on a great run down our left, taking on several defenders and cutting inside sent a shot past the keeper, a great individual goal.
We were still passing the ball around well and from a corner the ball broke to George but his shot went over for a goal kick. Common then pressed us back a little and win a corner from which they scored again, 2-1 down.
Again Newhaven fought back and another great run by Kyle led to another shot that was well saved, but we were not to be denied and within a minute Kyle had equalised following great work.
We were again pressing and a very good team move out of defence through midfield led to a shot from Sam that was again saved. 2-2 at half time.
The half time talk was a positive one and the team was encouraged to continue to play as we had been but to be aware of the long ball and not to be caught square in defence.
We started as we had finished the half with Kyle again taking on defenders down the flank and one such run led to another corner. Kyle was running the defenders ragged and was unlucky on several occasions not to be awarded some free kicks.
There then followed a three minute spell when we had three shots on goal saved, two from George and one from Tayler and it seemed only a matter of time before we scored again. We thought that we had scored but Tayler’s goal was disallowed for offside.
This set back was then compounded with the award of a penalty to Common which was duly converted, 3-2 down.
We kept pressing and their keeper had to make another save to preserve their lead. We again equalised after 75 minutes from a Kyle corner from which the ball fell to Tayler to slot home.
Our hopes of a win were dashed with Common scoring again from another corner 4-3 down.
Time was running out but we kept to our game plan and were rewarded with another equaliser with only a couple of minutes to go. Kyle took another corner and Harry met the ball to head home 4-4.
There was still time for Common to briefly threaten again but the final whistle went and a hard fought draw was gained.
This was a very hard match that could have resulted in a defeat but the whole squad showed great character, hard work and a lot of skill and thoroughly deserved the result.
Newhaven: Jack Webb, Jonny Donegan, George Baker, Charlie White, Ryan Hill, Harry Mills, Sam Wilkins, Edward Clarke, Tayler O’Brien (c), Kyle Woolven, Jake Baker-Cliff, Brandon Cannon, Josh Silva Carvalho.