Newhaven had to fight back from 3-0 down, to draw 3-3 in an entertaining encounter at Steyning Town on Saturday afternoon.
The hosts got off to the best possible start when Adam Burton netted at the second attempt. Dave Harris’ header doubled Town’s advantage to give them a 2-0 half-time lead.
Phil Williamson pounced on a loose back pass to make it 3-0 shortly after the break, but two quick goals from Mark Probert and Dave Altendorff reduced the deficit to just one. With time running out Sean Breach was in the right place to fire in a dramatic equaliser.
Newhaven made two changes from the team that started the draw with Mile Oak the week before. Dave Altendorff returned to the starting XI in place of Richie Watton, who dropped to the bench, and Ryan Walton replaced the unavailable Luke Duchossoy. Ebou Jallow, having signed from Saltdean in the week, was on the bench alongside Watton, Gary Holmes and Matt Harrison.
Newhaven were looking for an improved performance after the mediocre 1-1 draw with Mile Oak, while Steyning were looking for their second win of the season.
And it was the hosts that started brighter, taking the lead within the first minute of the game. Scott Edwards slipped as a ball was played forward to Burton, giving the Steyning striker a free shot on goal. Graham Leach saved the first attempt but the rebound fell to Burton, who smashed the ball in to the back of the net.
It was a sloppy start that seemed to set the tempo for a poor first half from Newhaven’s perspective. They did, however, manage to create a number of opportunities.
Jason Goddard and Altendorff both missed headed chances, off target on both occasions, and Lee Robinson shot straight at the keeper when played in by Altendorff. Naim Rouane was also cutting in on his left foot but was unable to connect well with a couple of shots.
Up the other end Steyning’s attack was looking lively, and they doubled their lead 7 minutes before half-time. A free-kick was given away on Town’s right and it was swung in to the Newhaven box. The cross found an unmarked Harris who somehow looped his header over Leach and in to the back of the net.
It could of been worse for Newhaven but the home side had a third ruled out for offside, meaning the score was 2-0 at half-time.
Both teams knew that the next goal could be crucial, and again it was the hosts that got it. Jason Edwards’ back pass was short of it’s target and Williamson raced through to fire a Steyning third past Leach.
The third goal finally woke Newhaven up and they got one back shortly after. Probert beat the goalkeeper to a through-ball and slotted it past the home stopper.
Steyning had let a 3-0 lead slip at Mile Oak in August so were possibly nervous of a repeat scoreline. And that looked more likely when Altendorff burst in to the box and fired in a Newhaven second.
Newhaven were pressing high up the pitch looking for a leveller and Town were happy to play on the counter attack. A couple of long range drives from the home team were off target and Leach did well to save, and hold on to, a shot from a tight angle.
The Dockers’ pressure finally brought about an equaliser with 10 minutes to go. Rouane done well to get in to a crossing position and his ball across the box found Breach, who made no mistake from 6 yards out.
The best chance of the remaining time fell to the head of Goddard. He connected well with a free-kick in to the box but his goal-bound effort was tipped away by the outstretched hand of the home goalkeeper.
Both teams had to settle for a point each and will both, no doubt, take positives and negatives out of a game that could of gone either way.
Graham Leach, Jason Goddard, Daniel Murray, Scott Edwards, Jason Edwards, Sean Breach, Dave Altendorff, Mark Probert (Richie Watton), Lee Robinson, Ryan Walton (Ebou Jallow), Naim Rouane.