Mile Oak U18 1-2 Newhaven U18 (HT 1-0)
Jack Marriott (35); Drew Wain (66), Harry Woodward (74)
Last Sunday’s match was an away fixture against Mile Oak in the League Cup, played at the Mile Oak Recreation Ground.
This fixture was always going to be difficult because of the pitch surface, especially after all the rain recently, and this did prove to be the case. We travelled with only 12 players because of players absences through various reasons and the situation was not helped when Alfie H injured himself in the warm up.
In the first half we were kicking with the wind and thought we had scored a goal after just a couple of minutes but it was disallowed for offside.
Throughout most of the half we had the majority of possession and did create several chances from free kicks and from shots but most of these were from distance and most went wide or high and the couple that were on target were saved.
Mile Oak were in the main restricted to a few breakaways but at times they did cause us some problems mainly down our right flank. After our bright start we lost some momentum and a lot of play petered out at the edge of the area and it looked as though there would be no score in the first half.
However, Oak did spring an attack down our right flank and the ball was crossed into our area and was met by a defender but he managed to score an own goal. 1-0 behind.
The team did respond positively and went forward with more purpose but did not cause the Oak keeper too many problems before half time.
The team was rather down at the break but were reminded that we had not played to our full potential and although the pitch surface was not good it was the same for both teams and we had to increase our effort and tempo to get back into this match.
We were now playing into the wind and this might help us in holding the ball up for forward passes into the spaces behind the defenders. This is what did happen and we did play more on the front foot but again the play often broke down on the edge of the area without causing the Oak keeper too many problems.
There was a substitution made when Alfie came on for George S and his different style of play did have an effect on our approach.
Indeed we did start to press Oak back with more purpose and our efforts were rewarded with a goal after 66 minutes. The Oak keeper, kicking with the wind, sent the ball straight to Drew who collected the ball, went forward and converted the chance. 1-1.
This goal lifted the team and we took the game to Oak in a positive way and scored again five minutes later from a free kick. Aaron took the free kick and sent in a cross into the area and the ball fell to Harry to slot the ball home. 2-1 ahead.
We now were playing some good football and restricting Oak to breakaways but in the remaining minutes neither keeper was really troubled and at the final whistle we had come through the difficult match with a win.
This was a hard fought victory and despite the conditions we had overcome a very resilient Mile Oak team.
Newhaven: Joe Still, Stephen Nash, George Todd (c), Harry Woodward, Toby Hunter, Drew Wain, Louis Bass, Keddie Croft, Scott Pook, George Squires, Aaron Winser, Alfie Haggar.