A goal either side of half time was enough for Newhaven Reserves to progress in to the second round of the Vernon Wentworth Cup after beating East Preston 2-0. This was the perfect response from the Dockers who wanted to bounce back from their disappointing cup result last week.
On another sunny Saturday at Fort Road with the pitch looking immaculate, A Block was given the responsibility of managing the side as Andy was away taking the kids to Butlins……..FINE!! There were three changes to the side who lost against West Chiltington last week, Calum Burnett came back in to the heart of the defence with Matt Harrison being unavailable, Tom Stevenson started at left midfield replacing the also unavailable James Whatman and Liam Keith started his first game of the season partnering Damian Lambert with Gary Holmes involved with the first team.
The game started well for the home side who had good possession and plenty of space to knock the ball around. Stevenson was causing the East Preston full back all sorts of trouble and was linking well with Lambert who created a couple of good chances early on. EP struggled getting in to the game and resorted to a couple of long attempts which didn’t trouble Harry Stewart in the Dockers goal.
The first goal came after 20 mins. Some good link up play between Jack Webber and Joe Mctiffen down the right saw the Newhaven full-back fouled just outside the 18 yard box. Damo whipped in a great ball with his left and after some good movement from Calum Burnett, the ball found an unmarked Barry Knight at the far post who had the easy job of heading in from 4 yards.
Newhaven continued to dominate the first half with some good chances being missed. They went in at the break 1-0 to the good.
Second half saw EP come out a different team. With Newhaven being sloppy in possession, they controlled the game. Silly free kicks being given around the Dockers’ 18 yard box resulted in Stewart making some fine saves. The Newhaven defence stayed strong and looked solid at the back.
Stand in manager A block then decided to make a couple of changes while the home side seemed under the cosh. Fenton Boakes replaced Stevenson wide left and Kieran Doherty came on in the centre of the park for Tom Mason. The fresh legs helped the Dockers and it wasn’t long until they were 2-0 up. Some good play down the left saw Boakes put in a good ball who found Damo in the centre of the box. A calm and controlled volley which was side footed in to the bottom left hand corner gave Newhaven that cushion of a second goal.
Two could have been made three moments later after Liam Keith found the ball at his feet inside the box and confidently chipped the keeper. Unfortunately the ball rattled the cross bar which would have been Keith’s first goal of the season had it gone in.
The final ten minutes were scrappy with EP having most of the possession. A few long range shots and late corners were dealt with by the Newhaven defence who saw out the final parts of the game.
The final whistle was blown with the Dockers going through to the next round to face Southwick away. A great performance from the home side who bounced back well from last weeks result!
H Stewart, J.McTiffen, J.Tomkins, B.Knight, C.Burnett, T.Mason (C) (K.Doherty), B.Keith (P.Avenell), J.Webber, T.Stevenson (F.Boakes), L.Keith, D.Lambert. Unused subs: P.Whitmore, R.Brown