Newhaven manager Paul Harrison believes his side can keep their SCFL Division 2 title tilt on track after a confidence boosting display against Crawley Town.
The Dockers were beaten 1-0 by the League One outfit in the last 16 of the Sussex Senior Cup on Wednesday, but pushed their illustrious visitors all the way with a dogged performance. And in the wake of last weekend’s 2-0 defeat to Littlehampton, Harrison says Newhaven can take real belief into tomorrow’s trip to Broadbridge Heath, as they look to build on a six point advantage at the top of the table.
Harrison said: “They were very good opposition but we asked a few questions and we played some good football at times.
“Every single player put a big shift in from defence to up front. Individually and as a unit I thought they were excellent.
“It will give us a big boost, playing against a big club like that, and the way we played. We need a result on Saturday against Broadbridge Heath and we will be going there to do a job.”
In front of a 173-strong crowd, 18-year-old striker Jonte Smith – one of six Crawley first team squad members on show – made the difference shortly after half an hour. But the Dockers did create a few scares.
Richie Watton almost put the hosts in front after 22 minutes, when he found the side netting after Sean Breach’s break from midfield.
Crawley’s class did tell though, and chances fell for Scott Melville, January signing Lateef Elford-Alliyu and Billy Woon before Smith stabbed home on the rebound when Ben Pryor saved his initial effort.
The visitors looked comfortable enough in the second half, and appeared to have gas left in the tank. Although there were a couple of jitters when on-loan Sunderland keeper Johnny Maddison miss-kicked a Dannie Bulman backpass, before he was called into action again to make a smart save from Lee Robinson in stoppage time.
Harrison added: “I thought we could have nicked something and have gone to extra time. It was a fair result, I think of the difference in quality between the players and you would expect that from a club at that level.
“They knew they were going to get a game, it was good they turned up with the side they did.”
Dockers: Pryor, Murray, J Edwards, Altendorff (Goddard 79), Knight, S Edwards, Robinson, Breach, Jallow (Millar 75), Watton, Manton (Probert 64).