Dockers’ Vase tie with Cove is turning into quite a saga after midweek abandonment

Newhaven’s tie with Cove in the FA Vase is becoming quite a saga after Tuesday’s replay – following Saturday’s thrilling 4-4 draw – was abandoned because of a waterlogged pitch.

Newhaven were leading 1-0 on Tuesday night when the heavens opened and forced the abandonment on 41 minutes.

The replay will now take place at Cove’s Squirrel Lane ground this Tuesday (Oct 29).

The winner of that tie will travel to Rye United in the second round of the competition.

Newhaven sensationally twice came from two goals adrift to force extra time and a replay on Saturday when they scored with goals from Greg Manton on 88 minutes and second half stoppage time.

The Dockers had earlier taken the lead on 17 minutes through Lee Robinson before the visitors from Hampshire turned the game on its head to race into a 3-1 lead.

The hosts hauled themselves back into the game 10 minutes after the interval thanks to a Tyler Goatcher strike but the Farnborough outfit made it 4-2 soon after.

And then came that dramatic climax when Manton scored twice in quick succession to keep Vase dreams alive.

The forced rescheduling of the Dockers’ FA Vase tie means their home Sussex Senior Cup clash with Seaford Town will now take place on Wednesday November 13 at 7.45pm.

Speaking of Tuesday’s abandoned game, Dockers striker Lee Robinson said: “The match on Tuesday was indeed abandoned after 41 minutes due to a waterlogged pitch.

“The referee, Chris Wicks, initially took us all off the pitch because the rain was so hard that it was difficult to see and there was a thunderstorm close by. After about 10 minutes, once the rain had slowed a bit, the referee went back out to check the pitch and deemed it unfit to carry on.

“I didn’t go back on to the pitch myself but I asked the referee why he’d come to the decision, as he was walking off, and he said the ball wasn’t rolling and he wasn’t willing to put himself, and everyone else, in the position of it being unsafe, and the blame – if somebody got injured – falling on him.

“So I guess the decision was fair enough.”

The Dockers were leading 1-0 at the time after Jayson Sowter had headed in at the back post from a Robinson cross. The goal came a few minutes before the players were taken off.

Robinson joked: “So the four-hour round trip (including the A27 being shut on the way back, meaning a detour through Brighton to the coast!) was a waste of time and we have to go up there again next Tuesday, October 29 to do it all again!”

For anyone thinking of travelling to the second attempt at a reply, Cove’s ground is at Oak Farm Stadium, Squirrel Lane, Cove, Farnborough, postcode GU14 8PB. Telephone number 01252 543 615.