PEACEHAVEN go into this weekend’s FA Cup tie away at Sittingborne without a manager following the resignation of Pete Edwards last Friday.
With Edwards having departed for personal reasons, Terry Hall made a surprise return for the visit of top of the table Rye on Monday.
Under the circumstances it was probably not surprising that Peacehaven fell to a first home defeat for nearly a year, but Hall’s influence, which has been sorely missed in a somewhat disjointed pre-season, was evident in a battling performance.
As it stands the club is yet to make a definitive decision on Edwards’ replacement. Should Hall be willing to take charge on a permanent basis that would appear to be the ideal solution. I understand that there are people within the club who wish to advertise the job, and that could delay the matter for a number of weeks, by which time Peacehaven risk losing ground in what is becoming a fiercely competitive league.
Whatever the conclusion it is vital that the right decision is made. Peacehaven have the squad to win this league, but so do a number of other clubs, and if the right choice isn’t made they risk missing their opportunity.
Haven had a reality check against a powerful Rye United side as they suffered their first defeat of the season on Monday. They could have few complaints after being largely outplayed by the visitors, who as a result went clear at the top of the league.
A surprise was the appearance on the bench of Scott Marshall, who had been on his way to Redhill until a change of heart the previous day.
With the likes of Scott Ramsay, Sam Adams, Duncan McArthur and Shaun Loft in Rye’s side they are perhaps physically the strongest in the league. Loft brought out the best from Jake Buss with a powerful header, and Liam Upton rattled the bar from long range before they went ahead. McArthur crossed to the back post, where Ramsay headed back for Adams to nod in a simple header.
The defending from Tye probably could have been better, and that was certainly the case when Rye doubled their lead. Matt McLean got in too easily to head in the visitors second goal, and put them into a comfortable lead.
Haven have missed Hall’s organisational abilities this season, and he was at work at half time, moving Wes Millis into defence and reinforcing Peacehaven’s midfield to counteract the visitors dominance.
Initially it seemed to have worked, as his side forced their way back into the match. Carl Dunk’s free kick trundled its way under the wall and into the net to give them a lifeline, but it didn’t last long.
From their next attack Ramsay hooked in a Rye’s third goal, and the decisive strike of the afternoon. On this sort of form “Rambo” can be almost unplayable, and he was too much for Peacehaven to handle today. A lively cameo from Owen Callaghan gave them hope, but in truth the match had gone, and Peacehaven had to accept a first home defeat for a year.
Tye were not a million miles away from the visitors, but the day showed how important it will be to have everyone pulling in the same direction. With that in mind it is vital any decisions made before the next league match against Uckfield are the right ones.
TYE: Buss, Bowra, Kneller, Hall, Hill, Dunk, Snell, Millis, O’Toole (Callaghan), Rees, Bradley
n SALTDEAN kept up their superb start to the season with an 8-0 drubbing of Rottingdean on Monday. Goals came from Harry Coker (2, 28 and 60), Joe-Lewis Cumber (39), Richard Watton (45), Daniel Smith (57), Elliot Quant (73) and Lee Pontin (81).