Newhaven take on Haywards Heath Town in the SCFL premier divisionNewhaven take on Haywards Heath Town in the SCFL premier division
Newhaven take on Haywards Heath Town in the SCFL premier division

Match in 22 pictures as Newhaven beat Haywards Heath Town – plus news of Ringmer AFC’s win over Reigate Priory

Newhaven came from behind to beat SCFL Premier Division promotion rivals Haywards Heath in a Fort Road thriller, writes David Fuller.

The visitors got a flying start, taking the lead inside the first minute. Charlie Pitcher did well down the left and his low cross was turned in at the far post by JJ Minty.

The Dockers drew level against the run of play in the ninth minute from a well-struck Alfie Rogers free kick.

Newhaven twice went close to taking the lead, with first Josh Tuck then Bailie Rogers heading just off-target from corners.

Having worked hard to get themselves into the game, the Dockers undid their hard work on the half-hour mark. Tuck and young keeper Dan Gibson got into a mess trying to play their way out from the back, Gibson was dispossessed and Minty tapped into an open goal to put the visitors back in front.

Newhaven came out for the second half completely rejuvenated and looking to take the game to their visitors.

On 52 minutes, Alfie Rogers went close to grabbing his second, stepping inside only to see his low shot deflected just wide.

From the corner, Heath failed to clear their lines and half-time sub Max Vardy arrived at the far post to tap the Dockers level.

With 20 minutes left, the game appeared to swing back in Hayward Heath’s favour when Alfie Rogers was sin-binned.

Barely a minute later, however, Newhaven grabbed what turned out to be the winner in fine style.

Lee Robinson did well to hold the ball up and lay it into Ryan Warwick, another half-time sub, who did the rest, unleashing a rocket from 25 yards that gave the Heath keeper no chance. The win puts the Dockers into second place in the table and stretches their unbeaten league run to nine games.

Newhaven host Deal Town in the FA Vase on Saturday.

Ringmer take spoils from tough Reigate meeting

Ringmer AFC took full spoils from a tough Friday night meeting with Reigate Priory thanks to Rhys Taylor's first-half stunner, reports Will Hugall.

With Ringmer fully aware of what a Reigate win on the night would have meant for the table, the Blues fought superbly for 90 minutes to secure a win that puts them back in the MSFL Premier Division's leading pack. It was far from easy as Reigate pinged the ball about with real purpose in the first half and were more than a match for the Blues in midfield.

Ringmer created a number of their own chances, however, in what was quite an open first 45 minutes and it was the moment of greatest quality that won the game. Taylor picked up the ball from 25 yards in the 32nd minute and struck a rocket towards goal, finding the bottom left corner of Reigate's net with unerring accuracy.

That goal gave Ringmer lift-off and they were confidently the better side until half-time, finding another gear in their passing and movement without quite connecting for a decisive second goal. It was not ultimately to matter, as the second half became a stop-start affair with constant fouls and substitutions breaking up any attempt at momentum.

Reigate lost Chris Parsons to a red card at around the hour mark, with the left-back going in marginally too late for a tackle and leaving his studs up to give the referee no choice. There was plenty more drama to come as Dave Jones was taken off injured for Ringmer and his replacement as captain, Ellis Webster, was the subject of Reigate appeals for a red card.

Webster got just enough of the ball in his tackle, however, and Ringmer kept their cool in a tough last 30 minutes to ultimately see out the win. Reigate had to be credited for an excellent fight and for bringing a sizeable away contingent to the Caburn Community Ground, and based on this display, they should be expected to compete near the top for the rest of the season.

The table is a fascinating one after Ringmer's win, with the Blues just a point behind Reigate in third place now, which is currently the only movement in the top four after a weekend when three other fixtures were postponed. The Blues will look to continue their push back up the table with another home fixture against Oxted & District on Saturday (11 November), facing the 9th-placed side just three weeks after their hard-fought 0-0 draw in Surrey. The match will kick off at 1pm at the CCG, with free admission for all supporters.

Newhaven twice went close to taking the lead, with first Josh Tuck then Bailie Rogers heading just off-target from corners.