Newhaven FC salvage point against Eastbourne United – and failure to win is no disaster
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The league leaders twice went close to opening the scoring in the first ten minutes as Callum Edwards had a shot saved before Alfie Rogers fired just wide of the post from outside the area.
That was to be as good as it got for the Dockers for quite a while, though, as United gradually began to assume control of proceedings.
When Callum Barlow headed the visitors in front just after the half-an-hour mark it came as no real shock, with Newhaven struggling to create any further opportunities of note.
Not for the first time this season, Newhaven improved after the interval, once again aided by clever tactical decisions from the management.
However, just as the Dockers were beginning to gain momentum, they were temporarily reduced to ten men when Ryan Warwick was sin-binned for voicing his frustrations following some provocation in the Eastbourne United dug-out.
During this ten-minute period both teams missed decent chances to score.
First, United caught the hosts on the counter, only for Jake Buss to produce a potentially match-saving stop.
Shortly after, it was Newhaven’s turn to go close, as Alfie Rogers’ clever pass found Robinson in space in the area, only for the Docker’s all-time record goal-scorers touch to let him down at the vital moment.
For the rest of the half, Newhaven continued to see plenty of ball, but, try as they might, were unable to break down United’s organised backline.
In fact, as the clock ticked towards the 90-minute mark, the Dockers hadn’t forced United’s goalkeeper into a single save in the second half.
With time fast running out, the hosts made a number of attacking substitutions in the hope that they could nick something. It was a gamble that was to pay off.
Three minutes into injury-time, Fin Agnihotri produced a brilliant cross from the right that was met by a bullet header from Robinson just inside the six-yard box.
While a point wouldn’t have been what Newhaven would have been hoping for prior to kick-off, defeat elsewhere for Crowborough means that they extend their lead at the top of the table to six points.
Crowborough’s slip-up came away to in-form Haywards Heath Town, where they lost 2-1. Sub Elliott Duncan looked like he had salvaged a point with a late equaliser – only for Naim Rouane’s side to get an even later winner.
AFC Uckfield slipped to the bottom of the SCFL premier table when they lost 4-0 at home to Hassocks. And the reason for them going bottom of the pile was a point gained by Saltdean in a 2-2 draw at home to Horsham YMCA, with Alex Patching and Fraser Middleton their scorers.
Tomorrow Newhaven visit Crawley Down and Crowborough host Bexhill. Elsewhere, Saltdean travel to face Eastbourne United and Little Common are the hosts for AFC Uckfield.