Newhaven lament lockdown after five straight wins

Newhaven joint-manager Andy Cook praised another ‘impressive display’ as his side recorded a fifth straight victory by beating Crawley Down Gatwick 4-1 at the Haven Centre.
Newhaven have had plenty of goals to celebrate in recent weeks / Picture: Tommy McMillanNewhaven have had plenty of goals to celebrate in recent weeks / Picture: Tommy McMillan
Newhaven have had plenty of goals to celebrate in recent weeks / Picture: Tommy McMillan

Following Saturday’s FA Vase success, the Dockers made progress in another cup competition – this time making their way through to the third round of the Sussex Senior Cup.

With non-elite football being a casualty of the latest lockdown, Newhaven head into a month-long break having won their last five games in all competitions, scoring 18 goals in the process.

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A number of those goals have come early in games, and once again Newhaven struck early as Seb Saunders and Alfie Rogers combined, with the latter finishing well for the lead.

And that lead was doubled just after the half-hour mark as Lee Robinson latched on to Rogers’ throw down the left and lobbed goalkeeper Sam Smith for 2-0.

The visitors took a 3-0 lead in to half-time and it was Robinson again who extended the advantage. Kyle Woolven was the provider as Robinson rounded Smith before coolly finishing from a tight angle.

The home side, after a bit of pressure on the Dockers, pulled a goal back 20 minutes in to the second half. Michael Wood was the goal scorer, finishing well from a free kick just outside the box.

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But, with ten minutes to go, Lee Robinson completed his second hat-trick in three games after latching on to Charlie Bennett’s pass and finishing through Smith’s legs for 4-1.

“Following on from Saturday's exceptional performance against Ascot, this was another impressive display,” said Cook of his team’s performance.

“Crawley Down Gatwick are a decent side with experienced players and are always tough to play against, but for about the fourth game running we scored early and by half time were out of sight.

“It was a really good opening goal, inside five minutes, from Alfie Rogers after good work from Seb Saunders, and that set the tone.

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“Robbo then scored his first of the evening after breaking through the home defence with a good finish. Then, just before half time, he got his second after latching onto Kyle Woolven's through ball and rounding the keeper and a fine finish off the post.

“To be three up at the break was fully deserved and the quality and tempo of our play was spot on yet again.

“The second half was more of an even affair and we expected Crawley Down to come at us. But despite conceding from a free kick, which we felt was harsh, we soon bounced back and Robbo completed his hat-trick with another decent finish from a great pass from Charlie Bennett.

“Breachy [Sean Breach, joint-manager] and I were very happy with everyone's performance and as I say it just carried on from Saturday's game.

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“And, to be fair to the lads, it could have been an easy one to drop the levels on a cold Tuesday night, with lots of restrictions in place and a lengthy break in the fixtures coming up, but we were on it again and Breachy and I are extremely pleased with the dedication and application from everyone.”

On the upcoming lockdown and subsequent break from football, Cook added: “We go into a break now due to lockdown and it's a shame as we are on a really good run and full of confidence.

“But after the last lockdown we came back just as strong as we finished back in March, so we have no doubts the lads will be ready to go again whenever we resume the fixtures.

“We will set individual targets and objectives during the break to keep general fitness levels up and we will make it as competitive as we can to keep them all focused.

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“But it's safe to say Breachy and I are really happy with where we are currently. Fourth in the league with a game or two in hand, still in the FA Vase with a decent home tie in the next round against Binfield, and through to the next round of the Sussex Senior Cup. So, loads to play for when get started again.”

Newhaven: Buss, Barker, I Robinson, Watson, Meeres, Beale, Bennett (Dryer 81), Saunders, L Robinson (Franzen-Jones 85), A Rogers, Woolven (Jeffrey 71).