In a game of few chances, the Dockers actually started quite brightly and could have gone ahead shortly before the tenth minute when Harry Reed went within a whisker of giving the Dockers the lead. The right winger broke through the visiting defence, went round the keeper, but couldn’t get enough purchase on his strike to force the ball over line, with a Hassocks defender clearing just in time.
See photos from the match by Paul Trunfull on this page and the ones linked.
However, ten minutes later the hosts did take the lead. Reed was once again involved, winning a penalty after sidestepping an opponent. From the spot, Alfie Rogers made no mistake, drilling the ball hard and low past the Hassocks ‘keeper. Yet not for the first time this season, having taken the lead, the Dockers quickly contrived to offer their opponents a route back into the game.
Barely a minute later, too much space was afforded to Hassocks in the centre of the park – and then to the dangerous Pat Harding on the edge of the area. Receiving the ball, Harding had plenty of time to take a touch, move the ball out of his feet and pick his spot. Moments later the ball was nestled in the bottom corner – giving Newhaven’s young debutant keeper, Dan Gibson, in for the injured Jake Buss, no chance.
Hassocks had a goal chalked off for a fairly obvious-looking offside early in the second-half, while with 20 minutes left, Newhaven twice went close to snatching the three-points in the space of a minute. First, Alfie Rogers’ well-struck shot was superbly turned around the post by the Hassocks goalie. From the resulting corner, Josh Tuck’s header looked in all the way, before a well-placed visiting defender intervened to clear the ball off the line.
MOM – Ryan Blunt. A hardworking display from the young midfielder.
The result leaves Newhaven third, Hassocks fourth. Crowborough are six points clear at the top, with Steyning Town second.