Newhaven see off Shoreham and Saltdean - Ringmer AFC slip to first defeat

Newhaven on the attack v Shoreham | Picture: Paul Trunfull
Newhaven on the attack v Shoreham | Picture: Paul Trunfull

Following an opening half-hour in which the Dockers had all the ball without making a breakthrough, they finally took the lead in the 34th minute.

A quick free-kick sent Ian Robinson scampering down the right.

When his pull back landed at the feet of Ryan Warwick, the midfielder’s shot appeared to be going in, before the slightest of touches from Lee Robinson made sure it hit the back of the net, his 451st goal for the club.

Eight minutes into the second half, Newhaven appeared to go some way towards putting the game to bed.

An Alfie Rogers corner caused havoc in the Shoreham defence. Owen Muller headed the ball down, and left-back Max Vardy reacted quickest to prod the Dockers into a two-goal lead.

However, within 60 seconds, from out of nowhere, Shoreham had a goal back. This time it was Newhaven who made a hash of dealing with a corner; the ball eventually landing at the feet of former Docker Alex Patching who reduced the arrears.

It didn’t take Newhaven long to re-establish their two-goal lead. Five minutes, in fact.

More sloppy marking from a corner, gave Vardy the opportunity to steal in and add his second of the afternoon with an instinctive finish.

Newhaven were suddenly looking rampant. On 67 minutes, a Robbie Keith run culminated with him laying the ball off to Rogers who finished calmly to end the game as a contest.

Eight minutes later, Keith got himself on the scoresheet, Again Shoreham’s marking from a corner left much to be desired, and Keith took full advantage to head Newhaven 5-1 ahead.

With time running out, Vardy twice went close to grabbing the hat-trick he deserved.

Only two brave blocks from Shoreham defenders denied the full-back his moment of glory.

In injury-time, Patching had a fierce shot from the edge of the area turned over the bar by Jake Buss.

From the ensuing corner, Shoreham had penalty appeals waved away, Newhaven broke forward quickly, and Rogers teed up 17-year-old debutant Lincoln Shearing who put the icing on the cake with a composed finish.

Man of the match was Vardy. After a brief sojourn away from the club, Vardy has returned to Fort Road looking full of confidence and fully deserved his two goals.

The Dockers’ fine form continued in midweek with a 3-0 league win at Saltdean.

Alfie Rogers, Callum Edwards and Rob Malila scored as Newhaven went fifth in the SCFL premier table.

They’re two points behind leaders Crowborough, who had to settle for a point in a 2-2 draw at home to Midhurst on Satuday before beating Billingshurst 6-1 in the RUR Cup on Tuesday.

Peacehaven are second but AFC Uckfeld are 17th after losing 4-0 at Pagham.

Ringmer AFC

Ringmer AFC suffered their first MSFL Premier Division defeat of the season as they went down to a 2-1 home defeat against title favourites Eastbourne United Association.

A brace from Nathan Crabb was enough for the visitors to take all three points, although Ringmer will have been frustrated in the almost identical manner of the striker's goals.

Both were tap-ins after defensive mix-ups which saw goalkeeper Harvey Munro displaced from his goal, and though Ringmer were probably the better side in the second half, they ultimately came away empty-handed.

It was far from the want of trying from the Blues, who grew more impressive the longer the contest went on, adjusting to the physical challenge of their opponents.

Having struggled to play in their usual manner in the first half, with United keen to press the Ringmer midfield and stop Kazadi Mpinga receive possession in the final third, Tommy Haddon's side adapted well.

They broke the lines far more often in the second half, and equalised with a stunning goal from Sheldon Grimes, who found the top corner with a pearler of a 25-yard strike when urged to shoot by everyone in the ground.

Parity only lasted a short while before Crabb grabbed his second goal of the afternoon, an ultimately decisive and typically clinical finish seizing on Ringmer's determination to play out from the back.

The final stages of the contest were the most memorable, with Ringmer pushing harder and harder for a second equaliser but being denied by robust defending from the visitors.

United ended the match with nine men as Logan Copley was sin binned for dissent and Louis Walker was awarded a second yellow card, but there was just too little time for Ringmer to force home their numerical advantage.

The Blues return to action this Saturday (Sep 23) as they travel to Westfield, who they beat 2-1 in their opening match of the season just over a month ago.

Having gone unbeaten since that meeting, Westfield will prove another huge challenge as they seek to improve on a 4th-placed finish in the MSFL Premier last season. The match kicks off at 2pm at the Westfield Parish Field.