Steyning Town 2 Newhaven FC 1
A new look Steyning Town team started the season with a fantastic three points against a highly fancied Newhaven FC, giving new boss Kev Green the perfect start to his tenure as boss.
The Barrowmen were fast out of the blocks and in fact should’ve been two goals up within two minutes. First of all front man Chalmers weaved his way through the visitors defence, setting himself nicely, and then blazed the ball over the bar with only the keeper to beat.
Then seconds later Radmore, returning to the club for a second spell headed wide with a free header from only 6 yds out.
This set the tone for much of the first half as chances came and went for the Barrowman who, as many said from both camps at half-time over clubhouse coffee , really should’ve been four or five up at the break.
The only goal in the opening spell was on 21 minutes as the impressive Da Costa was involved in a neat move down the right and his precise low cross found Radmore who controlled, turned and struck a low drive to the keepers right from 12 yards.
Overall Town kept the ball really well during the first half as they were afforded plenty of space and played the neat, sharp football that they displayed during much of pre season. Santos was looking dangerous out on the left and Barnes was dictating play well from a deep lying midfield position. Timms and Williamson looking composed at the back and all eleven were eager to get on the ball. Chalmers was leading the line well up top.
The Dockers themselves created a few chances themselves despite being below par,the best of those falling to Franzen-Jones who rounded the Town keeper Lucas and rolled the ball goalwards ( not sure if it was a cross or a shot) but not with much conviction allowing Radley-Martin to get back and produce a stunning clearance off the line in front of dangerman Rogers.
The second period started in much the same vein as Steyning Town raced out the blocks and found themselves two up within two minutes of the restart. A ball was played over the top and Howell raced onto it, took the ball in his stride, and finished calmly into the bottom corner for what turned out to be a decisive moment in the game.
After this the game entered a period of relative quiet and Town seemed to be managing the game well.
However the Dockers were thrown a lifeline in the 70th minute when the otherwise impressive Lucas spilt the ball from a firm low strike and upon trying to retrieve it at the second attempt brought down the onrushing Robinson for a penalty which was converted.
For the last 20 minutes of the game it was pretty much one way traffic as Newhaven gave a much is better indication of what they’re all about. They laid siege to the Steyning goal, pinning Town in their own half, and creating a few decent chances. Lucas pulled off a stunning double save and a few other half chances went begging. One key moment where the equaliser nearly came was a thumping strike deflected onto his own bar by skipper Timms as Town breathed a big sigh of relief.
The last action of an entertaining afternoon was a freekick from Rogers which was blocked by the six man ball and the ball was hacked clear.
Relief all round as The Barrowmen held on to a great three points and the new era is officially up and running.
Despite the late scares it’s hard to say that the team didn’t
fully deserved the three points given the overall balance of play and chances created.
Line up: Lucas, Clark, Da Costa, Timms, Williamson, Radley-Martin, Santos, Barnes, Howell, Radmore, Chalmers
Subs used: Sabino, Heryet, Clarke, Robinson, Sijani
MOM : Jack Barnes