After Saturday’s humiliating result at Chichester City, Tuesday’s game against Little Common gave Peacehaven the chance to redeem themselves…but would they rise to the challenge?
When you need a big man with a big heart who can lead from the front, you need look no further than Haven’s unsung hero captain Riley Grant (pictured).
Peacehaven needed a big performance and needed to get back on the horse after falling off so dramatically at the weekend, and they got it, inspired by Grant. And to cap his fine performance Grant scored the vital winning goal on 58 minutes when he found himself unmarked at the far post and got his head on a superb Sid Adams free-kick.
But this performance was not just about one man. Every player played their heart out for manager Mark Shutt and deserves praise for their brilliant showing against a really well organised side who were dangerous when they broke and certainly looked like they had goals in them.
Peacehaven did have more of the play and should have been at least two goals to the good at the break. As early as five minutes Callum Hart tried an audacious lob from around 25 yards with Cruttwell in the Little Common goal stranded on the edge of his box.
On 14 minutes Alieu Secka made a smart save with his legs as Little Common threatened. Five minutes later Haven put together a superb ten man sweeping move but Hart’s effort was wide of the goal.
The impressive Tyler Scrafton was next to try his luck when he hit a vicious drive which the Common stopper spilled and Curt Ford just failed to finish. Shortly after with Haven stepping up the pressure, Ford again went close with a header that went inches over the bar and then the same player with the goal at his mercy scuffed his shot and the ball went wide.
Sid Adams’ rampaging runs and sweet left foot were causing the Little Common defence all sorts of trouble and on the half hour he had a decent shout for a penalty when it appeared he was clipped in the box.
And on the opposite flank Jake Legrange made a series of superb foraging runs at the Little Common back line being brought down on several occasions for his trouble.
Half time: Peacehaven & Telscombe 0, Little Common 0.
For all their first half pressure with midfielder Jake Brocklebank at the heart of a lot of the action and having his best game for the club, it was important that Haven converted one of their many chances as Little Common looked like they had a goal or two in them. They were playing, according to their manager and some supporters, the best they had played all season.
On 47 minutes 17-year-old defender Owen Muller found himself in the Little Common box but his effort went wide. Muller, alongside his other defensive colleagues Felipe Lira and Brandon Kilula were a solid unit and more than played their parts in keeping a clean sheet.
After Grant’s 58th minute goal, Haven pushed for a second and safety. Scrafton again went close but it was Little Common who had the next big chance.
Secka was one on one with a Common attacker and was adjudged by the referee to have fouled the player and as a result conceded a penalty. There was degree of discussion amongst Haven’s fans and most felt the decision was harsh. But now it was Secka’s turn to change from villain to hero when he made a superb save down to his right to deny Little Common.
New signing Bradley Bant came on in the 84th minute and in just the short cameo appearance it is clear he is going to be a good and useful acquisition. Mikey Lloyd, a 70th minute substitute showed what he could do and when Marcus Richmond entered proceedings in the dying embers of the game, he too looked hungry and determined.
Manager Mark Shutt said: “It was important we got a good result and I’m particularly pleased we achieved this and also that we kept a clean sheet.”
Peacehaven are next in action on Saturday when they entertain Shoreham in the FA Vase. Kick-off 3pm.
On Thursday evening, the under 18s are at home to Montpelier Villa. Kick-off 7.45pm. Entry is free.
Peacehaven & Telscombe: Secka, Kilula, Adams, Brocklebank, Lira, Muller, Legrange, Grant, Ford, Scrafton, Hart. Subs: Bant, Richmond, Massen, Lloyd, Cheeseman
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Updated 10:16 - 12 Sep 2018 by Pitchside View