The visitors came to the Unibet Arena as the division’s form team having won their previous five games, conceding just once during the run.
Meanwhile Peacehaven went into the game after going down 1-0 against second place Chichester City last week, losing their thirteen game unbeaten run in the process. And crucially for the home side, Peacehaven hadn’t won since their 2-0 victory away to Broadbridge Heath on October 14. The game was nicely set up.
For the first half hour, Peacehaven could not get going with any real purpose and although there was loads of endeavour and effort things were just not clicking. Loxwood meanwhile were taking the game to Peacehaven and with just nine minutes played took the lead through an Ollie Moore deflected goal.
Marshalled by their veteran goalkeeper Sam Smith, Loxwood were playing things very tight at the back and were playing a high line.
On 15 minutes, Erikson Aga in the home goal made a good double save after initially spilling the first shot. Haven were coming more into the game, but the visitors did have the best of the first 30 minutes.
On 34 minutes Smith in the Loxwood goal made a good save from a Peacehaven free kick, but still Peacehaven had not clicked into top gear.
And then on 40 minutes, the pendulum swung in Peacehaven’s favour. Fraser Massen knocked the ball in, Ellis Cowd got his head to the ball and diverted it across the goal for defender Jack Phillips (pictured) to volley home from ten yards giving Smith no chance.
And then just two minutes later, Josh Marshall was put through, getting in behind the Loxwood high line and with just the keeper to beat and the home crowd holding their breath beat, chipped the ball just wide of the post from 20 yards out.
Half time: Peacehaven & Telscome 1, Loxwood 1.
Peacehaven started the second half in a much more determined frame of mind after manager Mark Shutt had shown his displeasure at the first half performance.
Cam Wiltshire, who is so influential in midfield was suddenly visible once more and was involving himself all over the park. Josh Marshall and Curt Ford were terrorising the visitors’ defence with direct fast runs and Jake Legrange looked strong and determined with some timely interceptions and strong tackles.
It was also Legrange who won Haven’s 55th minute penalty. He received the ball in the Loxwood box and a defender made a clumsy and heavy challenge on the Haven full back which the referee judged to be illegal.
Wiltshire stepped up to take the kick and slammed the ball past Smith to make the score 2-1.
The game was becoming more physical and extremely competitive, but both teams were still working hard on their game and playing good entertaining football.
Loxwood were pressing hard for an equaliser but Peacehaven were equal to everything the visitors’ could throw at them. On the 90th minute the impressive Aga in the home goal made the save of the game as he somehow threw himself across the goal and got a hand on a stinging shot to push the ball over the bar.
The visitors’ were not finished. As the clock reached four fifty five, Loxwood’s keeper Smith came up for a corner and a tremendous goal mouth scramble ensured resulting in Massen hacking the ball clear, with Loxwood claiming the ball had crossed the line. Smith flew back to his goal just in time to smother a shot from Haven substitute Gus Burton.
Loxwood still attacked searching for the equaliser and still the referee didn’t blow for full time. After another Loxwood attack the ball went out to substitute Felipe Lira who bombed down the left wing. With the home bench imploring Lira to take the ball into the corner to use up precious seconds, the enigmatic Brazilian sent in a stunning cross which Josh Marshall controlled and slammed home Haven’s third to secure all three points.
With Chichester City and Eastbourne Town both in FA Vase action, this result now lifts Peacehaven into third place in the league and in sight of league leaders and title favourites Haywards Heath who unexpectedly went down 3-0 to Pagham.
Peacehaven are next in action on Saturday when East Preston visit the Unibet Arena.
Peacehaven & Telscombe: Aga, Cowd, Wiltshire, Massen, Phillips, Sidwell, Legrange, Grant, Marshall, Ford, Levy. Subs: Lira, Burton, Lloyd, Richmond, Avens.
Updated 15:45 - 12 Apr 2018 by Pitchside View