Fellow Yellows – Newhaven FC

Sussex Football League, Division 1
Newhaven FC v Dorking Wanderers FC
Saturday, 22nd March 2014, 3pm
Fort Road
Entrance £5, Programme Free
Distance 96 miles, Attendance 92
This season, it’s become abundantly clear that black is the favourite hue to accompany yellow shirts. Staring at the resulting unbalanced shorts table, I needed to make some attempt to redress this disparity.
They may have be Luther’s favourite for the Hornets but, when trying to find other yellow teams with red shorts, the options are somewhat limited. Currently in Britain only two sides fit the bill so, with no opportunity to get up to Albion Rovers, I drove towards the south coast.
In Saxon times, “Meeching” village was established at the mouth of the River Ouse but, it wasn’t until the mid-16th Century that a sheltered harbour was cut into the shingle there. Prior to that, evidence suggests a Bronze Age fort was situated on what is now Castle Hill.

140322 SCLD1 Newhaven v Dorking Wanderers (10)w

Standing atop the hill now affords a delightful view both down the coast and, behind the marina, across a large sports area containing the home of Newhaven FC. Due to heavy rain, the ground had been totally unplayable but, the pitch is thankfully once again open for business.
140322 SCLD1 Newhaven v Dorking Wanderers (20)wMuch like the local lifeboat station, Newhaven FC is one of the oldest in the county. Formed in 1887by local brewers – the Towner family – “The Dockers” were founding members of the Sussex County Football League but, waited until the 1950s to win silverware. Since then they’ve lifted the both the RUR Charity Cup and league title twice, whilst also winning Division 2 twice and, as they began the climb back to their current position, Division 3 in 2012.
Forced off the stationary A23, I headed over the beautiful South Downs via Handcross (where another yellow game appeared to be in progress) and Lewes, before making for the coast.
With the parking somewhat limited, I stopped by the marina and walked across the cricket pitch. Just inside the turnstile, open seating has been constructed behind each goal however remnants of the old terrace are still visible beside a small club bar.
140322 SCLD1 Newhaven v Dorking Wanderers (101)Though the sun shone beautifully as the players emerged, most fans sheltered from the brisk coastal wind in the lea of the large stand. As they lined up, shook hands and made for their respective huddles, the Dorking coach yelled “LOADS OF TALKING!” Obediently, for the next half hour, that was pretty much all he and his back line did. Their unfounded complaints started a minute in and didn’t halt, until all received a warning from the referee with a Liza Minnelli haircut.
In the meantime, Dorking kicked off, forced a good save out of Jake Buss, benefited from a wasted Dockers attack and, scored with a really fine effort as Jon Boswell volleyed home at the far post. In response, Josh Burns blasted over before setting up Lee Robinson, whose shot was well saved.
140322 SCLD1 Newhaven v Dorking Wanderers (78)Whilst the visiting centre backs protests reached a crescendo, Dorking’s Karl Parker forced another exceptional save from Buss and a minute later, Newhaven were deservedly level. Having pushed Lee Robinson into the linesman, Jake Hill predictably gave away a free-kick. John Lansdale tidily floated over the dead ball and, Connor Sidwell stole in at the far post.
140322 SCLD1 Newhaven v Dorking Wanderers (103)The resulting ref’s warning mercifully settled the game down. Buss’ agility saved Newhaven time and again but, he could only get his fingers tips to a Rob Hendry penalty just prior to the break. Going in 2-1 down, didn’t actually reflect the half but after the interval, Dorking really pushed up a gear. Even Dockers’ player manager, Sean Breach, removing his glasses and bringing himself on couldn’t stem the tide.

140322 SCLD1 Newhaven v Dorking Wanderers (121)w

A brilliant Dave Altendorff tackle staved the inevitable but eventually, Boswell had his second. A minute later, a handball afforded a Lansdale penalty the opportunity to reduce the deficit – bringing shouts of encouragement from behind us – but within ten minutes, Boswell had his hat-trick and Dorking were two goals ahead again. Putting the icing on the visitors’ cake, just before time Karl Parker, twisted and turned and eventually found enough space to force home the fifth.
Though they lost – not giving me the hoped for red shorts goalfest – I’d found a club that proves that yachts, ferries to France and Lord Lucan weren’t the only reasons to go this new haven on the Ouse.
shorts league
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Initially appearing in the 2013-14 Watford FC matchday programmes, consequently these reports will have a delayed publication on here.

140322 Newhaven prog (1)

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