If there are three things in life you would wager a huge a bet on, the first would be Peacehaven not winning their opening game of the season – they’ve not managed this since 2012 when they defeated East Grinstead 4-1 in their opening Sussex County League game.
The second is Jake LeGrange getting booked, he managed this in the 21st minute – very harsh and not deserved and especially as LeGrange was brilliant in the second period after reverting to his more familiar position of right back after manager Marks Shutt was forced into a re-shuffle when Fraser Massen went off injured.
And the third element of this tricast is super fan Steve Rocks (pictured) winning a cash prize! In March Rocks won the first prize of £50 in the 200 Club draw, he also won £50 in the July draw and he capped off his winning streak by winning £20 in Saturday’s Golden Goal competition.
First games of the season are always difficult, especially when you are playing a promoted side who are more than keen to get off to a good start.
Alfold came to the Sports Park after back to promotions and this season are looking to establish themselves in the SCPL.
In the first half they looked a real threat and in Kelvin Lucas, who scored the opener on two minutes and Devon Fender they have two forwards who will unlock many defences this season.
Until the 40th minute, Peacehaven looked like they were still in pre-season mode; the whole team was off the pace, got caught in possession and had goalkeeper Alieu Secka to thank on at least three occasions for keeping them in the game.
The visitors were two up on 37 minutes when Jordan De Meyer made the most off a defensive mistake, he drove down the wing and put the ball past Secka. This was nothing more than Alfold deserved. It was clear that Peacehaven needed to up their game or things could get even worse.
With the introduction of Mani Okorugo after the unfortunate Frazer Massen had to leave the field because of injury, the game burst into life and he looked effective every time he got the ball. His direct runs down the right unsettled Alfold and he looked a real threat.
But it was Jake Le Grange who was the architect in getting Peacehaven back into the game in the 37th minute.
Le Grange, who started the game in midfield reverted to his natural fullback position and from this position he bombed down the right wing and put in a delightful cross which new striker Charlie Lambert slammed into the roof of the net off the underside of the bar.
Lambert looks a real threat and with good regular service from the wings is sure to cause a lot of trouble for many defences this season.
For the remainder of the first half Peacehaven piled on the pressure and started to look more like their old selves. Alfold were now on the back foot.
Half time: Peacehaven & Telscombe 1, Alfold 2.
Peacehaven came flying out of the blocks in the second period and with just one minute played of the second half could have been level after the impressive Josh Marshall forced a good save from Correira in the visitors’ goal.
Next Marshall combined well with Bant and Okorugo’s resulting effort was somehow cleared. On 55 minutes Okorugo had another chance after a Marshall corner but his effort was blocked.
Five minutes later Mike Waller was next to show, but his effort was deflected wide. Peacehaven were now giving it everything and after good work from Waller, Marshall fired over the bar. Haven were getting closer, it looked like it would only be a matter of time.
With Peacehaven in the ascendancy, they were always susceptible to the break and emergency defender and captain Reilly Grant made several brilliant interceptions and tackles to keep his side in the game. He really played a captain’s role and influenced so much of the home side’s play.
This was just was not going to be Peacehaven’s day. The game was an entertaining affair and in truth the home side deserved a point, but on this showing Alfold, who did visibly tire towards the end, will be a threat to many teams this season.
Peacehaven are next in action on Tuesday evening when they are away to Little Common (at Eastbourne Utd FC). Kick-off 7.45pm.
Peacehaven & Telscombe: Secka, Cheeseman, Bant, Grant, Massen, Amartefio, Le Grange, Brocklebank, Lambert, Marshall (J), Waller. Subs: Okorugo, Olulode, Marshall (S), Lloyd, Grimble.
Get on the bus for the FA Cup
PEACEHAVEN & TELSCOMBE begin their quest for FA Cup glory on Sunday August 11.
They are away to Erith & Belvedere from the Southern Counties East Premier league on Sunday August 11.
The game was originally scheduled for the previous day but because they ground share with National League side Welling Utd, the game has had to be moved back by one day.
An official coach is being organised by the club to go to the game and it will cost £15 for adults and £10 for children. It will leave the club's Piddinghoe Avenue car park at 10.45am.
To reserve your place on the Cup Bus, call Sue Norwood on 07946 107041.
Please note: seats are selling fast so you are advised to make an early reservation to avoid disappointment.
Updated 20:45 - 3 Aug 2019 by Pitchside View