Hassocks suffered their second consecutive league loss with a 2-0 defeat by Newhaven, a team against which Hassocks had enjoyed a credible draw against the odds in a 1-1 result earlier in the season. However, this game was different in that Hassocks never really got into their stride with Newhaven fully deserving the victory.
Hassocks were under pressure early on and Chloe John had to make a timely interception, although Rose Jump showed promise when she outpaced the defender but was crowded out before she could threaten the goal. Disappointingly, Hassocks seemed sluggish and were generally second to the ball.
Hassocks did manage to get more into the game as the half progressed with a Kirsten Mair shot being saved, but the improvement was short lived. Newhaven had a shot across goal and Chloe John again had to defend well conceding a corner, which was headed clear by Jodie Johanson. After 18 minutes, Newhaven’s superiority told when they went ahead following an excellent passing move, the ball being skilfully volleyed home giving keeper Sarah Chappell no chance. Chappell was again called into action saving a direct free kick. Hassocks managed to respond and Jodie Johanson won a corner after a superb through ball from Chloe John and then a slick passing movement involving Katherine Chappell, Gemma Craig and Jodie Johanson ended with a Kirsten Mair shot being blocked.
Newhaven continued to press and Sarah Chappell had to make two further saves in quick succession, followed by Newhaven having two great chances to increase their lead, firstly with a shot from close range sliced wide and then with two players on one defender forcing Chappell into another excellent save. The half ended with Newhaven 1-0 ahead but in truth it could easily have been more. The Hassocks defence of Ria Banitas, Chloe John, Emily Brocklehurst and skipper Sam Newman were being overworked and did well to keep the score to one.
One substitution was made for the second half with Tallie Bright coming into right midfield but the match continued in the same vein. Newhaven missed a chance after a fortunate deflection put the forward through on goal. Hassocks did manage to improve slightly though, and Rose Jump was nearly through on goal, the keeper being alert and coming out well to clear.
Bethany Purse was looking lively up front without too much support, but in the 64th minute, she managed to get in a shot which was well saved. Hassocks continued to show an improvement with a Kirsten Mair shot being deflected for a corner but the game was put beyond Hassocks with a second goal in the 74th minute following another top quality passing movement.
Holly Webb was brought on for her debut in the 78th minute and slotted into the left back position. Hassocks had a brief spell in the initiative with a Bethany Purse effort blocked with the rebound being hit wide. Rose Jump then made a run on the right hand side, crossing for Kirsten Mair whose shot had to be saved. Purse then showed deft skill to turn and put through a pass which the keeper anticipated well. Following one more effort from Hassocks, a Tallie Bright shot across goal, the match ended with the score 2-0.
Although Hassocks improved after the break and with a bit of luck, could have got back into the match, Newhaven, overall, were the better side and fully deserved their victory. Keeper Sarah Chappell had to make several saves to keep the score down. The Hassocks players will be disappointed with their display and will look for an improvement in next week’s encounter with the league leaders, Lewes Foundation.
by Colin Stevens