Peacehaven and Telscombe 3 Crawley Down Gatwick 1
By Richard Munn
The Anvils came away with nothing from their away day to the coast other than a profound feeling of injustice when despite a spirited performance, two key decisions denied them the minimum of the point that they deserved.
The game was played in positively arctic conditions with a bitter wind blowing in from Telscombe cliffs making the wind chill factor almost unbearable. It was certainly the coldest that this reporter has ever experienced in nearly sixty years of watching the beautiful game. It would be remiss not to pay tribute to the groundsman because the pitch was in great condition despite the recent appalling weather. The first half was very even. The stats, if available, would have shown that both sides had an almost identical share of territory and possession and while the home side looked more dangerous neither keeper was particularly busy. The second half opened at a lively pace and within seven minutes there were three goals. On 47 minutes Dean Brown opened the scoring for the home side with a good finish but the goal should never have stood as there was a very obvious foul on Michael Spence in the build up. Instead of feeling sorry for themselves the Anvils reacted in the right way and were level after less than a minute when after good work by Nick Sullivan
and Johden De Meyer the ball fell to Sam Lemon and he squeezed it home at the back post. The Anvils now had their tails up and looked the more likely until a disastrous cross field pass at the back was easily intercepted and Dean Brown doubled his account. The visitors refused to buckle and were definitely in the ascendant and pushing for an equaliser when after 76 minutes the second huge moment of controversy ended the game as a meaningful context. Jake Le Grange lobbed keeper Seb Bos
and it looked as if the ball would nestle in the net. However, it came back off the left hand upright and Bos appeared to have prevented it from crossing the line. The referee initially hesitated and then on the advice of the assistant, who was closer to the half way line than the goal line, awarded the goal. The reality was that neither of the officials were in a position to be sure the ball had crossed the line. To add insult to injury Bos was cautioned for his impassioned protest. On this occasion he seemed to have right on his side. The home side were impressive throughout and their work rate and desire to play good football was creditable, none more so that Cameron Wiltshire who, as usual, was involved in almost everything. On balance a 1-1 draw would have been a more equitable result.
Crawley Down Gatwick: Seb Bos
, Billy Wraight
, Sonny Barton
, Mike Spence
, Marc Pelling
, Sam Packham
, Sam Lemon (Ben Wilson), Michael Belli
, Nick Sullivan
), Johden de Meyer, Lee Thomas