Bowman on the Road: Heath have lofty aims, but who could begrudge them their big dreams

Goalscorers  Rob O'Toole, Callum Saunders and Freddie Barker. Picture by Colin Bowman
Goalscorers Rob O'Toole, Callum Saunders and Freddie Barker. Picture by Colin Bowman

Haywards Heath Football Club are pressing on with their ultimate goal of playing Ryman South football in 5 years time. Its a lofty aim but after yet another home victory last Monday who would begrudge them some big dreams.

The club are on the up both on and off the pitch and it was a massive pleasure being at their home, Hanbury Park, last Monday morning. I parked in their new parking facilities and walked around the edge past the new state of the art 3G training pitch. Then partook of a welcome pint in the newly refurbished club house. The whole match day experience got off to a great start as Southern Combined Division 1 match against Oakwood kicked off at 11am. It was 3rd v 4th.

Freddie Barker lets fly for the 2nd goal. Picture by Colin Bowman

Freddie Barker lets fly for the 2nd goal. Picture by Colin Bowman

An exciting match then unfolded, popular Town forward Rob O’toole slotting the first goal on 17 mins. Perhaps Heath should have gone on to settle the game in that 1st half but the visitors snatched a life line on 45 mins. Oakwood looked a different team early in the second half and were unlucky not to go ahead. Indeed, Heath were indebted to their keeper, Simon Lehkyj , who made a world class save direct from a free kick. On 60 mins Heath turned the game again when after great work by O,Toole on the left Freddie Barker unleashed an unstoppable drive. The visitors never gave in, which made for a very nervy but exciting ending to the match. But, late in the 2nd half Callum Saunders made sure of all three points with a poaches goal at the back stick.

It was probably a day that would have managers pulling their hair out but to fans it turned into one of those memorable games. Perhaps Hill thoroughly deserved three points if only for three excellent goals. The win takes Haywards Heath Fc into 2 place with three games in hand on league leaders Crawley Down Gatwick. After the match I had a quick word with current skipper Carl Dunk. He said: “that might of been a good match to watch for the fans but it was tough to play in. Oakwood worked hard and made it really tough for us. In the end we were delighted with the win as we weren’t at our full potential. We are looking for promotion to the County Premier division this season but are taking it one game at a time.”

There are all sorts of opportunities to get involved with this local sleeping giant. Why not make a visit to Hanbury Park on 9th January (3pm v Seaford FC) to get a flavour of what is going on. Good luck to manager Shaun Saunders, his back room staff, players and all HHTFC connections as they take on some massive mid winter league matches.

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Good Crowd at Hanbury Park. Picture by Colin Bowman

Good Crowd at Hanbury Park. Picture by Colin Bowman

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.

1 Make this website your homepage

2 Like our Facebook page at facebook.com/pages/Sport-Sussex

3 Follow us on Twitter @SportSussex

4 Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!