It was back to league action and Haywards Heath Town made an important statement after their cup exit in mid week.
Manager Shaun Saunders was still without Josh Spinks, Wade Eason and Ryan Warwick but welcomed Trevor McCreadie into the squad prior to the game. Both Callum Saunders and Kane Louis were named amongst the substitutes as they neared full fitness. The lin- up was James Shaw in goal, a back line the same as Tuesday with Bailie Rogers, Luc Doherty, Tom Graves and Nathan Cooper. The midfield saw Max Miller continue on the right and Jamie Weston on the left with George Hayward partner Karly Akehurst in the middle. Naim Rouane played a more advanced role alongside new signing Trevor McCreadie. On the bench with Callum and Kane was Lewis Finney and Alfie Rogers.
Heath started the game on the front foot and immediately forced a corner that from the delivery Tom Grave headed just wide.
Max Miller was giving the full back a torrid time and his pace saw him get beyond the defender several time before the deadlock was broken on 8 minutes,
A great run and cut in saw him pull the ball across the 6 yard box for new signing Trevor McCreadie to slide in and open his account in a Heath shirt.
Heath kept the pressure on their visitors and Trevor McCreadie went close on 12 minutes with his strike just missing the far post, Jamie Weston was next to test the resilience of the of the Worthing back line by his strike was well blocked.
Worthing were still trying to get forward and on 19 minutes they created their first chance which called Bailie Roger into action as he made a fine sliding block to protect James Shaw’s goal.
On 21 minute Nathen Cooper surged forwards and as the defence backed off he hit a low strike that needed to be well saved by the Worthing keeper.
The Heath pressure continued and the next goal never seemed far away, Max Miller was really unlucky when he cut in and hit a left foot curler from the edge of the box that beat the keeper but smashed against the post and away to safety.
Luc Doherty was next in on the act getting forward but after driving into the area could only drag his shot wide.
Heath then had a flurry of corners and on the 4th one the Worthing net bulged for the second time of the afternoon. Jamie Weston sent the corner in and it was Tom Graves who rose higest to head powerfully home on 30 minutes.
Worthing looked to respond with some pressure of their own but another blocked shot and a strike that cleared the bar was as close as they could get to James Shaw’s goal.
On 37 minutes Max Miller again force another corner but this time Jamie Weston’s delivery beat everyone, Naim Rouane was on hand to pick up the loose ball and chip it back into the box where Tom Graves doubled his tally for the afternoon with another fine header back across the goal into the far corner.
Worthing had another attempt at goal from distance but James Shaw gathered the ball comfortably. Heath quick movement and passing again created an opening but Max Millers frustrating afternoon continued as he well hit shot cannoned off the other post this time.
Heath were then forced into a 1st half sub with skipper Naim Rouane being forced off with a back injury and Alfie Rogers replaced him.
As the game entered injury time Heath had just enough time to wrap the game up in 45 minutes, Tom Graves played a great diagonal ball out to Max Miller and his run and cross was spot on for Trevor McCreadie to head home his second and Heath’s 4th from 6 yards out.
Heath made a half time substitution with Bailie Rogers being rested after a small knock in the first half and being replaced by Lewis Finney, this saw Jamie Weston drop into the back line so Finney could be more advanced.
After such a strong first half the break didn’t do Heath any favours as it took the sting out of the game, Heath were still creating but Worthing were working hard to shut down the supply.
On 54 minutes Max Miller could only fire over the bar, followed by Lewis Finney doing the same on the hour. The two wide men were having the most opportunities and Lewis Finney saw his strike on 62 minutes well saved.
It was Lewis Finney who added Heath’s 5th on 68 minutes after Jamie Weston found the wide man in the Worthing box and his when past 2 players before blasting past the keeper from close range.
On 73 minutes Trevor McCreadie went close to getting a hat-trick but his cross/shot missed the target and was too far in front of Alfie Rogers for him to be able to tap into an open net.
Worthing continued to try from distance but left James Shaw untroubled, Karly Akehurst also stood firm taking a fierce free kick straight in the face as he lined up in the wall.
Alfie Rogers couldn’t keep his header on target as the game entered the final 10 minutes, and on 86 minutes Worthing grabbed a good consolation goal with a well struck left foot strike that flew into the top corner leaving James Shaw standing.
The remaining 4 minutes plus injury time saw were seen out comfortably by Heath as they picked up another important 3 points and kept the pressure on leaders Shoreham at the top of the table.
Heath Man Of The Match – George Hayward, really starting to settle down in the middle and in a Heath shirt, dictated the game in the middle and forming a solid partnership with Karly Akehurst.
Afterwards manager Shaun Saunders said: “It was a great performance in the first half and we could have done without the half time break as we seemed to struggle getting going again the second half but the work was done in the 1st half and the important three points as we look to make Hanbury our fortress.”
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