Haywards Heath 1
Haywards Heath manager Simon Corless was a reluctant absentee at Loxwood on Saturday but had virtually an open phone line as two late goals sent his side to a 3-1 defeat.
With both teams realistic promotion challengers, it was a key match and Corless said: “The lads were absolutely gutted, especially as Glenn (Furminger, assistant manager) and Pete (Ranson, coach) said it was probably the best we’ve played all season.
“That was a real bonus in itself considering we were without key players like Alex Bygraves (unavailable), Rick Peacock (suspended), Tom Rabbetts (unavailable) and Danny Mobsby (recovering from operation).”
Problems were compounded when cancellations on the trains meant that striker Eric Mvale was unable to make the journey down from London.
But Ben Bacon came in to make a highly promising debut after joining from Mid Sussex League club Cuckfield.
Mark Cave put the hosts ahead just before half time but when Mike Williamson equalised on 75 minutes it looked as if the visitors were on course to take something from the game.
But two goals in the last six minutes proved their undoing and left them feeling most hard done by.
Loxwood’s second goal came from a highly contentious penalty awarded by the linesman. Cave was the man who converted from the spot.
The third goal came four minutes into stoppage time and was scored by Dean Wright.
“By the time that third one went in it hardly mattered,”said Corless. “Obviously when you go behind late on you have to chase the game immediately.
“It was a disappointing result but there were more postives than negatives.”
Heath: Leach; Gomez, Fiest, Gardner, Gomez, Rouane, Tuckey, M Williamson, Wanstall, Ardley, Bacon.