Painter - We have season-defining run of games coming up

Football, Southern Combination League Premier Division: Broadbridge Heath Manager Steve Painter . 11-04-16. Pic Steve Robards  SR1610300 SUS-161104-110300001

Football, Southern Combination League Premier Division: Broadbridge Heath Manager Steve Painter . 11-04-16. Pic Steve Robards SR1610300 SUS-161104-110300001

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Steve Painter says Broadbridge Heath have a season defining few weeks coming up after they advanced into the quarter-finals of the Peter Bentley Cup on Tuesday night.

A solitary goal from substitute Jahobi Maher saw The Bears edge out AFC Uckfield - a side they comfortably beat in the Premier Division three days earlier.

It sets up a last eight tie with local rivals Loxwood next month, but Painter has his eyes firmly on their home league clash with leaders Shoreham on Saturday and the next few weeks.

He said: “We have a run of games coming up now that could define where we finish. If we can continue our run now then I think we will be in amongst it. I am not looking at winning the league, but you can’t rule yourselves out when not even half the season has gone and you are in the top six.

“With the sides we have beaten this year, there is no reason we cannot finish in the top six. We need to keep going and it’ll be a big result Saturday that puts us amongst it. They have quality all over the park, but I’d like to think we will give them a good game. We have a lot of quality now as well and while I am not promising a win, we will be giving it a real go.”

Heath came up against an improved Uckfield side on Tuesday night, but had to make a number of enforced changes with Ross Swaine and Tim Martin injured and Piers McDermott, Dan Attwater and Rob Godfrey all unavailable.

In a tight game it was substitute Maher that broke the deadlock late on as he finished from Jamal Sultan’s assist with just three minutes remaining.

Painter added: “They were a better side than they were on Saturday. There was not a lot in the game. Michael Chester made a couple of good saves. A draw would have been a fair result in normal time, but in saying that we took our chance.

“Jahobi has done well in the reserve team so I brought him up into the team, put him on and he scored the winner. I am really pleased for the lad as he has done really well with the reserves and that’s what we are about.

“We have not conceded in three games now and that is a real positive. It’s no coincidence it’s since Michael Chester has come back into the team.”

Heath: Chester, Holvey, Howard, Maxwell, Robinson, Weller (Maher 58), Findlay, Moore (Sultan 40), Andrade, Sandell, Holmes (Cousins 80).