Penalty shootout heartache for Heath in RUR Cup

Trevor McCreadie is congratulated on his goal. Picture by Grahame Lehkyj.
Trevor McCreadie is congratulated on his goal. Picture by Grahame Lehkyj.

Lancing, the SCFL's form team, came to Hanbury Stadium looking to take their good run into this RUR Charity Cup third round tie, writes Peter Chapman.

Heath were coming off the back of a disappointing 1-0 loss at Horsham YMCA at the weekend, their first defeat after recording seven wins in a row.

Jahmahl King tries the spectacular. Picture by Grahame Lehkyj

Jahmahl King tries the spectacular. Picture by Grahame Lehkyj

There's been a bit of needle between Heath and Lancing in recent meetings on and off the field - mainly due to players swapping between the two clubs - and this continued on Tuesday evening.

Heath took the lead in the 13th minute through a Trevor McCreadie penalty after he was bundled over by Lancing's David Marsh. The defender was fortunate to only receive a caution as he was the last man.

The game was then turned on its head in the space of three minutes without Lancing having a shot on target!

First, Scott Chamberlain headed the ball through his own net in the 37th minute to bring Lancing level at one a piece. Then former Heath winger Lewis Finney got the goal he so desperately wanted, but it took a wicked double deflection off both Chamberlain and Jahmahl King to loop over goalkeeper Simon Lehkyj. The visitors went in at the break with a 2-1 lead.

Max Miller equalised for the home side eight minutes into the second half as he slid in at the far post to put away Jamie Weston's brillant deep cross from out on the left.

Lancing were then awarded what looked to be a soft penalty, and it was that man Lewis Finney who stepped up to score from the spot in the 73rd minute to put Lancing back in the lead.

Heath weren't done yet though. Captain Tom Graves floated a ball to the edge of the area which was nodded on by Joel Daly to the feet of Callum Saunders who - making only his second substitute appearance of the season after a long injury layoff - scored in the 89th minute to take the game into extra time.

During the additional thirty minute period, all the best chances fell to Heath, and in particular Max Miller, but try as hard as they did, they just couldn't get the ball over the line. Lancing's Tom Watson was shown a straight red card for a bad tackle late in the second period.

We went on to the lottery of a penalty shoot-out, where surprisingly both Jamie Weston and Callum Saunders missed their spot kicks. Lancing goalkeeper Tyler D'Cruz scored the winning penalty past his opposite number to win it 4-3.

After the game, Heath Manager Shaun Saunders said: "I'm thoroughly disappointed to go out of the cup tonight. We again had enough chances to win it, but luck wasn't on our side after the own goal, a heavily deflected shot and a penalty against us. Then to go to the lottery of penalties, it just wasn't our night tonight!"

Heath's cup interests are not yet over however, as they are still in the Peter Bentley Challenge Cup, the Parfix Sussex Senior Cup and the Buildbase F.A Vase.

With back-to-back defeats, The Blues now need to pick themselves up, ready for their huge SCFL fixture at home to Chichester City this weekend.