Shoreham 1, Haywards Heath Town 3: Saunders' men triumph in big clash

Shaun Saunders

Shaun Saunders

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Haywards Heath Town moved back within two points of leaders Shoreham after winning 3-1 despite being reduced to 10 men midway through the second half.

For Heath it really was a must win game today after losing ground two weeks ago the five point gap needed reducing to give Heath a chance to catch leaders Shoreham, a draw or defeat would leave a five and eight point gap respectivley and mean Shoreham would need to lose twice in the final five games of the season having only lost three times to date.

Heath got off to the best possible start when Luc Doherty played the perfect ball for Trevor McCreadie to run on to and after holding off the defender and the keeper advancing he slotted the ball under him to give Heath a third minute lead.

Shoreham pressed hard but two top saves from Josh James ensured Heath entered the break with a slender lead as they did at Hanbury earlier in the season.

The Second half saw Shoreham up the pressure on Heath but a win was going to be made even harder as Nathan Cooper picked up a second yellow card with just under half an hour to go.

It was 10-man Heath who stunned the home crowd on 73 minutes when Jamie Weston's free kick from wide on the right evaded everyone and bounced into the back of the net.

Shoreham are not leading the way for no reason and the pressure on the Heath back line finally broke the visitors as a ball was only partly cleared and Joe Shelley smashed a volley through a crowd to raise the roof at Middle Road on 77 minutes.

Heath had to again weather a storm of Shoreham attacks with Tom Graves twice putting vital blocks to keep Heath ahead.

The game was wrapped up in the 87th minute when new signing Melford Simpson got onto a kick out from Heath man of the match Josh James and after holding off the defender and seeing the keeper advance the big man delacatly lobbed the ball up and over the keeper that he was unable to keep out when scrabbling backwards.

Heath saw out the seven minutes added on time to claim an important victory over leaders Shoreham who stay top and two points clear.