Haywards Heath Town 4, Broadbridge Heath 0: Heath keep the pressure on leaders Shoreham

Shaun Saunders
Shaun Saunders

A fifth clean sheet in a row and four goals earns Heath another important three league points at Hanbury.

With Karly Akehurst completing his two game suspension manager Shaun Saunders kept with last week’s starting line-up at AFC Uckfield, James Shaw was selected in goal, in front of him were Nathan Cooper, Tom Graves, Joel Daly and Bailie Rogers. The Midfield saw Jamie Weston on the left with Callum Saunders on the right, George Hayward partnered skipper Naim Rouane in the middle. Leading the line were once again Kane Louis and Trevor McCreadie. This left a strong bench of Tiago Andrade, Max Miller, Josh Spinks and Luc Doherty.

Heath started fast and with just two minutes played Naim Rouane feed Bailie Rogers on the left, he whipped a ball in that bounced up in front of the defender and he could not control his header that fell towards Trevor McCreadie who turned his defender as the ball ran across him and Callum Saunders was arriving to drive the ball past the visitor’s keeper.

The game settled down but although Heath were controlling the possession clear cut chances were not as forth coming as the spectators would have hoped.

With the strong wind in Heath’s favour the ball would often travel further than needed but Callum Saunders almost latched onto a through ball beating the keeper to it but not being able to make proper contact from the angle.

Callum Saunders then tried from distance but the keeper held on well and Jamie Weston saw his free kick go over the bar from 25 yards.

Nathan Cooper tried his luck from 30 yards with Heath’s next dead ball but the keeper was equal to it getting down well to his left to smother the ball.

Mid way through the half the visitors should have drawn the game level, a quick break opened Heath up and the ball from left to right found the striker but he could not direct his effort on target.

The rest of the half saw dangerous crosses but nothing on the end of it as Heath hit half time just a goal up and the wind to contend with second half.

The second half started quicker than the first in terms of Heath fining the back of the net, George Hayward was fed the ball out on the right on 46 minutes and his early cross was perfect for Trevor McCreadie who seemed to hang in the air and direct the ball into the far corner with his head.

Jamie Weston kept on finding good pockets of space and his strike again registered a shot on target but failed to test the keeper.

With 54 minutes played you had to have some sympathy for the visitor’s keeper, the move started with Kane Louis dancing his way through and hitting the ball from the edge of the box that the keeper saved well but only pushed the ball into the path of Callum Saunders, his first time strike was again saved at point blank range only for the ball to fall to Trevor McCreadie and his follow up strike was once again stopped by the keeper but only into the path of Jamie Weston who made no mistake smashing into the roof of the net.

Max Miller replaced Callum Saunders on 56 minutes and almost had an immediate impact doing well on the right and crossing for Jamie Weston to meet but his looping header didn’t cause any problems for the Broadbridge Heath keeper.

Tiago Andrade replaced Trevor McCreadie on 60 minutes and just 4 minutes later the new striker had an assist to his name, he received a throw in on the goal line and managed to hook his cross which found Jamie Weston 15 yards out and he shaped well and volleyed the ball into the bottom left corner.

Heath made their final substitution on 65 minutes with Luc Doherty replacing the impressive Joel Daly at full back.

Broadbridge Heath were unlucky not to breach the Heath goal 68 minutes when the striker got up well but his angled header could only hit the top of the crossbar.

As the game entered the final ten minutes there were chances for both sides, the visitors dragged a shot wide never troubling James Shaw. At the other end a ball in from the right had to much pace on it for Max Miller to be able to control his header.

With time running out Heath showed their desire to keep a clean sheet as first Niam Rouane made a fine block then a combination of James Shaw and George Hayward managed to block out the second attempt.

In to injury time and George Hayward fired over from distance and with almost the last kick of the game Niam Rouane called the keeper into yet another great flying save as his powerful strike headed for the corner before the keeper’s intervention.

Afterwards manager Shaun Saunders said: “We put in a very good performance today and played really well, I was delighted with the clean sheet as always but also the goals at the other end. The lads all worked hard for each other and commanded their areas of the pitch.”

Next Match –Eastbourne Utd AFC – Saturday 4th March 3pm Kick Off @ The Oval