Broadbridge Heath took the bragging rights and place in the second round of the RUR Cup as they overcame Horsham YMCA on Tuesday night.
Goals from Marlon Maxwell, George Cousins and Richard Wetton after Mark Cave had levelled up Devon Fender’s opener gave the hosts a comfortable 4-1 win against an in-form YM.
Both sides showed a number of changes from the weekend and there was little to choose between the sides for the first quarter. Then Heath began to get on top and after a few half chances Devon Fender opened the scoring finishing at the far post after a cross had eluded everybody else.
As is often the case, this was the signal for a more sustained period of attacking from the visitors and a disputed free kick was nodded down for former Bear Mark Cave to smash into the top corner giving Connor Evento, deputising for the suspended Kieron Thorp, no chance.
Play was again end to end and then with virtually the last kick of the half, Scott Weller’s corner was powered home at the far post by Marlon Maxwell to give the Bears a half-time lead.
The second half began with a bang as Lee Carney, playing at centre back for the injured Glenn Woodburn and Martyn Flack, intercepted a pass, strode out of defence and put an inch-perfect ball through to George Cousins, who had stolen in behind the YM defence. The ex-Albion striker finished clinically to extend Heath’s lead.
With YM pushing forward to get back into the game, the pace of Fender, Max Howell and Richard Wetton was always going to provide a threat for Heath and it was Wetton who received a great cutback from new signing Tim Cook before blasting the ball into the bottom corner to seal an emphatic victory for Heath.
The performance was a great welcome back for manager Steve Painte,r who had returned from honeymoon earlier in the day. He said: “I believe I have the strongest squad the club has ever had and expect to maintain a consistently high level of performance over the coming weeks.
“With Richard Wetton and Tim Cook showing the quality they have, we are building a squad with far more options than they had last season.”
The one frustration at present is the absence of Heath favourite Andy Waddingham, who is still waiting for international clearance from the FA despite it being over a month since he was signed. Repeated requests have not been actioned by the FA and even the Sussex FA’s efforts appear to have been fruitless.
Heath: Evento, Clark, Maxwell, Carney, Robinson, Howard Bold, Weller (Jones), Wetton, Cousins (Cook), Howell, Fender. Subs: Sim, Flack.
Horsham YMCA: Jeal: Frankland, Harding, Gill, Evans, Nwachukwu, Moore, Cowan, Gedling, Cave, Bown. Subs: Dugdale, Hunter, Barbary, Carden, Brown.
n Billingshurst advanced into the third round of the competition as Jake Chadwick got the only goal in their 1-0 win away to Selsey.
n Storrington suffered a second-round exit as they went down 3-2 at home to Sidlesham. Kelvin Lucas and an own goal had hauled Swans level at half-time from 2-0 down, but Sids hit the winner early in the second half.