Magpies make it five straight wins by beating Broadbridge Heath

Loxwood FC. Byron Napper.  09-16. Pic Steve Robards SR1627623 SUS-160924-130622001
Loxwood FC. Byron Napper. 09-16. Pic Steve Robards SR1627623 SUS-160924-130622001

Loxwood made it five wins on the bounce as they edged out Broadbridge Heath in a derby clash at Plaistow Road on Tuesday night.

Recent Loxwood signing Tiago Andrade opened the scoring against his old side on six minutes, before Marlon Maxwell levelled things up for Heath ten minutes later.

Byron Napper’s goal just past the hour mark then handed the Magpies the point as they opened up a four-point gap ahead of Heath, who are a place below them in eighth in the Premier Division.

Loxwood boss Dave Cocoracchio said: “It was a typical derby game, but we wanted the boys to focus on the football we have been playing and follow up against our Saturday performance.

“We played some fantastic football after scoring early through Tiago Andrade and we were dominant, but did not make hay when the sun was shining.

“We were dominant in possession and played some quality football, the only disappointing thing was that we did not get more goals, but it was a totally deserved three points.”

Heath made eight changes to the team that started against Pagham on Saturday including the return of goalkeeper Michael Chester, but the hosts led early as Andrade went through to net against his former side.

Seven minutes later, Jahobi Maher played a crossfield ball into the path of Shaun Findlay, but the Heath midfielder was denied by the home goalkeeper Dave Carruthers.

Napper came close to adding a second for the hosts when he volleyed against the underside of the bar after a great move and Tom Frankland had a 20-yard effort saved.

On 16 minutes, the Bears were level as Maher crossed for Maxwell, who headed into the top corner.

In the second half, Carruthers saved strikes from Jamal Sultan and Maher, while Jamie Liddell’s 25-yarder crashed against the underside of the bar.

On the counter-attack, Napper then received the ball on the edge of the box and fired past Michael Chester.

Heath continued to push forward for the equaliser and Maher got on the end of a Heath free kick but again shot straight at Carruthers.

At the other end, Michael Wood headed a cross over the bar and late on, Heath were denied by Carruthers when he saved a Maher shot.

Cocoracchio added: “When I took over I did not want the season to peter out. I keep reading we have nothing to play for, but we know what we are playing for.

“We have set strong objectives to build on and take into next season to make sure we are in a good position and we are hitting those objectives.”

Loxwood travel to Haywards Heath on Saturday, while Broadbridge Heath welcome Hassocks.

Loxwood: Carruthers, Scally, Colbran, Warren, Williams, Frankland, Gritt, Moore, Napper, Wood (Bachelor 76), Andrade (Daniel 90).

Broadbridge Heath: MChester, Clark, Robinson, S.Chester, Attwater, Maxwell (Jo Maher 75), Weller, Findlay, Sultan (Nash 70), Ja Maher, Liddell (Sim).