Heath boss Saunders will not be drawn on promotion chat

Haywards Heath Town boss Shaun Saunders

Haywards Heath Town boss Shaun Saunders

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Haywards Heath Town boss Shaun Saunders will not be drawn on talk about promotion to the Ryman League just yet.

His side have had a great first four months on their return to the SCFL Premier Division, and moved into second place after beating Horsham YMCA 4-1 on Saturday.

The victory over YM, coupled with Pagham falling to a 4-2 defeat against AFC Uckfield Town, saw the Blues move into second place, eight points behind first-placed Shoreham.

Saunders, however, wouldn’t comment on the issue of promotion, preferring to talk of his sides need to be realistic in terms of expectations. He said: “We came into the league this year and I asked the club what their expectations were.

“They’ve got a five year plan, this is our second so we’re ahead of the game in that regard.

“The club wanted to make sure we were in this league next year and every game now I see it as a step closer to safety.

“I think it’s too early to make any bold statements about who’s going to win it and where you’re going to finish up. All I know is that the plan is to maintain our status in this league. We’re ahead of the game at the moment but things in football can change quickly. We won’t get carried away, we’ll take it one game at a time.”

Heath next face sixth-placed Loxwood in the league this Saturday, and Saunders is well aware of the threat that this Loxwood side poses. He said: “Mark (Beard) has got them playing really well and it’s another tough place to go.

“It’ll be a tough game but if we can come out with something, then we’ll be in a better position.”

Despite the scoreline against Horsham YMCA, the Blues found themselves a goal down inside 15 seconds, but rallied through two goals in the first half through Trevor McCreadie, and two more quickfire goals in the second half by Jamie Weston and Luc Doherty. Blues boss Shaun Saunders was impressed with the manner of the victory, especially after a hectic first two minutes including a Horsham YMCA goal, and a wasted opportunity for the home side.

He added: “All credit to the boys, they kept digging in and I know we will keep creating chances. If you are ever going to concede then 15 seconds is an OK time to concede. I’d rather it be a minute gone than with a minute left.

“They got off to a good start but we just went up a gear when we conceded. They don’t know when they’re beaten this lot, I’m very pleased for them.”

After coming from a goal down and hitting four, Saunders was also pleased with the way his side handled the defensive aspects if the game, limiting the opposition to speculative attempts from outside the box.

Speaking about his sides qualities, He said: “We worked really hard on our shape and being defensively tight.

“We know on the break we are going to be a threat for anyone so at the moment we seem to have the right balance between being tight at the back and quite lethal in front of goal.”

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