Brighton & Hove Albion cup tie an occasion to savour for Haywards Heath Town

Shaun Saunders wants Haywards Heath Town to give a good account of themselves and enjoy the occasion when Brighton & Hove Albion under-23s visit Hanbury Park in the Sussex Senior Cup second round this (Tuesday) evening.

Tuesday, 16th November 2021, 1:09 pm
Updated Tuesday, 16th November 2021, 1:12 pm
Action from Haywards Heath Town's Sussex Senior Cup clash with Brighton & Hove Albion under-23s in 2018. Picture by Grahame Lehkyj

It's a plum tie for the Blues, with a big gate expected for the visit of the young Seagulls.

Brighton & Hove Albion under-23s have lifted the Senior Cup twice in the last three years. Heath, meanwhile, last won the county's premier cup competition in 1958.

Albion's young guns sit fourth in Premier League 2 Division 1. They have taken 19 points from 11 games and are four points adrift of leaders Arsenal under-23s.

Blue boss Saunders was relishing the prospect of matching up against Brighton, and said his side will have to be at their very best to spring an upset.

He said: "It’s fair to say tonight’s game is certainly not one you would hand pick from a progression point of view but it’s one the chairman is happy with!

"For us, we will start as massive underdogs but some would say we have a free hit, so our plan is to give a good account of ourselves, and enjoy the occasion.

"Having said that, we all know that football is a funny old game and cup football has a long history of upsets.

"To achieve an upset, we know we will have to be at our very best but you never know, we are, for sure, certainly capable.

"From a very personal perspective, this competition holds special memories for me, as I won it with my previous club [Peacehaven & Telscombe], beating Bognor Regis Town in the final at the Amex [in 2014].

"That is one of my greatest and proudest achievements in my football career, for sure."

Haywards Heath will almost be at a full compliment for tonight's match. The only concerns are Jordy Ndozid and Josh Clack, who both picked up knocks in Saturday's 1-0 home defeat against Hythe Town.

Heath chairman Steve Isherwood has also paid tribute to tonight's match sponsors ahead of the game.

He said: "We are delighted to have Jaime [Wallden, director] and his team at Mansell McTaggart as our match sponsors along with the Middy as ball sponsors, both such iconic names throughout our community.

"We are also honoured to have the Town's Mayor, Cllr Howard Mundin, and his consort, Margaret Baker with us for the evening."