Haywards Heath Town boss: 'This is not a two-horse race by any means'

Shaun Saunders
Shaun Saunders

Haywards Heath manager Shaun Saunders believes the league is no two horse race as rivals Horsham YMCA sit top of the league.

Heath sit six points adrift, with two games in hand, of rivals Horsham YMCA who took advantage of Heath dropping points at home as they came back from 2-0 down to draw with Crawley Down last Saturday.

Saunders said he was not impressed with his side’s performance but was happy with the end result and his side’s resilience to come back from almost certain defeat (report on page 70).

He said: “I was happy with the result in the end but not the performance. The performance wasn’t good enough but when you’re 2-0 down with 20 minutes to go and you take something out of the game you’re happy.

“It’s that business end of the season were you have to roll your sleeves up, even when we conceded a couple of sloppy goals they got their head down and didn’t lose hope.

“Crawley Down are a dogged side they’re tough to beat but we’ll dust ourselves down and go again.”

Despite Heath and YM being 10 and four points clear of third spot respectively, Saunders believes it is no two horse race and feels that even seventh-placed Saltdean United are considered title contenders.

He said: “Without a doubt you could drop down to as far as Saltdean they could still win it, it’s not a two horse race by any means, there are a lot of teams still in it.”

Saunders admits sitting at the top of the league brings pressure but it is something that you have to deal with.

“There are pressures of being top without a doubt but we was second or third this time last year and we finished strongly so we are there or thereabouts and they still have to come to us and we have a couple of games in hand.

“You have to deal with the pressures of being top but like I say either way there are a lot of games still to play” he said.

Saunders added: ‘It’s still in our hands so to speak and I’m more than happy with the way things are going.”

Heath are without a game this weekend, as are Horsham YM, leaving Saunders disappointed with the disruption.

He said: “We have a free weekend this weekend which is disappointing.

“wYou wanna play we dont want Saturday’s off, I would rather be playing without a doubt.”

Heath were due to play Eastbourne United on Tuesday but it was called off after a pitch inspection. Heath’s next match sees them travel to Newhaven on Saturday, February 24.