Haywards Heath Town crash out of the FA Cup

Shaun Saunders
Shaun Saunders

Haywards Heath Town's season got off to the worst possible start with defeat at home to Lancing in the extra preliminary round of the Emirates FA Cup.

Lancing took the lead inside the first 90 seconds when Charlie Pitcher converted a penalty after Heath defender Josh Spinks brought down Matt Daniel.

Pitcher, along with Jack Langford had several good chances to double the visitor's lead but couldn't make them count.

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At the other end, Heath were restricted to bits and pieces with the best chance to equalise coming just before the end of the half with Lewis Finney failing to get his head on a cross from a yard out.

The second half saw Heath dominate the early stages but they still couldn't create anything meaningful. The Lancers stayed disciplined and were never really troubled apart from a few mad scrambles in the goalmouth.

With Heath showing more urgency late on, Lancing were always going to have a chance to hit on the counter, and so it proved to be as Jack Langford was sent clear in stoppage time to score neatly past Josh Heyburn in the Heath goal to seal a thoroughly deserved win for Lancing and a date away to Greenwich Borough in the next round.

The Blues make their bow in the Bostik League South East Division next weekend at home to VCD Athletic with Manager Shaun Saunders having plenty to do to ensure his players meet the standards required at the next level following this very disappointing display.