Haywards Heath Town picked up three important points against a resolute Seaford side where patience was the key.
Heath were looking to bounce back from last week’s defeat against Midhurst and Easebourne but knew that today’s opponents Seaford Town held the potential ‘Banana Skin’.
Seaford who are bottom of County 2 picked up their first point of the season against promotion chasing Wick and Barnham last week and Heath did not want to become the next side to give up any points. It was clear to see from the start that Seaford had adopted a 10 man behind the ball strategy and would look to play on the break with their big lone man up front. Heath immediately switched formation from a 4-4-2 to a 3-5-2.
Chances throughout the half came and went as the congested middle of the park limited chances, Ben Cochrane went close for Heath bringing a good low down save from the Seaford Keeper early on, Seaford then had there best 2 chances of the game as Heath were adjusting to the re formation, first the striker made some space in the box but his shot went straight across the box and safely wide.
Next Ben Rose was tested from distance as the midfielder chanced his luck from 40 yards but Rose was just about quick enough to scramble backwards and tip the ball wide. Heath then took over the lions share of the game but found it increasingly difficult to get through the two banks that Seaford presented in front of them.
Tyrone Madhani was next to to try his luck and after a jink-ing run was unlucky to see his shot go just wide. With all the Seaford bodies getting into the box was becoming a premium.
Heath had two handball penalty appeals turned down before Branden Fugl saw his shot just go over the bar from 25 yards out.
Captain Lee Wragg and and Nathan Cooper were winning more battles in the middle than they were losing, Will Glenn has been progressing well over the past few weeks and his touch and control was helping Heath keep possession of the ball. The last chance of the half fell to Phil Gault, Joe Maskell whipped a ball in from the right but Gault’s effort sailed over the bar as he took the shot on the turn.
The second half began in the same vein as the first finished with Heath constantly probing but unable to find a way through the solid Seaford midfield and back line. 10 minutes into the half Heath were finally rewarded for their perseverance when Steve Spies found Phil Gault 25 yards from goal, he advanced 5 yards and struck the ball into the bottom corner past the despairing dive of the Seaford Keeper to give Heath the lead.
Any hope that this would encourage Seaford to break ranks and go looking for an equaliser soon disappeared as the stuck to their rigid shape and constantly frustrated Heath. Some heavy tackles went in from both sides with Heath’s Will Glenn picking up a yellow. The game continued to play out in the middle of the park with chances still at a premium. The closest Heath got was a diving header from Steve Spies that the Seaford keeper managed to get a foot to and clear the danger. Heath introduced both Ashley Elms and Lewis Westlake into the fold. Heath finally wrapped up the game with just two minute left on the clock. The midfield duo of Lee Wragg and Nathan Cooper combined with the latter firing past the advancing keeper to wrap up the victory for Heath.
Man Of The Match - Joe Maskell has been playing consistently well at Right Back the past few weeks and today was no exception, defended well when needed and good going forward too.