Haywards Heath Town progress in FA Trophy after assured victory
Haywards Heath booked their place in the second qualifying round of the FA Trophy thanks to an assured display over Aylesbury United last Saturday.
The Blues took the lead after Henry Watson converted Ryan Warwick’s corner, and the lead doubled soon after thanks to Nathan Cooper’s header from another Haywards Heath corner.
The match was sealed with a late individual goal from Warwick, despite Aylesbury’s David Manu pulling one back from the penalty spot with the last kick of the game.
It was a dominant start from the Blues, scoring with their first corner of the game when Warwick picked out Watson unmarked at the near post, who found the net with a volley.
Shortly after, Haywards Heath nearly had a stunning second, when a free-kick far from the Ducks’ goal was hammered onto the top of the crossbar by Cooper. It was Cooper again who was unlucky not to score with another spectacular effort.
He picked up the ball wide in midfield, before trying to catch Aylesbury keeper Jack Hopwood out, with an effort heading for the top corner, but Hopwood adjusted well to just tip the ball past the post.
The Blues grabbed a deserved second goal from another corner, as Nico Cotton played a short corner with Byron Napper, before spinning an inviting cross into the box. Cooper got in front of his man and steered his header into the bottom corner to double Heath’s lead.
Heath were still on top and could have had a third when Cotton showed great skill to ghost past two Aylesbury defenders and into the box, but he could only slice his shot wide.
The second half was more even and less eventful, but it was still Haywards Heath who were more resourceful in possession, and they wrapped up the game late on when Warwick intercepted a pass near the Ducks’ goal and darted into the penalty area, before beating the defender and rifling home the third goal of the match for the Blues.
It was the Ducks who would score the last goal of the game after Manu was brought down in the box, and it was he who stepped up to fire his penalty down the middle.