Haywards Heath Town shock Crawley Town in Senior Cup
Bostik South East side Haywards Heath Town stunned League Two Crawley Town by beating them 3-1 in the Sussex Senior Cup tonight.
Crawley fielded a completely different XI to the side who lost 4-0 at the weekend, but after the first half display, they won't be troubling the players rested for a place in the starting line-up against Southend in the FA Cup on Saturday.
But the Heath players were as good as the Reds players were bad as they recorded a famous win.
It was Heath who put on the early pressure and good crosses from Alex Laing and Max Miller but neither found their intended target.
But on five minutes it was the Bostik South East side who took the lead. Kieran Rowe broke down the right and sent in a good cross. It looked an easy clearance for Germain Dua, but inexplicably the defender hit the ball into his own net. It was a quality finish, just a pit
The perfect start for Shaun Saunders' side. The manager said before the game this was their cup final and the players were showing that competing for every ball.
David Sesay was booked for a heavy challenge on Kane Louis on 12 minutes before they started to get on the front foot more and in quick succession David Sesay, Reece Grego-Cox and Brian Galach all had shots on goal, but none troubled keeper Anthony Ender.
But a quick breakaway saw Callum Saunders through and he managed to get a touch before Yusuf Mersin brought him down - as clearcut a penalty as you will see. Saunders took the spot kick and scored with ease.
Heath skipper Nathan Cooper was then before Crawley Town pulled one back. Grego-Cox fired the ball in and Heath failed to clear and Dominic Poleon had the easy task of scoring from less than a yard out.
Crawley created a couple of chances, the best falling to Grego-Cox, before Heath broke clear again after Morgan Bruce de Rouche gave the ball away and this time it was Miller who calmly slotted past Mersin to make it 3-1 with five minutes of the first half to go.
Reds came out in the second with the bit between their teeth and had two good chances within the first five minutes but Grego-Cox couldn't quite get on the end of Sesay's cross and Ender produced another good save to deny Poleon.
But the job got tougher when David Sesay was shown a second yellow card on 55 minutes. A minute later Heath had the ball in the net but Mersin was pushed and the goal was disallowed. That didn't stop Crawley from going forward and Tarryn Allarakhia sent a lovely ball across the face of goal but noone got the end of it.
The game then went through it's first quiet period as Heath were happy to sit back and defend and Crawley seemed to lack ideas in trying to break them down.
But when Heath attacked they looked dangerous and they nearly made it 4-1 when Laing's curling effort from the left caught Mersin off guard but he did well to back track and tip over the bar.
The last 10 minutes really did peter out - apart from a disallowed goal for Poleon - as Heath were happy to see the game out for a famous victory.