Heath triumph in Mid Sussex Boxing Day derby

Jamie Weston is surrounded by three defenders. Hassocks v Haywards Heath Town. Picture by Grahame Lehkyj
Jamie Weston is surrounded by three defenders. Hassocks v Haywards Heath Town. Picture by Grahame Lehkyj

Haywards Heath Town bounced back from consecutive defeats with a good 4-1 win over Hassocks despite being a goal down after two minutes.

Heath players were left shaking their heads when there hosts Hassocks took the lead within two minutes, Heath did not react to a short corner and as the ball was put into the Heath box several chances were not taken to clear the ball and Jordan Badger turned it into the back of the net.

The team celebrate Trevor McCreadie's second goal. Hassocks v Haywards Heath Town. Picture by Grahame Lehkyj

The team celebrate Trevor McCreadie's second goal. Hassocks v Haywards Heath Town. Picture by Grahame Lehkyj

Heath struggled to get any rhythm going in the opening 10 minutes and the hosts seemed good value for their lead with tidy Football although they failed to test Simon Lehkyj in the Heath goal.

On 22 minutes Callum Saunders sent in a free kick towards the Hassocks penalty spot, Alex Laing went over and the referee pointed to the spot signalling a clear push despite the Home protests. Trevor McCreadie stepped up and sent the keeper the wrong way.

The goal certainly gave Heath a lift as they started to search for the third goal of the game but some resilient defending with well timed blocks and a smart save from Arron Agate kept the score line level.

With the game firmly into time added on at the end of the half, some good work in the right saw Alex Laing cross deep and find Callum Saunders who headed back across goal and into the corner for a slender half time lead.

Callum Saunders' header beats the diving goalkeeper. Hassocks v Haywards Heath Town. Picture by Grahame Lehkyj

Callum Saunders' header beats the diving goalkeeper. Hassocks v Haywards Heath Town. Picture by Grahame Lehkyj

Heath certainly came out the brighter of the two sides in the second half, an early yellow card for Callum Saunders was one of only two shown in what was a well contested match but never over the top from either sets of players.

With 64 minutes played Karly Akehurst put a ball over the top and as the Hassocks defender Josh Tuch heistated just enough to let Heath striker Trevor McCreadie pounce and he made no mistake from 12 yards out finding the opposite corner with a good finish.

With clear daylight between the two sides Heath made a double substitution on 69 minutes, Alfie Rogers replaced Alex Laingand Jamie Weston was replaced by Adebola Sotoyinbo (Ollie) making his Heath debut after transferring from Eastbourne Utd prior to Christmas.

Simon Lehkyj was called into action with just less than 15 minutes remaining, the Hassocks striker latched onto a loose ball but the Heath number one was out quick to make a good save at the expense of a corner.

It was the debutante that had a hand in Heath's 4th of the morning and Trevor McCreadie's hat trick. After a good run Adebola Sotoyinbo threaded a good ball in to Trevor McCreadie and he finished well in tho the opposite corner after getting to the ball ahead of the Hassocks keeper.

Callum Saunders then gave way for Max Miller to return to action after a substantial lay of through injury.

Heath then managed the game on to 90 minutes with nothing clear cut for either side that meant the vital 3 points were going back to Hanbury.

Man Of The Match - Trevor McCreadie - Picking up his 4th hat trick this season and 7th in his time at Heath

Afterwards manager Shaun Saunders said: "I was really please to get back to winning ways, it was a sloppy start from us but i'm really pleased how we reacted and took our goals today. We can now start to prepare for another tough test against Peacehaven on Saturday".

Next Match - Heath Vs Peacehaven - Saturday 30th December 2017 - 3pm KO