Peter Bentley Challenge Cup final: Akehurst brace sees Heath complete league and cup double

Haywards Heath Town completed the league and cup double after a convincing 4-0 Peter Bentley Challenge Cup final win against Horsham YMCA.

A brace from Karly Akehurst and a penalties from Callum Saunders and Max Miller gave Heath the win and capped a brilliant season for Shaun Saunders' men.

Heath with both trophies after the game

Heath with both trophies after the game

Heath were looking to complete the league and cup double after securing the SCFL Premier title last week, while YM were looking to salvage something from a disappointing end to the season.

Any thoughts it might be a slow start in the searing heat were soon put the bed - mainly by Akehurst. The midfielder was booked inside two minutes for a very heavy challenge before he opened the scoring in the fourth minute.

It was a well-worked goal, Melford Simpson won a header and the ball fell nicely to Kane Louis, who in turn lifted the ball over to Akehurst, who volleyed home past Aaron Jeal in the YM goal.

YM had a chance to equalise after Sam Schaaf broke down the right and his ball across found Dave Brown but his goal bound shot was blocked.

But the lead was doubled on 13 minutes from the penalty spot. Joel Daly broke into the box and he was brought down by Tom Gilbert. Callum Saunders slotted home the penalty.

The game settled after that with both sides having chances but an injury to YM's Dean Carden saw him replaced by Charlie Cooke.

Heath thought they had extended their lead on 36 minutes, but Saunders strike was disallowed for offside. Simpson did well to muscle his way through to set up Saunders but delayed the pass too long.

Saunders was then through again but his half volley from 20 yards flew over the bar. But Heath eventually did get their third just before half-time.

Simpson again held the ball up well and he set up Akehurst, who slotted home past Jeal.

The second half started off at a slow pace with Haywards Heath controlling proceedings. Saunders thought he had a good claim for a penalty but referee Bradley turned down the appeals.

YM had calls for their own spot kick a minute later when Phil Johnson went down, but this time the referee saw it as a dive and Johnson was booked.

Tony Garrod had a great chance to pull a goal back on 56 minutes after a superb ball from Callum Donaghy but the striker couldn't get enough on the ball to trouble Josh Heyburn.

After a drinks break which saw Daly replaced by Tom Graves, YM went on the attack again and after a a scramble which saw Garrod have a shot blocked and YM had appeals for another penalty, Luke Gedling fired wide.

The heat got to Donaghy and Simpson - who had a great battle all game - when they clashed and the referee had to calm the pair down.

After the game got a little more action-packed as on 63 minutes Heath had a chance to make it 4-0 from the penalty spot after Jeal brought down Saunders. Akehurst took over as penalty taker to try and claim his hat-trick, but his spot kick crashed against the cross bar and YM managed to clear.

Akehurst and Max Miller then had chances after a a bit of pinball in the box, but YM somehow kept it at 3-0.

YM kept finding but they could not find a way past the solid Heath defence. And when they did penetrate it in the last minute, Johnson fired wide of Heyburn's goal.

The scoring was finished off when Heath were awarded another penalty. Miller's shot was partially saved by Jeal before Cooke stopped it on the line with his hand. The referee had no choice but to send Jeal off. Miller took the penalty himself and scored.

It was a very professional performance from Heath as they cruised to the league and cup double.

Team line-ups - see embedded tweet

Barber: We'll look to strengthen again from where we are

Ryan feels Brighton can be a Premier League club for years to come

Sussex bowlers fight back and Middlesex clash is well poised