Slideshow: Heath have a rare off day as they lose to bogey side Pagham

Haywards Heath Town visited their bogey side Pagham and in a rare off day left with nothing.

Heath suffered defeat on the road at Nyetimber Lane on Saturday as Pagham once again proved to be a tough nut to crack for Shaun Saunders' men.

Action from Saturday by Roger Smith

Action from Saturday by Roger Smith

Having failed to defeat the Lions in three attempts last season, it was always going to be a tough ask for the Blues to come away with the points against a Pagham side who recorded a 5-2 win away at Newhaven Town in midweek.

Preparations for the game were dealt a double blow as top-scorer Trevor McCreadie was unavailable and Scott Chamberlain was forced to withdraw from the starting line-up as he suffered a back injury during the warm-up. Alex Laing came into the XI in place of McCreadie with Jamie Weston promoted from the bench in place of Chamberlain.

The first half was quite an even affair with Callum Saunders having Heath's best chance from a free-kick. Pagham had the more clear-cut chances but failed to break the deadlock, thanks in part to the good work of Lehkyj in the Heath goal.

In the second half, the hosts were looking more dangerous, especially on the break as striker Dan Simmonds used his pace to get in behind the Heath back line on numerous occasions.

Action from Saturday by Roger Smith

Action from Saturday by Roger Smith

The Lions took the lead in the 70th minute with a long ball from deep which saw Simmonds race past Cooper and Graves, rounding the on-rushing Lehkyj, dribbling the ball over the line to make it look oh so simple.

The second goal for Pagham came in the 84th minute as Simmonds intercepted Joel Daly's back pass to Simon Lehkyj. Heath's stopper had two attempts to try to dispossess the striker, but Simmonds' neat footwork presented himself with an empty net to calmly slot the ball home

Simmonds then wrapped up his hat-trick and all three points for the Lions just three minutes later as Pagham broke down the right when George Hayward was dispossessed on the half-way line. The ball was put into the box for Simmonds to slam home past the outstretched legs of Doherty and Daly.

The Blues can have no complaints as Pagham ended up as worthy winners on a day when too many of Heath's players under-performed, with Simmonds utterly clinical for the Lions.

Despite the loss, Heath remain top of the SCFL while Pagham climb up to fourth place as the SCFL promotion race gets even hotter.

Heath's next fixture is away to Littlehampton Town on Saturday 9th December with a 3pm kick-off.