Steyning Town 1, Haywards Heath Town 3: Watch video highlights as Shaun Saunders’ men win again

FA Vase Haywards Heath Town FC v Alton. Carl Dunk. Pic Steve Robards SR1525795 SUS-151031-211641001
FA Vase Haywards Heath Town FC v Alton. Carl Dunk. Pic Steve Robards SR1525795 SUS-151031-211641001

In difficult conditions at the Shooting Field, Heath were pleased to come away with a good 3 points after goals from Dunk, Turner and Wilkinson.

Heath made the trip to Steyning looking to keep pressure on the sides above them but manager was forced into making several changes due to availability of personnel.

Max Miller had to withdraw from the squad on Friday after stabbing himself in the leg at work, Mike Gardner was still absent due to work commitments, Rob O’Toole would not arrive until midway through the first half due to antenatal classes and Callum Saunders was away.

The pitch was in heavy condition so full credit to Steyning for getting the game to go ahead, with difficulty under foot for both sets of players it was no easier in the air as a strong wind went from right to left and as the 90 minutes unfolded it was certainly no game for the purists.

Heath started brightly enough but struggled to adapt to the conditions as they could not find and fluidity in their play and an early set back was only just around the corner.

On 6 minutes Steyning broke well and Heath called upon Simon Lehkyj for the first time as he was quickly out to save down low giving Steyning a corner, the resulting corner was not cleared fully and as the ball was put back into the box it his Andy Wilkinson on the arm and a penalty awarded.

Lee Garnham stepped up for Steyning and struck the ball down the middle as Heath keeper Simon Lehkyj dived to his left.

Heath did not change their play and continued to look to play at every opportunity, It was this drive that brought about the equaliser just 2 minutes later. Jamie Weston had drifted in field and ran at the heart of the Steyning defence before being fouled about 30 yard out.

Carl Dunk stepped up and struck a superb free kick low and around the wall beating Steyning keeper Ben Rose.

It was not long before Heath took the lead for the first time in the game, on 16 minutes Freddie Barker worked the ball well in the Steyning area before his cross shot was turned home from close range by Danny Turner.

The half ended with Heath’s noses in front but knew that a difficult half was likely as Steyning have proved against some top sides this season already.

Conditions got no easier in the second half and as the surface took more of a pounding tidy football became out of the question in certain areas.

On 54 minutes Heath won a free kick on the right whick Matt Geard whipped in, Josh Bryant rose highest and managed to bring the ball 8 yards out from goal, he squared the ball to Andy Wilkinson who fired home Heath’s third goal of the day and his first in a Heath shirt.

Just after the hour Rob O’Toole replaced Ryan Warwick and as Heath adjusted to a switch in formation Steyning carved out their best chance of the half.

They found some space around the Heath area but the angled strike flew safely wide.

Man of the Match – Carl Dunk, showed class on a difficult surface and a great strike to bring Heath level.

Afterwards Manager Shaun Saunders said: “I’m really pleased with the with the win and three points, Steyning were always going to be difficult and I think we adapted well to the conditions today.”

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