'There won't be a more popular and deserving goal scored all season' - watch Tom Graves' winner for Haywards Heath Town

Tom Graves scores the winner on his return to the side. Picture by Grahame Lehkyj
Tom Graves scores the winner on his return to the side. Picture by Grahame Lehkyj

For the second game in a row Haywards Heath Town left it late to take all three points and hold their place in the play off zone.

A blustery day at Hanbury made for difficult conditions as Heath looked to hold their playoff position and Herne Bay looked to make moves away from the relegation zone.

First early chance in the game fell to the visitors but the effort scuffed and opportunity easily gathered by Josh Heyburn, Heath responded through Andrew Dalhouse but he couldn't keep his effort down. With just five minutes on the clock Herne Bay really should have opened the scoring but from close range Jake Embery lifted the ball over the bar.

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The match flattened somewhat with Herne Bay good in possession but lacked the cutting edge in the final third like wise Heath were also kept from getting within shooting range with some good defending. Unfortunately Luke Robinson fell awkwardly stretching for a ball and had to be replced by the returning Tom Graves.

With 33 minutes played Sean Roddy struck a great freekick that keeper Simon Overland tipped round the post for the expense of a corner. Heyburn was the next keeper called into action as a great effort from distance need a superb tip over.

On 40 minutes Herne Bay opened the scoring with a free flowing move was well finished by Thomas Carlton.

If it was Herne Bay first half then the second half belonged to Heath as they looked for a way back into the game, Byron Napper slipped in Trevor McCreadie early on but the keeper was alert and out quickly to make a good save.

Heath really upped the pressure as Nather Cooper headed over from a Callum Saunders corner, then Alex Laing couldn't control his snap shot before Danny Rumbol made a timely block also preventing Andy Dalhouse from equalising.

Heaths attempts continued with Sean Roddy firing straight at the keeper and good runs and crosses from both Alex Laingand Trevor McCreadie just couldn't find anyone on the end of them in the 6 yard box.

Melford Simpsons introduction to the match gave the visitors more things to think about and he was unlucky not to find the target minutes after coming on when he brought the ball down and spun and shot just off target,this was followed by a handball appeal that were waved away.

Heath finally broke down Herne Bay and it was Alex Laing who rose highest to head in from a Callum Saunders free kick with 20 minutes to play.

Heath continued with the pressure and Herne Bay looked to play on the break but both Nathan Cooper and Josh Spinks were excellent at preventing anything getting past but when Callum Saunders header hit the bar with 10 minutes remaining and an even bigger handball appeal than before that was again waved away it looked like the points would be shared.

Heath saw more efforts stopped as the keeper made a good reaction save as Callum Saunders turned Trevor McCreadies cross goal-wards and then the keeper got well at his near post to stop Alex Laing's near post effort.

It would be all three points to Heath as with just a minute of normal time remaining from the following corner substitute Tom Graves met Callum Saunders corner and planted his header into the back of the net to seal a Heath win.

The club tweeted after the game: "Heath picked up all three points this afternoon against Herne Bay thanks to this 89th minute winner from the returning @tomgraves82 . There won't be a more popular and deserving goal scored all season. #HaywardsHeath @IsthmianLeague #GoalOfTheDay"