A Max Miller goal in the 70th minute was enough to see Heath through to the 2nd round of the FA Vase after beating visitors Alton Town 1-0
Heath went into this FA Vase game on the back of a 14 game winning run but as with all cup competitions league form often goes out of the window and it is all about who wants that win a little bit more.
Our visitors from the Wessex League sit just above mid table but after seeing off higher opposition Bracknell town in the last round Alton Town would be full of confidence.
With barely 20 seconds on the clock Alton left back showed that they were going to be no push overs as he sent a crunching tackle in on Rob O’Toole and rightly pick up a very early yellow card.
Both sides settled into the game as they tried to work each other out. It was Heath with the first opportunity on 11 minutes as Max Miller raced on to a through ball and his pace took him away from the Alton defender and he then rounded the keeper but the early goal was not to be as a last minute goal line clearance kept the scores level.
Ryan Warwick was next to put pressure on the Alton but first his shot from distance was comfortably saved and then on 27 minutes Max Miller’s header found the midfielder but his strike drifted just wide.
As the game swung from end to end it was the defences on top and it was Bailie Rogers Heath had to thank as some vital goal line defending kept the game level.
On 33 minutes Alton tested Simon Lehkyj from distance but it was dealt with well by the experienced stopper at the other Max Miller continued to work hard and off of Rob O’Toole as the pair looked for a Heath break through.
The second half began and both Heath and Alton kept probing but failed to find that final killer ball as both sides defended well. On 55 minutes Carl Dunk tried from distance but any repeat of the Horsham match were not to be as the ball drifted just wide to the keeper’s relief.Heath made their first change of the match with Matt Geard replacing Danny Turner and a shift in formation to keep Alton guessing.
On 61 minutes Ryan Warwick saw his strike from the edge of the box well saved and the follow up was well blocked as Alton dug in deep, just 2 minutes later Max Miller now playing wide laid the ball into Cark Dunk but once again Alton got bodies in the way to block.
The all important breakthrough came on 70 minutes, a Heath corner was sent in by Jamie Weston which Tom Graves met well and the Alton keeper pulled off a fine point blank save but Max Miller was there to pick up the pieces and smashed the ball into the back of the net from 5 yards out.
As Heath looked to ‘shut up shop’ Alton mustered one final chance in the 89th minute. The Alton number 7 who had been the visitors stand out player got in front of his marker at the near post but his header was straight into the side netting to Heath’s Relief.