Heath Through in Sussex Senior Cup after Historic Night at Crawley Town FC
By Stuart Morgan
A Historic Night at the Broadfields Stadium saw Heath knock league two side Crawley Town out of the Sussex Senior Cup
Two reports to read through as Heath seal a historic win at Crawley Town FC
Mark Dunford of the Mid Sussex Times reports...........
Bostik South East side Haywards Heath Town stunned League Two Crawley Town by beating them 3-1 in the Sussex Senior Cup tonight. Crawley fielded a completely different XI to the side who lost 4-0 at the weekend but the starting XI did include everyone one of Saturday's substitutes, but after the first half display, they won't be troubling the players rested for a place in the starting line-up against Southend in the FA Cup on Saturday.
But the Heath players were as good as the Reds players were bad as they recorded a famous win.
It was Heath who put on the early pressure and good crosses from Alex Laing and Max Miller but neither found their intended target.
But on five minutes it was the Bostik South East side who took the lead. Kieran Rowe broke down the right and sent in a good cross. It looked an easy clearance for Germain Dua, but inexplicably the defender hit the ball into his own net. It was a quality finish, just a pit
The perfect start for Shaun Saunders' side. The manager said before the game this was their cup final and the players were showing that competing for every ball.
David Sesay was booked for a heavy challenge on Kane Louis on 12 minutes before they started to get on the front foot more and in quick succession David Sesay, Reece Grego-Cox and Brian Galach all had shots on goal, but none troubled keeper Anthony Ender.
But a quick breakaway saw Callum Saunders through and he managed to get a touch before Yusuf Mersin brought him down - as clearcut a penalty as you will see. Saunders took the spot kick and scored with ease.
Heath skipper Nathan Cooper was then before Crawley Town pulled one back. Grego-Cox fired the ball in and Heath failed to clear and Dominic Poleon had the easy task of scoring from less than a yard out.
Crawley created a couple of chances, the best falling to Grego-Cox, before Heath broke clear again after Morgan Bruce de Rouche gave the ball away and this time it was Miller who calmly slotted past Mersin to make it 3-1 with five minutes of the first half to go.
Reds came out in the second with the bit between their teeth and had two good chances within the first five minutes but Grego-Cox couldn't quite get on the end of Sesay's cross and Ender produced another good save to deny Poleon.
But the job got tougher when David Sesay was shown a second yellow card on 55 minutes. A minute later Heath had the ball in the net but Mersin was pushed and the goal was disallowed. That didn't stop Crawley from going forward and Tarryn Allarakhia sent a lovely ball across the face of goal but noone got the end of it.
The game then went through it's first quiet period as Heath were happy to sit back and defend and Crawley seemed to lack ideas in trying to break them down.
But when Heath attacked they looked dangerous and they nearly made it 4-1 when Laing's curling effort from the left caught Mersin off guard but he did well to back track and tip over the bar.
The last 10 minutes really did peter out - apart from a disallowed goal for Poleon - as Heath were happy to see the game out for a famous victory.
Crawley Town FC Reported after the match............
Reds went out of the Sussex Senior Cup after some calamitous defending was ruthlessly punished by Bostik League Haywards Heath at the Broadfield Stadium.
The visitors were 2-0 up after 30 minutes before Dominic Poleon pulled one back but Heath restored their two-goal advantage before the break and the game was effectively over for Crawley when David Sesay was sent off just before the hour mark for his second bookable offence. The hosts had a lot of the ball with ten men but rarely looked like getting back into the game.
Head Coach Gabriele Cioffi gave some of the youngsters in the squad an opportunity but only Reece Grego-Cox offered much of a threat while the two under-23s brought in - Morgan Bruce de Rouche and Germain Dua – struggled badly at times.
The tone for a frustrating night was set after seven minutes when Reds fell behind in comical fashion. Kieran Rowe’s cross should have been cut out but instead Dua’s attempt at a clearance flew spectacularly into the top corner.
Heath knocked the ball around nicely in the opening stages and although Reds gradually began to find their feet neither Sesay, who had been booked earlier for a late challenge, or Grego-Cox tested the keeper from outside the box.
And the hosts found themselves 2-0 down in the 20th minute when goalkeeper Yusuf Mersin brought down Callum Saunders after Dua, playing in central defence, was left hopelessly exposed by a ball down the side. Saunders stepped up to drive the penalty down the middle.
Reds got a route back into the game in the 30th minute after more comical defending at the other end. Heath got into a terrible tangle trying to clear Grego-Cox’s right-wing cross and Poleon accepted the chance to score from virtually on the line.
But the home fans in a crowd of 274 who hopes that the goal would spark Reds into life were soon disabused of that notion. This time it was De Rouche who gave the ball away in the 40th minute and Max Miller raced through a gaping hole in the home defence to make it 3-1.
Brian Galach was also booked for a foul towards the end of a first half which ended with the visitors comfortably and deservedly in charge.
Not much changed after the break and in the 56th minute Reds went down to ten men when Sesay was shown his second yellow card for a foul and sent off.
Poleon saw his shot blocked by Ender but it was a rare moment of alarm for Heath, who got men behind the ball when danger threatened while Reds continued to give possession away needlessly at times, much to the growing frustration of Crawley’s supporters.
The ten men pushed men forward in search of a way back but were left vulnerable on the break and Mersin saved Laing’s shot at full stretch and Miller cut inside only for the keeper to block his effort.
Reds enjoyed lots of possession in the closing stages and Poleon had the ball in the net in the 89th minute after Grego-Cox’s thunderbolt was parried by Elder, but the flag was up for offside. It summed up a dispiriting night.