Heath below par but take all three points at Mill Road
A revitalised Arundel side pushed Heath all the way for the points today but Heath stuck to the task and came away top of the table.
Manager Shaun Saunders was still without Max Miller and Scott Chamberlain added to the absentees was Simon Lehkyj who was also away. Josh Heyburn returned between the sticks, it was a more familiar back line of Luc Doherty, Bailie Rogers, Jahmahl King and captain Tom Graves. The Midfield saw Joel Daly return to the starting eleven with Nathan Cooper and Karly Akehurst in the middle and Jamie Weston on the left. Up front were Trevor McCreadie and George Hayward. The bench was Alfie Rogers, Joe Dryer, Omar Bukleb, George Fenton and Jack Whitmore.
Both sides took a few minutes to settle down before the first chance came but Nathan Cooper couldn’t get his powerful strike on target after being set up by George Hayward.
The hosts looked very lively going forwards and in particular their front man Shane Brazil was keeping the Heath back line on their toes. Josh Heyburn was called into action twice in 2 minutes as he made two good saves low down as Arundel looked to open the scoring.
With the game going from end to end it was Heath who broke the deadlock on 12 minutes, Trevor McCreadie latched on to a ball and as he was closed down and not able to get a shot away he laid the ball off to Joel Daly who didn’t hesitate in pulling the trigger and sent the ball into the top corner.
Arundel 0-1 Heath
Arundel looked to respond but efforts from distance were off the mark and didn’t trouble Josh Heyburn in the Heath goal. At the other end Karly Akehurst’s low strike was narrowly wide as he looked to extend Heath’s lead.
George Haywards effort was off the mark on 18 minutes shortly before Arundel got them selves in a good forwards position but could only find the side netting.
Heath continued their assault on the hosts goal but Nathan Coopers header lacked the power required when getting on the end of a Jamie Weston free kick and when Trevor McCreadie did break the Arundel back line his strike from a tight angle was well saved at his near post by the Arundel shot stopper.
More efforts came and went with Karly Akehurst hitting the target but again not beating the keeper who held on well to the low strike.
With a little over 10 minutes remaining Arundel had a free kick just outside the Heath area in a central position but the strike was just over the bar, at the other end Trevor McCreadie had to improvise on 37 minutes but the half chance was just wide of the of the far post after hooking the ball over his own head!
The final clear chance of the half saw a free kick from the hosts well met by a firm header but again Josh Heyburn was equal to it and made a fine diving save to his left.
Half Time - Arundel 1-2 Heath
There was little action at the start of the second half of which Alfie Rogers replaced George Hayward on 51 minutes after the Heath player picked up a knock.
On 58 minutes the hosts were let back into the game though an uncharacteristic mistake from Josh Heyburn. The Heath number one didn’t hold a high ball that seemed to drop and hit his foot that in turn fell straight into the path of the lively number 10 Shane Brazil who tapped into the empty net.
Arundel 1-1 Heath
Heath seemed to go up a gear and following a couple of corners that were cleared and dangerous balls into the box which only found space they re-took the lead on 68 minutes. Alfie Rogers worked well down the right hand side of the box and his ball across found the perfectly placed Jamie Weston who made no mistake stroking the ball past the recovering keeper.
Arundel 1-2 Heath
A great solo effort on 70 minutes from Joel Daly would be his last action before being replaced by Joe Dryer. The young wide man weaved from out wide to central before striking the ball from the edge of the box that was met by an equally good diving save.
With 72 minutes played Karly Akehurst hit a good free kick that was only just wide of the keepers right hand post.
The final 20 minutes lacked any real goal mouth action as Heath were contained around the hosts box and the hosts themselves looked for quick counter attacks that both Tom Graves and Jahmahl King marshalled really well.
Deep into injury time there was one final chance for the hosts but the miss hit strike was going wide but found another Arundel player but he snatched at the shot and it went clearly over the bar.
Full Time - Arundel 1-2 Heath
Man of the Match – Jahmahl King – The big centre half played a key role on keeping the lively number 10 quiet, it was often no nonsense defending that really did limit Arundel’s goal threat in the second half.
Afterwards manager Shaun Saunders said “Today we weren’t at the level I expect but sometime it’s about the win and I will certainly take that today and we can all move on. We have another big test on Tuesday night and I will be expecting us to up the gears again”.
Next Match –Saltdean Utd FC– Tuesday 10th October 7:45pm Kick Off @Hanbury