Heath Left Empty Handed at Gorings Mead
Frustrating day for Heath as they were punished at Horsham YMCA by a single goal and an inspired host keeper.
Manager Shaun Saunders had a full squad to select from with the exception of the injured Joe Dryer and it was an unchanged line up from the previous week. Josh Heyburn started in goal, Skipper Tom Graves, was joined in the back line by Luc Doherty, Bailie Rogers and Nathan Cooper. Max Miller was on the right and Jamie Weston continued on the left. Karly Akehurst and Scott Chamberlain held the middle. Leading the line was Trevor McCreadie with George Hayward supporting him. Heath’s bench included Joel Daly, Alfie Rogers, Omar Bukleb and Jack Whitmore and making his return to the squad was Callum Saunders.
The first thirty minutes of the match really struggled to inspire Heath controlled possession well but couldn’t break down a well drilled back line of Horsham YMCA, both sides were guilty of over hitting long balls and play on the ground was slow with both sets of players losing their footing more than once.
On the half hour we saw some more goal mouth action but a half chance header from Nathan Cooper drifted wide when he connected with Jamie Weston’s corner. Minutes later Trevor McCreadie finally shook his marker off but the finish was off target as he dragged it wide of the far post.
Karly Akehurst then called the hosts keeper Aaron Jeal into the first save of the match on 35 minutes as his effort from the edge of the box headed towards the bottom corner but the keeper was down well to save.
Heath’s pressure continued and when the ball landed at Nathan Coopers feet from a corner on 36 minutes his strike beat Jeal but not the covering defender who put his head in the way to head off the line, the loose ball fell to Trevor McCreadie who set up Jamie Weston and his first strike was blocked before coming back to him and the follow up strike cleared the bar.
With half time approaching Trevor McCreadie was denied from close range as he got up well to head towards goal but with the keeper beaten the ball was hacked off the line.
Half Time Horsham YMCA 0-0 Heath
The second half saw Heath come out of the dressing room with far more vigour than they started the first half, passing was slicker and the movement better, with 49 minutes played it was Scott Chamberlain who brought the best out of Jeal in the hosts goal as his strike from distance needed a good tip over.
Horsham YM were playing quick counter attack football and on a swift break Nathan Cooper brought down Phil Johnson and received the first yellow card of the match.
With 70 minutes played it was starting to look like it wasn’t going to be Heath’s day as George Hayward broke quickly down field and his strikes towards the far corner again brought a fine save from the busy keeper as the ball kicked up off the surface.
On 75 minutes a Heath corner was cleared and in trying to win the ball back in the Horsham YMCA half Heath conceded a free kick. The kick was taken and put into the Heath final third, the midfield runner continued his run and was found by a smart through ball, the ball in was inch perfect across the 6 yard box and beat Nathan Cooper who looked to clear arriving at Phil Johnson’s feet for him to slide in.
Horsham YMCA 1-0 Heath
Having scored with their first effort of the game two minutes later the hosts fashioned another chance but Josh Heyburn was equal to it and gathered the ball down low.
Heath went in search of an equaliser and Karly Akehurst went close on 78 minutes with a well hit strike that only just cleared the bar.
Heath looked to introduce some fresh legs as double substitution was made, Alfie Rogers replaced George Hayward and it was a welcome return to the action for Callum Saunders as he replaced Max Miller.
It was Callum Saunders who almost had an immediate impact as with his first touch he got a good strike away that was blocked, as Heath recycled the ball out to Jamie Weston his whipped in cross was well met by Callum Saunders but again the keeper was equal to it pulling off a superb tip over from close range.
The final 5 normal minutes became open and again Horsham YMCA broke at pace but the final strike was dragged wide, up the other end a surging run by Luc Doherty was produced a diving save that the keeper held on to well.
The final chance of the match fell to Heath skipper Tom Graves but his acrobatic effort 6 yards out didn’t really connect and the keeper made an easy save a minute into injury time.
Horsham YMCA were able to see out the remaining 5 minutes of the game and secure all three points.
Full Time Horsham YMCA 1-0 Heath
Man of the Match – Difficult choice on a frustrating day but awarded to Max Miller who grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck early in the second half and looked Heath’s best outlet.
Afterwards manager Shaun Saunders said “I’m obviously disappointed to lose, we certainly weren’t at our best and free flowing, Horsham managed the game well but our possession and chances should have brought us more than it did. It is a good wake up call to all the players that we have to set up and work hard in every game as no game is a given at the level and we took to long to really get started today. We will look to finish a long October well on Tuesday night at Hanbury”.
Photos of today’s game by Grahame Lehkyj can be viewed on his Flickr site by clicking HERE
Next Match –Lancing FC – Tuesday 31st October 7:45pm Kick Off – RUR Charity Cup Round 3