All Square at The Saffrons
Melford Simpson scored his 3rd goal in 3 games since his return to Heath but it was only enough to earn a point in a close contest with Eastbourne Town
With both Heath and Town still in the hunt for promotion it was a game that neither could afford to lose yet a draw would have the team around them smiling.
In what is probably the closest title run in for years in the SCFL, seven teams still have a chance to grab one of the top two positions. Every side will have to face several matches against others in the hunt so many twists and turns are likely to happen through March and April.
Last night was a chance for the Heath players to try and get back on track after a poor showing at Newhaven and there a visible signs of a more determined Heath from the off, this however hit a setback on 2 minutes when Town threaded a ball through the center and Capon got to the ball before Josh Heyburn which left the referee no choice but to point the spot. Chris Cumming-Bart made no mistake from the spot sending the ball down the middle of the goal.
Town 1-0 Heath
The early setback saw Heath steadily recover, as they upped the work rate as they looked for a way back into the match. They were duly rewarded on 15 minutes when Max Miller worked really hard to force the town defence into an error, Kane Louis picked up the loose ball and his pin point pass found Melford Simpson perfectly and he slotted the ball into the corner.
Town 1-1 Heath
As the half wore on both sides settled into a stride and both had similar chances from distance that both keepers dealt with comfortably. With 38 minutes on the clock Heath got a let off as a long ball over the top released the Town front man but he stabbed his chance wide of the post.
The half ended all tied up at one-one and nothing much between the two sides.
The hosts started the second half well with a fine effort from distance testing Josh Heyburn in the Heath goal, Heath then had a good 10 minute spell and were unlucky not to go ahead for the first time in the game. On 51 minutes Max Miller found Kane Louis just inside the Town box, he cut inside and effort from 15 yards clipped the top of the crossbar and out for a goal kick.
Minutes later another flowing move from left to right saw Callum Saunders whip in a cross that Melford Simpson met but couldn’t keep the header down.
Heath made there only change of the night with Jack Langford returning from injury to replace Tom Graves and a shuffle in playing positions.
Within seven minutes of his introduction Jack Langford was next to rattle the frame of the Town goal, a Heath free kick in was headed back across goal by Melford Simpson which was just too far ahead of Kane Louis but Jack Langford reached and beat everyone but the Town post.
The game swung back in favour of the home side as they had their best spell of the match in which they saw two handball penalty appeals waved away by the referee Jacob Miles, Callum Saunders now in at the unfamiliar right back role made a vital block and the Josh Heyburn made the save of the match palming away an effort from the edge of the box that Josh Spinks cleared any follow up danger.
The hosts best move of the match came in the 72nd minute with a flowing move that ended with the goal gaping but a Heath player must have diverted it away as a corner was given.
The last 20 minutes saw plenty of corners but no real attempts on goal until the last minute when a town player connected too well and the ball flew safely over. The final chance of the game was in Heath’s favour as they broke quick releasing Jack Langford but his early decision to shoot with the keeper off his line couldn’t find the target.
Full Time - Eastbourne Town 1-1 Heath
It was a fair result in an evenly matched game; Heath would have been pleased to see Nathan Cooper return after a 9 week layoff through injury and partnered by Josh Spinks for his first game in 9 months after being away travelling. Another pleasing sight was the return of Jack Langford after picking up an injury against Crawley Down Gatwick a month ago.
Special mention to the referee who officiated the game brilliantly and the Eastbourne Town Ultra’s who provided a great atmosphere throughout the match and even waited for the Heath players to finish their warm down to clap them off long after the Eastbourne Town players were in the dressing room.
Heath Man of the Match – Scott Chamberlain – having to play out of position due to injuries and suspensions but doing brilliantly wherever required last night at both left and right back.
The whole team performance last night certainly showed the players had not given up and the work rate was first class but special mentions to Max Miller who had a brilliant first half and Callum Saunders who did a great job filling in at right back for the last 35 minutes of the match.