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First Team - Match centre

East Preston
Haywards Heath Town
Full time
M Simpson (14'), K Akehurst (44')
Sat 7 Apr 15:00 - SCFL - Premier Division Attendance 98

Heath's Promotion Charge Continues With Victory At East Preston

The Blues record their fifth league win in a row to remain top of the SCFL

By Peter Chapman

Haywards Heath Town kept up their promotion push with a well-earned victory at East Preston on a difficult playing surface at Lashmar to make it 8 games unbeaten in all competitions.

At the business end of the season, early goals are vitally important as opposition teams look to dig in and make things as difficult as possible. Heath almost got exactly what they were looking for in the fifth minute through Melford Simpson who had his shot well saved by the legs of East Preston goalkeeper Ben Purkis who rushed off his line to close down the angle.

Simpson then broke the deadlock for the visitors 10 minutes later as he produced a neat turn and finish from Karly Akehurst’s long throw to score from an acute angle which went across the goalkeeper and into the far corner. The goal was all the more impressive due to the fact he was being manhandled by an East Preston defender, but you just can’t tame a bear!

Jamie Weston went closest to adding to Heath's lead in the 40th minute when his deep cross from out on the left forced Purkis to turn the ball onto the crossbar when it was set to sneak into the top corner.

Karly Akehurst - playing in the number 10 role this afternoon - did double Heath’s lead on the stroke of half-time as Simpson’s headed ball through left him one on one with the goalkeeper whom he beat low to his left with a composed finish.

The second half was rather uneventful with chances at a premium as Heath looked to keep their two goal cushion; indeed it took until the 75th minute for a proper effort on goal of any danger as Karly Akehurst’s effort found the side netting. East Preston had a good chance from a free-kick in the final 10 minutes which forced Josh Heyburn into making a save from point blank range at the near post, but Heath held firm to record their fourth clean sheet in six games as their late-season resurgence continued with another three points heading back to Mid-Sussex.

Man Of The Match – Scott Chamberlain
Restored to midfield having filled in at right-back for a number of games, his extra bit of class and vision on a difficult pitch was pivotal in controlling the game for the Blues.

After the game, Heath Manager Shaun Saunders said: “I’m delighted with the win and a clean sheet as well, they’re fast becoming a habit, but it’s a good habit. I’m really happy to have come here and got the job done on a really difficult playing surface for both sides, we got the goals and went on to defend really well.

“We’ve walked in these shoes before (fighting for promotion) and we’re just taking it one game at a time, ticking them off, and I’ve got no doubt that we’re going to be in the mix at the end of it.

“We’ll prepare for the Arundel game in exactly the same way - show them complete respect. They’re fighting for points for completely different reasons, so we need to make sure that we’re at it to a man, and if we are, then I’m confident that we can get something out of it and add to our points tally.”

5 sports clubs amongst winners in the Jewson Building Better Communities competition.

Scott Chamberlain

Player of the Match

Scott Chamberlain

Key moments

14:00
Goal Melford Simpson scores for Haywards Heath Town
44:00
Goal Karly Akehurst scores for Haywards Heath Town

Highlights

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90:00 Clean Sheet Bonus
Jahmahl King keeps a clean sheet for Haywards Heath Town
90:00 Clean Sheet Bonus
Scott Chamberlain keeps a clean sheet for Haywards Heath Town
90:00 Clean Sheet Bonus
Jamie Weston keeps a clean sheet for Haywards Heath Town
90:00 Clean Sheet Bonus
Josh Spinks keeps a clean sheet for Haywards Heath Town
90:00 Clean Sheet Bonus
Nathan Cooper keeps a clean sheet for Haywards Heath Town
90:00 Clean Sheet Bonus
Josh Heyburn keeps a clean sheet for Haywards Heath Town
90:00 Player of the Match
Scott Chamberlain is awarded player of the match for Haywards Heath Town
83:00 Yellow Card
Jahmahl King is yellow carded for Haywards Heath Town
77:00 Sub On
Jahmahl King is substituted on for Haywards Heath Town
77:00 Sub Off
Alex Laing is substituted off for Haywards Heath Town
72:00 Yellow Card
Dan Huet is yellow carded for East Preston
70:00 Sub On
Jack Whitmore is substituted on for Haywards Heath Town
70:00 Sub Off
Joel Daly is substituted off for Haywards Heath Town
65:00 Sub On
George Hayward is substituted on for Haywards Heath Town
65:00 Sub Off
Max Miller is substituted off for Haywards Heath Town
44:00 Assist
Melford Simpson makes an assist for Haywards Heath Town
44:00 Goal 0 - 2
Karly Akehurst scores for Haywards Heath Town
14:00 Assist
Karly Akehurst makes an assist for Haywards Heath Town
14:00 Goal 0 - 1
Melford Simpson scores for Haywards Heath Town
Start of the game
Replay game

As it happened

  • East Preston
  • Haywards Heath Town
  • 0
  • Melford Simpson Goal 14:00'
  • Karly Akehurst Assist 14:00'
  • Karly Akehurst Goal 44:00'
  • Melford Simpson Assist 44:00'
  • Max Miller Sub Off 65:00'
  • George Hayward Sub On 65:00'
  • Joel Daly Sub Off 70:00'
  • Jack Whitmore Sub On 70:00'
  • Dan Huet Yellow Card 72:00'
  • Alex Laing Sub Off 77:00'
  • Jahmahl King Sub On 77:00'
  • Jahmahl King Yellow Card 83:00'

Team selection

Heyburn, Josh Heyburn, Josh
Daly, Joel Daly, Joel
Cooper, Nathan Cooper, Nathan
Laing, Alex Laing, Alex
Spinks, Josh Spinks, Josh
Weston, Jamie Weston, Jamie
Miller, Max Miller, Max
Chamberlain, Scott Chamberlain, Scott
Akehurst, Karly Akehurst, Karly
Simpson, Melford Simpson, Melford
Rouane , Naim Rouane , Naim
East Preston
  • 1. Ben Purkis
  • 2. Nathan DaCosta
  • 3. Dave Beaney
  • 4. Jarrad Gilbertson
  • 5. Tom Lyne
  • 6. Josh Etheringtin
  • 7. Jake Heryet
  • 8. Matt Searle
  • 9. Hayden Hunter
  • 10. Ryan Quirke
  • 11. Luke Brodie
  • 12. Josh Parazo
  • 13. James Lelliott
  • 14. George Laughlin
  • 15. Dan Huet
  • 16. Tom Crook

League round up

Other Premier Division results

2
2
Eastbourne Town
Hassocks
2
0
Horsham YMCA
1
2
Loxwood
Newhaven
3
0
Arundel

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League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. Haywards Heath Town 38 83
2. Three Bridges 38 82
3. Pagham 38 75
4. Horsham YMCA 38 71
5. Eastbourne Town 38 69
6. Chichester City 38 68
7. Peacehaven & Tels. 38 68

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