Heath Seal Title in Style
After mid-week twists and turns Heath entered the final game of the season leading the table by a single point but 3 previous matches this season have been close fought affairs with Chi and nothing could be taken for granted.
(some of the match report taken from Chi City FC Website)
The build-up of the game had been a strange one with plenty of banter making out the Chi striker Scott Jones had taken half the team on a stag weekend this was not of course true with only regular keeper Ant Ender missing from the match day squad.
For Heath a season on from last year’s disappointment it came down to one game and no matter the outcome at Three Bridges Vs Worthing Utd a win would finally put the SCFL Premier title in the hands of Heath. Heath brought a good fan base with them including Ex Heath Manager Howard Dunn who had made the 4hour trip from Cornwall with his wife to hopefully witness a memorable occasion.
The match itself had a bit of everything and a fine watch for most spectators with no doubt the obvious disappointment for Chi at the end.
There were chances at either end as the match settled down into a good game. Dan Hegarty did well to head away a nicely struck free-kick and Kieran Hartley rifled an effort narrowly over the bar from distance after a good move involving Dolcetti and Scott Jones.
Ellis Martin was booked for a nasty tackle on Alex Laing and Turnbull tipped away Callum Saunders' set-piece diving acrobatically to his left.
Heath opened the scoring on 11 minutes Melford Simpson using his strength and finding Alex Laing who’s snap shot found the bottom corner brilliantly beyond the dive of Turnbull.
Chi 0-1 Heath
Then on 14 minutes Alex Laing drew a foul from Hartley. The Chi full-back was given a yellow and an incensed assistant manager Graeme Gee was sent from the dugout by referee Ciaran Fidler.
These wouldn't be the last cards shown by Mr Fidler.
City's Italian midfielder went close before a huge slice of luck helped double Heath's lead when Ben Pashley cut out a through ball intended for Alex Laing only to inadvertently loop it over Turnbull with 26 minutes played.
Chi 0-2 Heath
Dolcetti dragged one wide on the half hour and then had another attempt blocked by keeper Josh Heyburn four minutes later and then an effort just clearing the crossbar as the ball flew narrowly over.
Melford Simpson, who had a real duel with Jack Lee all afternoon, got something on a cross in the 39th minute but the angle was tight and Turnbull made a comfortable save.
A super run from Kaleem Haitham opened up things down the right and Hartley fizzed a drive over.
Sixty seconds later Hartley was trudging off following a second yellow card and Chi were down to ten men for the fourth game in a row with Heath, for Hartley he we be glad to see the back of Heath after being sent off in 2 of the previous 3 matches before today.
Simpson was the first player in the book for Heath as it was one foul too many on 42 minutes.
Callum Saunders wasn't far away with a free-kick in the 43rd minute and then Hegarty somehow managed to divert a cross from Simpson for a corner.
This was whipped in by Jamie Weston and Nathan Cooper ghosted in to head the ball powerfully into the back of the net for a comfortable half time lead against the 10 men of Chi.
Half Time Chichester City 0-3 Heath
The ten men of the home side had a mountain to climb.
Melford Simpson and Callum Saunders missed a couple of golden opportunities just after the re-start – the second a free header when Saunders picked out Simpson but the header was wide. Lee for Chi then blocked another Alex Laing goal-bound effort.
Chi made a couple of substitutions with the cup final no doubt in mind, Rob Hutchings for Scott Jones and Ryan Peake for Ruben French.
Heath all but wrapped the game up on 59 minutes. Scott Chamberlain released Joel Daly and he made no mistake tucking the ball under Turnbull in the Chi goal.
Chi 0-4 Heath
Heath were now firmly in control of the match and made a double substitution with Kane Louis replacing Karly Akehurst and Jamie Cradock coming on for Jamie Weston, this double change was shortly followed by Heath’s final change with Max Miller coming on for goal scorer Joel Daly.
Turnbull did well to push a free-kick wide from Jamie Cradock and then Max Miller missed a golden chance when the ball was squared to him in the box, but Turnbull saved with his feet before Pashley headed the loose ball away.
Naim Rouane was next into the referees book and the resulting free kick was brilliantly curled into the bottom corner by Dolcetti on 74 minutes.
Chi 1-4 Heath
There was still time for more bookings for players from both teams – Hutchings, Lee and Peake for Chi and Cradock for Heath
Turnbull made a great stop to deny Laing a second goal. Then Max Miller went close with the outside of his boot after nice play by Kane Louis.
Max Miller then did get his goal in the 83rd minute, a swift counter-attack saw Alex Laing race clear before unselfishly squaring to Miller who had time on the ball to place under Turnbull.
Chi 1-5 Heath
Heath wrapped the game up from the spot after a surging run from Jamie Cradock saw him brought down, Kane Louis fired into the corner despite Turnbull getting something on it he couldn’t keep it out.
Full Time Chichester City 1-6 Heath
To compound the home side's misfortune Hutchings was sent off after the final whistle.
Heath then celebrated by lifting the SCFL title……………………………
Man of the Match – Great all round performance from the whole squad with both Alex Laing and Joel Daly really standing out with their desire and goals.
Manager and Player reactions will follow in the coming days.
Next Match Peter Bentley Cup Final – Monday 7th May Vs Horsham YMCA – 11am KO The Beacon – Hassocks FC