Heath Perform Smash and Grab in Herne Bay
By Stuart Morgan
Heath held onto a one goal half time lead as Herne Bay threw everything at them but couldn't get past Josh Heyburn
So many football cliche's could have been used to describe the match between Heath and Herne Bay but at the end of the day Heath will be pleased that they could return to Sussex with all three points after some great goal keeping from Josh Heyburn and some poor finishing from the hosts.
Having lost points at home to a 96th minute goal against Hythe and a goal that should have been a foul in the build up against Cray, Heath will feel that this was footballing payback although that is no consolation to Herne Bay who fought to get back in the game and will feel hard done by to get nothing.
The first half was very much dominated by Heath, there were flashes of good stuff from the hosts but certainly a a half where Heath were organised and comfortable throughout the side and the largest number of chances.
Alex Laing nearly caught the keeper out early on and he had to shift his feet quickly to tip the ball away, Herne Bay responded with a good move from left to right and Josh Heyburn was called into action for the first time.
Heath then took control of the match and not long after Karly Akehurst went wide from distance Callum Saunders opened the scoring with 12 minutes on the clock. Max Miller fired a great low ball low across the box that Alex Laing just failed to connect with but the ball squirmed under the keepers hand,hit the post and Callum Saunders sliding in connected with his head to nod over the line from 1 yard out.
Herne Bay 0-1 Heath
Chances slimmed as both defences looked to keep attacking efforts in check, with 25 played Andrew Dalhouse worked hard to make space for a shot but although on target it lacked power to trouble, 10 minutes later Alex Laing saw a good effort saved by the keepers feet but a square ball may have been the better option on this occasion with Max Miller and Callum Saunders both waiting fora possible tap in.
A flurry of action happened just before the halftime whistle and after Heath lost Kieran Rowe through a hamsting strain. A rare Josh Spinks effort sailed over the bar on 44 minutes, Herne Bay then headed over when well placed. Max Miller forced the Herne Bay number one into a smart stop on 45 minutes and when the resulting corner was only partially cleared Byron Napper whipped over a cross that found Alex Laing unmarked but he couldn't get his header on target.
Half Time - Herne Bay 0-1 Heath
Herne Bay had obviously had the half time rocket and they certainly responded in the second 45 minutes doing just about everything but hitting the back of the net.
Josh Heyburn made a good stop with his feet as Herne bay broke the offside trap on 48 minutes, 3 minutes later Josh Spinks went close for Heath but his effort was just wide of the far post after great work on the by line by Nathan Cooper. Josh Spinks was then back to his best blocking at the other end after Josh Heyburn had again made a save.
Karly Akehurst then saw a header easily held and at the other end Herne Bay fired across the face of goal. With an hour played Callum Saunders effort had no power from distance.
Herne Bay then had two great opportunities to draw the game level but first couldn't direct the free header on target and then Josh Heyburn again pulled off a good save.
With 65 minutes played Max Miller did great on the right and picked out Alex Laing at the far ost but the keeper was equal to it and turned it away for a corner.
With 20 minutes left to play it started to look like it wasn't going to be the hosts day, another header cleared the bar, followed by a header wide from a corner, again Josh Heyburn made a smart stop to his right to preserve his clean sheet.
Alex Laings effort on 76 minutes was a token Heath interaction that was wide of the mark as Herne Bay went straight down the other end and fired high over the bar when the striker should have got it on target.
With just 7 minutes remaining Josh Heyburn pulled off the save of the match flying across his goal and turning away an effort on target much to the dismay of the home supporters behind the goal.
Two more efforts late on for Herne Bay but both cleared the bar and Heath held on for another important 3 points on the road.
Full Time - Herne Bay 0-1 Heath
Man of the Match - Josh Heyburn - Pulling off some stunning saves week in week out but this week equal to everything that came his way.
Afterwards manager Shaun Saunders said " I was really disappointed with our display today but to travel all this way and take all 3 points is what will matter come the end of the season. We will be working hard all week and look to raise our performance next week when we entertain Phoenix Sports at Hanbury".