Louis Double Sees Heath Pick Up All Three Points
By Stuart Morgan
Ten Man Heath got back to winning ways away at Sittingbourne but didn't have it all their own way
- Heath behind at the break
- Kane Louis equalizes with brilliant lob
- Karly Akehurst shown straight red
- Sublime volley from Kane Louis wins the game
Heath traveled to Sittingbourne looking for their first league win in 4 knowing that new faces after a change of manager would be another tough test for the the Heath players.
It was a first half that the hosts spurred on by their Danish visitors really tested Heath but for some poor finishing and so good defending and goalkeeping Heath could have been 3 down at the break.
The opening 15 minutes saw Heath struggle and the hosts keep knocking on the door, a fast break on 7 minutes needed a good block and then 2 minutes later Josh Heyburn was called into action for the first time as he did well to get down to the low driven shot from an angle and Sean Roddy was on hand to clear the loose ball. More attempts came and went as the hosts fired over then Heyburn had to deal with a difficult bounce in front of him.
Heath's work going forwards was getting into good areas but the final ball was always dealt with as they failed to test the keeper in the opening 45 minutes.
Sittingbourne however were showing that despite their current league placing they are more than capable of pulling away from it as they made yet more chances, with 22 minutes played some great work down the right saw some last ditch defending by Josh Spinks to deflect the ball over the bar. 5 minutes later an effort from the edge of the box was well held by Josh Heyburn.
With just over half an hour played Sittingbourne took a deserved lead, the ball was worked to the far post and left Lewis Chambers with a simple tap in.
Sittingbourne finished the half strong and could and should have added to their one goal, on 39 minutes a real let off for Heath as the Sittingbourne striker fired over from 6 yards, then a whipped ball in found the head of the arriving Sittingbourne player but his effort was off target much to the relief of the Heath faithful. The final chance of the half needed another good save from Josh Heyburn to make sure Heath went in at the break with a fighting chance to get something out of a match they had yet to get going in!
Half Time - Sittingbourne 1-0 Heath
One can only imagine what was said at half time but it certainly caused a reaction that woke Heath up and made a game of it second half, Heath registered their first attempt on goal just 2 minutes after the restart with Melford Simpson getting above his marker but his header was easily saved.
The Sittingbourne keeper was then called into action on 49 minutes as Callum Saunders ghosted past his man and his low effort needed a fine full length stop to prevent it going into the far corner.
With 52 minutes played Heath were handed a lifeline and Kane Louis pounced on a defensive mix up running clear and brilliantly lobbing the keeper from 15 yards to tie up the match.
The match suddenly started to become end to end with Sittingbourne thinking they had retaken the lead on 54 minutes only for it to be chalked off by the assistant for offside.
Talking point of the match was next as a heavy challenge from a Sittingbourne player saw the referee play advantage but as the ball went away from Karly Akehurst he flew into a 50/50 that saw the Sittingbourne player come off worse and earned Akehurst as straight red card.
Heath had to have a reshuffle as Andy Dalhouse made way for Luke Robinson so Byron Napper could play in a more advanced role.
Sittingbourne were starting to show signs of frustration as their number 9 blasted over from a tight angle, with 63 minutes played Alex Laing spotted an opportunity from the half way line as he took a quick free kick needed the keeper to back peddle quickly and push the ball over the bar just before it dipped under the crossbar.
The resulting corner found Josh Spinks but so did a vital touch from the keeper as Heath won another corner. With 15 minutes remaining it certainly didn't look like Heath day when a corner in from Callum Saunders found its way to Nathan Cooper who brought the ball under control and poked it goalwards, the keeper could only watch as it came off the inside of the post and the get hacked to safety by the covering defender.
As legs tired Sittingbourne looked to make their extra man pay as they again turned the match on Heath, an effort from distance lacked power that Josh Heyburn dealt with easily then a chance that the fans behind the goal couldn't believe went past the post. Heyburn was again called into action from the resulting corner but he held on well.
It wasn't just Heyburn stopping the ball as on 82 minutes a great last second sliding block from Josh Spinks prevent another goal bound effort.
Byron Napper went close to giving Heath the lead for the first time in the match on 83 minutes as he met a great ball in from Sean Roddy but his header drifted just past the far post.
Sittingbourne saw a free kick charged down and the follow up blasted wide just before the sucker punch of the day.
With the match just 2 minutes away from injury time Heath won a corner, normally you would expect an away team playing with 10 men to try and keep the ball and see out for a valuable point but Heath rolled the dice and the initial ball in was cleared to about 25 yards out and Kane Louis hit a brilliant volley that went through the crowd and into the far corner away from the dive of the keeper.
Heath managed to see out the 5 additional minutes for a valuable 3 points on the road.
Full Time - Sittingbourne 1-2 Heath
MOM - Awarded to both Josh Spinks for some brilliant defending and Kane Louis for two brilliant finishes
More photos of today's match can be found by visiting Grahame Lehkyj's Flikr site by clicking HERE