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First Team - Match centre

Cray Wanderers
Haywards Heath Town
J Taylor (43', 60')
Full time
K Akehurst (41'), C Saunders (58')
Sat 23 Mar 15:00 - The Bostik Football League - South East Division Attendance 318

Heath Take Credible Draw at League Leaders


Heath were twice pegged back at Cray Wanderers but left with a great point to keep them in nicely in the playoff zone

(Main image by Grahame Lehkyj)

With just seven matches remaining before today's match with champions elect Cray Wanderers the Heath side knew to keep pace with the surrounding playoff sides they must get something from the match against a side that has lost just twice this season.

Manager Shaun Saunders gave starts to new signings Cameron Tutt and Kenny Pogue

Heath Vs Cray Wanderers 23rd March 19 by Tony Sim
72 photos

The home side settled into the match and enjoyed early spells of pressure that saw an effort straight at Josh Heyburn on 2 minutes and then on 9 minutes the ball dragged across goal, the match settled down and for 15 minutes neither side threatened, although the hosts played the ball around they failed to find the right ball in the final third as Heath defended well.

Heath had their first chance of the match on 25 minutes but Trevor McCreadie's effort across goal didn't trouble Nick Blue in the Cray goal.

The best chance of the afternoon came on 32 minutes as Cray burst through the middle breaking the offside trap but Heyburn was as alert as ever quick off his line to save at the feet of the advancing striker.

Alex Laing's quick thinking on 40 minutes forced Nick Blue into action as his free kick from 40 yards need quick feet an a great tip over for just a corner.
It was from this corner that the scoring was opened, Callum Saunders sent the ball in and Melford Simpson met it perfectly but the ball crashed against the cross bar, Karly Akehurst reacted the quickest to head the ball in and give Heath the lead.

Frustratingly for Heath the lead was only held for two minutes and the hosts were back on level terms before the break. Melford Simpson conceded a free kick 30 yards out, the ball in was only partially cleared and the return ball in was brilliantly volleyed past Josh Heyburn by Joe Taylor.

Half Time - Cray Wanderers 1-1 Heath

The hosts started the second half with intent with two efforts in the first 4 minutes flying just over the bar, Heath looked to respond through Alex Laing but the attacking full back saw his effort from 20 yards take a deflection and loose its power.

With 52 minutes played Cray again went close as a corner in found Nelson Mitchell unmarked but his guided header flicked off the crossbar.

Heath had to put all hands to the pump as Cray looked to take the lead, Nathan Cooper made a fine block and then several low blocks to stop a goal bound effort on 57 minutes.

Against the run of play it was again Heath that took the lead, Callum Saunders received the ball and fed out to the right to Alex Laing, Saunders carried on his run and Laing's ball in was pin point for Saunders who headed in his 26th goal of the season giving Nick Blue no chance.

Just like the first half the lead was short lived and again just two minutes later the game was all square again, and effort on the hour from the edge of the box was well saved by Heyburn but the firm hand saw the ball drop back down into the six yard box and Joe Taylor was in the right place to stab the ball in.

Cray kept the pressure on as you would expect from the league leaders but the back line of Nathan Cooper, Josh Spinks, Alex Laing and Cameron Tutt, shielded by Byron Napper and Karly Akehurst was restricting the hosts from efforts from outside the box, when they did finally break that line Josh Heyburn was there to make a fine save as he did in the 65th minute.

With 78 minutes played Melford Simpson did well in the box but his powerful effort could only find the side netting from a tight angle

Heath continued to dig deep as the match entered the final 10 minutes, Heyburn again made a good save and the covering defender had to clear off the line with 6 minutes to play, then 2 minutes later Cray again broke through with a route one ball but Heyburn was quick off his line to close the attacker and his effort ended up over the bar.

Cray's final effort of the match came 3 minutes from time but again Heyburn stood in the way of 3 points making a fine stop with his feet.

It was Heath who really could have snatched all three points as the match entered the 90th minutes with Trevor McCreadie robbing the full back on the touch lineand just keeper Nick Blue to beat but his effort from the edge of the area went about and inch the wrong side of the post.

Full Time Cray Wanderers 2-2 Heath

Man of the Match - Josh Heyburn - Showed quality throughout against the best side in the league

Josh Heyburn

Player of the Match

Josh Heyburn

Key moments

Goal Karly Akehurst scores for Haywards Heath Town
Goal Joe Taylor scores for Cray Wanderers
Goal Callum Saunders scores for Haywards Heath Town
Goal Joe Taylor scores for Cray Wanderers

Videos and photos


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90:00 Yellow Card
Byron Napper is yellow carded for Haywards Heath Town
90:00 Sub Off
Kenny Pogue is substituted off for Haywards Heath Town
90:00 Sub On
Kieran Rowe is substituted on for Haywards Heath Town
85:00 Yellow Card
Mitchell Nelson is yellow carded for Cray Wanderers
79:00 Sub On
Jordan Clark is substituted on for Cray Wanderers
79:00 Sub Off
Jerome Fredricks is substituted off for Cray Wanderers
69:00 Sub On
Karl Dent is substituted on for Cray Wanderers
69:00 Sub Off
Freddie Parker is substituted off for Cray Wanderers
60:00 Goal 2 - 2
Joe Taylor scores for Cray Wanderers
58:00 Goal 1 - 2
Callum Saunders scores for Haywards Heath Town
58:00 Assist
Alex Laing makes an assist for Haywards Heath Town
43:00 Goal 1 - 1
Joe Taylor scores for Cray Wanderers
41:00 Goal 0 - 1
Karly Akehurst scores for Haywards Heath Town
41:00 Assist
Melford Simpson makes an assist for Haywards Heath Town
28:00 Yellow Card
Karly Akehurst is yellow carded for Haywards Heath Town
End of period
Player of the Match
Josh Heyburn is awarded player of the match for Haywards Heath Town
Start of the game
Replay game

As it happened

  • Cray Wanderers
  • Haywards Heath Town
  • 0
  • Karly Akehurst Yellow Card 28:00'
  • Karly Akehurst Goal 41:00'
  • Melford Simpson Assist 41:00'
  • Joe Taylor Goal 43:00'
  • Callum Saunders Goal 58:00'
  • Alex Laing Assist 58:00'
  • Joe Taylor Goal 60:00'
  • Freddie Parker Sub Off 69:00'
  • Karl Dent Sub On 69:00'
  • Jerome Fredricks Sub Off 79:00'
  • Jordan Clark Sub On 79:00'
  • Mitchell Nelson Yellow Card 85:00'
  • Byron Napper Yellow Card 90:00'
  • Kenny Pogue Sub Off 90:00'
  • Kieran Rowe Sub On 90:00'

Team selection

Heyburn, Josh Heyburn, Josh
Laing, Alex Laing, Alex
Cooper, Nathan Cooper, Nathan
McCreadie, Trevor McCreadie, Trevor
Spinks, Josh Spinks, Josh
Tutt, Cameron Tutt, Cameron
Saunders, Callum Saunders, Callum
Akehurst, Karly Akehurst, Karly
Pogue, Kenny Pogue, Kenny
Simpson, Melford Simpson, Melford
Napper, Byron Napper, Byron
Cray Wanderers
  • 1. Nick Blue
  • 2. Ben Mundele (18)
  • 3. Tom Carlse
  • 4. Jay Leader
  • 5. Mitchell Nelson
  • 6. Thomas Phipps
  • 7. Sean Roberts
  • 8. Freddie Parker
  • 9. Joe Taylor
  • 10. Sammy Dadson
  • 11. Jerome Fredricks
  • 12. Jordan Clark
  • 13. . .
  • 14. Archie Johnson
  • 15. Karl Dent
  • 16. Lee Lewis
  • 17. Joe Vines

League round up

Other South East Division results

Ashford United
Sevenoaks Town
Hythe Town
Hastings United


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League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. Cray Wanderers 36 82
2. Horsham 36 74
3. Hastings United 36 70
4. Ashford United 36 68
5. Haywards Heath Town 36 63
6. VCD Athletic 36 62
7. Hythe Town 36 52

Team sponsors


Club sponsors