Heath Seal Final Playoff Place
By Mark Russ
Heath final found their mojo again as they saw off East Grinstead and secured a playoff place as the season draws to a close
It's fair to say that in recent matches the Heath players have struggled to find that click that has helped them through the clubs maiden Bostik campaign but today it came back in floods as a fine team performance made sure of the 3 points required to extend the season that little bit longer.
Heath really set the tempo from the start with no signs of tired legs from Ramsgate away less than 48 hours previous.
An early chance came for Callum Saunders who was well found by Kenny Pogue but his effort whistled over the bar, It wasn't long before the deadlock was broken as Karly Akehurst anticipated the corner from Callum Saunders well and met the ball with a firm header to score for in the 14th minute.
Heath had a chance to make it two just 4 minutes later as Trevor McCreadie raced clear but his effort across goal missed the far post with Kenny Pogue frustrated the ball wasn't squared for a potential tap in.
East Grinstead Town managed to draw level in the 22nd minute. A ball through the middle split Heath apart and the striker Marcus Elliott found the bottom corner well giving Ant Ender no chance.
The game settled for a period and the next chance again fell to the visitors from a well delivered corner but the header was powerful but way over the bar.
Heath continued to play with good freedom that had been missing in past weeks especially from full back as both Kieran Row and Cameron Tutt continued to play high up the pitch and create openings for Heath.
As the game headed towards half time Jamie Weston made some space for shot that took a deflection on its way to goal for the expense of a corner. the resulting corner again whipped in by Callum Saunders found Kenny Pogue on the edge of the 6 yard box and he volleyed home brilliantly.
Half Time - Heath 2-1 East Grinstead
With VCD winning at Half time at Phoenix Sports it was going to be a nervous 45 minutes for Heath but once again they proved they were more than a match for their visitors, both Sean Roddy and Nathan Cooper were solid in the heart of defence with the added protection of Byron Napper shielding them.
East Grinstead certainly weren't giving up hope of taking something from the game and within 5 minutes of the restart Ant Ender needed to be alert to pull off a fine effort from drawing the game level.
With 56 minutes played Callum Saunders burst free but his powerful effort lacked direction as the keeper watched it go harmlessly wide.
With an hour on the clock the Heath pressure finally payed off as a ball in the box was handled and the referee took no time pointing to the spot. Callum Saunders stepped up and although his initial effort was well saved he reacted quickest to the loose ball and stabbed it just under the keeper who got a good hand to it but not enough.
The East Grinstead Town FC manager decided to introduce some fresh legs with a substitution in the 69th minute and 75th Minute
Changes in the 76th minute for Haywards Heath Town FC as Kenny Pogue is replaced by George Landais.
With just over 10 minutes remaining Grinstead keeper Bannon Daly pulled off the save of the match somehow getting accross and keeping Jamie Weston's freekick that was heading for the top corner.
Alex Laing replaced Callum Saunders and Omar Folkes replaced Jamie Weston as time ran down.
With the match deep in injury time Heath really should have added one more goal as George Landais raced clear before unselfishly laying the ball on a plate for Alex Laing but rather than shoot he inturn laid the ball to Trevor McCreadie but by this time East Gristead managed to get enough players back to get a good block in.
Full Time - Heath 3-1 East Grinstead Town
See more match action photos from Grahame Lehkyj by clicking HERE