Bracknell Town through but Heath give them a late scare
By Stuart Morgan
Heath town exited the FA Trophy despite a late flurry to give the visitors a scare.
Heath felt the force of a team unbeaten since December 2017 as Bracknell Town advanced in the FA Trophy at Hanbury today.
Heath's problems started long before kick off with manager Shaun Saunders needing to shuffle things, with Callum Saunders out injured and Ibrahim Fofane suspended, problems were added with Kane Louis being away this weekend and late on two of the central spine withdrawing as Nathan Cooper hadn't recovered from a sickness bug and Karly Akehurst's partner's water broke leaving him on delivery duty (of which the club wish you both well on the soon to be new arrival).
Ansu Janneh started once again and both Lewis Finney and Naim Rouane made their first starts since being on the treatment table.
Early chances for both sides came and went with Josh Heyburn saving in the first minute and Melford Simpson disappointed he couldn't get his header on target in the 6th minute when he found time and space.
The miss was to prove costly 5 minutes late when the attacking midfielder rode the sliding tackle of Naim Rouane and squared the ball for Adam Cornell to tap in inside the 6 yard box.
Heath 0-1 Bracknell Town
Heath almost equalised minutes after the restart when Melford Simpson force the keeper into a ruched clearance which fell to Lewis Finney 30 yards out and his quick effort needed a full stretch clearance from the covering defender on the line.
Bracknell Town then took control of the half it was no surprise that they doubled their lead on 28 minutes when a flowing move ended with Liam Ferdinand tapping in from close range.
Heath 0-2 Bracknell Town
Josh Heyburn again kept the scoreline as it was and kept Heath's comeback chances alive, on 40 minutes Heath could and probably should have pulled a goal back after Max Miller did brilliantly down the right and his ball across the box somehow saw Lewis Finney and Melford Simpson get in each others way and the chance went begging.
Half Time Heath 0-2 Bracknell Town
Bracknell started the second half with the intent to kill the game off and it was Josh Heyburn again called into action to make a good save from Joe Grant before Josh Spinks made a fine block and Bracknell saw another fine effort go just wide.
Heath still looked to get back in the game and a surging run from Kieran Rowe find the side netting from a tight angle. Bracknell again had another spell of pressure and Josh Heyburn again saved well with his feet this time after the striker was put in the clear. On 57 minutes it seemed to be game over when Adam Cornell added his second and Bracknell’s third after a short corner was delivered to the far post and the ball back across goal just needed nodding over the line.
Heath 0-3 Bracknell Town
Heath however didn’t give up, George Brown was introduced and drilled a low free kick that needed a solid pair of hands from Mark Scott, Brown then found Melford Simpson with a great ball but the Heath number nine couldn't keep his effort on target. It was really Heath now who were looking likely to get the next goal and when Simpson worked some magic on the byline his pull back found Byron Napper and his superb shot needed and equally brilliant flying save. The resulting corner did however lead to the next goal of the game as Kieran Rowe found Melford Simpson at the far post and his powerful downward header hit the spot and a potential frantic final 10 minutes.
Heath 1-3 Bracknell Town
With 84 minutes on the clock Kieran Rowe scored the goal of the game with a side foot volley delivered from Luke Robinson that beat Bracknell keeper Mark Scott into the top corner.
Heath 2-3 Bracknell Town
With 89 minutes on the clock Max Miller latched onto a great through ball but couldn't get it out of his feet and the effort was straight at the keeper.
Both sides looked for another goal as the game entered time added on and it was the visitors that came the closest but a fine double save from Heyburn again kept them out.
Full Time Heath 2-3 Bracknell Town
Man or the Match – Josh Heyburn - no chance with the goals but some super stops throughout.
After the match Manager Shaun Saunders said "It's always disappointing to exit a cup but due to the changes we had to deal with at the last minute i'm ultimately happy. I feel we still lacked that belief in the first 45 minutes but after the break made a real game of it against a top top side"
Next Match - Saturday 20th October - Faversham - Away - 3pm KO