Broadbridge Heath 2-1 Newhaven
Three points that will do nicely- thank you.
Heath’s six game losing streak finally came to an end on Saturday with a welcome 2-1 home win over mid-table Newhaven, for the match Heath welcomed back a posse of players who were missing for the midweek trip to Pagham and none more welcome than midfield player Dan Sandell back for his first game since going off with a groin strain at Three Bridges back in October.
The opening exchanges were evenly balanced with both sides playing some good passing football but neither team threatening their opponent’s goal that was until the 28th minute when some sustained Heath pressure finally saw the deadlock broken.
Tiago Andrade received the ball some 25 yards out with his back to goal, he played a short pass back to George Cousins and spun off his marker to receive a perfect through-ball back from Cousins, the Newhaven keeper Jake Buss sprinted off his line quickly to close down the danger but Andrade dinked the ball over the keeper into the goal, a great finish from the Heath striker looking more like his old-self.
The visitors responded well before the break with Ian Robinson going close with a shot wide of Michael Chester’s left post and Kyle Woolven should have done better when he shot wide of goal when well placed.
Heath started the second period well and 2 minutes into the restart the visitors were fortunate to keep eleven players on the field when Matt Gun hauled down Gicu Iordache just outside the penalty area, the defender’s action clearly prevented a goal-scoring opportunity but the referee felt it only warranted a yellow card, the same as he then showed George Cousins for complaining about it.
Tom Bold played the resulting free-kick into the danger area where the ball flew around like it was in a pinball machine before finally being cleared by a defender. Heath continued to apply the pressure and it wasn’t long before they doubled their lead and again Andrade was involved in the buildup when he received the ball wide on the left, he took it around a defender to the goal-line and then cut it back to George Cousins who side-stepped a defender and then rifled a right foot shot that deflected off a player into the net.
On the hour mark the league’s leading scorer and Newhaven talisman Lee Robinson was put through on goal but Michael Chester stood firm to block the shot and deny the striker his 40th league goal of the season. Minutes later Iordache had a left foot shot deflected just wide of goal and from the corner Andrade headed over the crossbar.
In the 72nd minute the visitors were awarded a free kick wide on the left, the ball was played into the Heath penalty area where centre-back Robbie Keith rose above everyone to glance a header wide of Chester into the goal, that spurred on the visitors who piled on the pressure in search of the equaliser and Tim Martin was in the right place at the right time to clear a Newhaven attack off the goal-line but despite the pressure the Heath defence stood firm and on the balance of play just about deserved the victory.
With players returning from injury Heath will be hoping to pick up a few more points before the end of season although they will be without their skipper Tom Bold and Tim Martin who both now have to sit out a 3 match ban.
Team: M.Chester, Martin (Frankland 75), Robinson, S.Chester, Parsons, Howard-Bold, Sandell, Fender, Andrade, Cousins (Campbell 80), Iordache (Balfour 85).