Heath seal victory in extra time as they beat local rivals Hurst in the Division 3 Cup Final
Hurstpierpoint FC (0) 0-3 (0) Haywards Heath Town (AET)
Friday 29 March 2013 – Sussex County League Division Three League Cup Final
BY ANTHONY SCOTT
Hurstpierpoint: McKemey, Kempton, Whitney, MacNeil ©, Blackwell, Packham, Webster (Sharp 69), Boswood, Wilson (Goss 100), Bashford (Bartram 79), Gumbrell. Subs Not Used: Fogden, Blake (GK).
Haywards Heath: George Hyde, Alex Bygraves ©, Guy Harding, Mark Fiest, Dave Lucas, Danny Mobsby, Tom Rabbetts ( Ben Hall 79), Joe Ranson ( Andy Tuckey 45), Kieron Purkis, Rick Peacock, Jamie Wanstall (Sean Ardley 66). Subs Not Used: Grant Reed, Mike Williamson.
Haywards Heath Town are the new Division Three League Cup Champions after an extra time victory over Hurstpierpoint at The Robert Albion Memorial Ground, Worthing United.
However, things could have been so different had Aaron Blackwell fired in from the penalty spot in the 90th minute, but he could only fire wide. James McKemey had earlier produced an excellent save to keep out Danny Mobsby’s penalty kick in the first half.
Heath manager Simon Corless said: “It was brilliant. We were good tonight, but I got to take my hat off to Hurstpierpoint, they battled hard and their goalkeeper seemed to save everything tonight. The boys played at a good standard and I am really happy.”
Despite a good start from their opponents, Hurstpierpoint showed signs of causing what would have been a second upset of the day when Karl Gumbrell’s through ball looked to play in Wayne Bashford, but the advancing George Hyde did well to come out and clear the danger.
Heath then had a great chance to go in front, as the Hurstpierpoint defence misjudged a long ball through which led to Sam Packham tripping Kieron Purkis in the area, and referee Peter Lindsey awarded a penalty. Danny Mobsby stepped up, but only to see his strike to McKemey’s left brilliantly pushed away by the diving keeper.
McKemey then kept his side in the game, firstly after saving well from Kieron Purkis’ low drive, before Jamie Wanstall’s cross avoided everyone and curled dangerously towards the top corner, but at full stretch the goalkeeper turned the ball over the bar.
In the second half, Town maintained their pressure on the opposing goal, and somehow missed a golden opportunity to take the lead. Andy Tuckey won the ball well in midfield before finding Kieron Purkis, whose low ball across goal found the unmarked Rick Peacock at the far post, who from close range saw his effort excellently saved by McKemey.
However, Hurst wasted a great chance themselves following a long ball over the Haywards Heath defence which played in Trevor Wilson, who took the ball around the advancing George Hyde, but only to fire wide of the empty net.
As the half progressed, Hurstpierpoint looked more dangerous going forward, but could have fallen behind in the 88th minute when Danny Mobsby’s excellent ball through played in Kieron Purkis, who one on one with McKemey, lofted the ball over the advancing keeper from a tight angle but only for Blackwell to clear off the line.
But in the 90th minute, Blackwell spurred the opportunity to give Hurst the win. Substitute Ed Bartram played the ball down the left to Wilson, who cut inside from the touchline, only to be brought down by Guy Harding for a penalty. Blackwell stepped up, knowing that if he scored it would probably have won the cup, but only to fire the ball horribly wide of George Hyde’s right hand post, meaning extra-time was needed.
And it took Heath all of two minutes to break the deadlock. Kieron Purkis’ cross from the right picked out Rick Peacock at the far post, and the forward placed the ball beyond the reach of McKemey and into the far corner from 12 yards.
However, the lead could well have been extended to three had Andy Tuckey’s strike from the edge gone in, but McKemey produced an excellent save to tip the ball over.
But in the second half of extra time, Heath wrapped up victory when Andy Tuckey beat a defender before playing the ball to Rick Peacock, and from 16 yards out he stroked the ball beyond McKemey and into the far corner.
Hurstpierpoint manager Bill Clifford said: “I am really proud of the lads. We gave a very good team a very good game, but if the penalty went in, we could have been the ones partying right now instead of them.
“I thought our defence for 90 minutes was outstanding, as was theirs. It was a game of two defences and both were equally as strong.”