A disappointing performance from Steve Painters side against a lively East Preston team who thoroughly deserved this victory in the Southern Combination Premier Division.
The visitors kicked off with a strong cold wind on their backs and early pressure saw Ryan Quirke’s corner headed over the Heath crossbar followed minutes later a snap-shot at goal by Dan Huet from 8 yards that went narrowly wide of Michael Chester’s left hand post. The opening goal was somewhat fortunate for the visitors when Quirke took a pot shot at goal from 25 yards that kept low but went straight to the keeper who got down to gather but an uncharacteristic mistake saw the ball squirm out of his grasp and into the net.
A long delay then followed midway through the half when the Match Referee pulled up with a calf injury and was replaced by one of his assistants with Heath Coach Nik Mulcahy taking over as linesman.
The long stop seemed to work in Heaths favour as they went on to create several openings, George Cousins tried his luck from 20 yards with a right foot shot that went wide of Ben Purkis’s left post. Scott Weller’s left foot free kick from just outside the penalty area went just wide of the mark, Tiago Andrade shot over the bar when well placed and in the 8th minute of stoppage time Martyn Flack got his head on a Tom Frankland right wing cross but the ball was saved comfortably by Purkis on the goal-line.
As the temperature dropped so did the goal chances with neither side creating much in the second period, the visitors were awarded a corner on 63 minutes and from that Matt Searle came running in and met the ball with a powerful header that gave Chester no chance of stopping.
After that the game fizzled out, the Bears went into hibernation and never looked like getting back into the match and overall a very quiet afternoon for both goalkeeper’s.
Next up for Heath is a tough trip to Pagham next Saturday 3rd March.
Team: M. Chester, Frankland (Balfour 70), Godfrey, Findlay, Flack, Howard-Bold, Robinson, Weller, Andrade, S.Chester, Cousins (Fuller 50).