After a successful pre-season Heath were rudely reminded of the fact that if you are sloppy in both penalty areas you are going to be in trouble. They started the season without 3 of the back 5 that had been so tight in the final months of last season but with the exception of Andy Waddingham’s absence through holiday and the debut of Josh Tuck, the rest of the team had a familiar look about it.
Langney had improved throughout last season and appeared to have strengthened again. The game was fairly even until Dan Blackmore rose unchallenged to plant his header from a corner into the top corner. Heath responded with some flowing attacking moves that led to George Cousins latching on to Tom Howard Bold’s through ball only to have his shot blocked by Dan Hutchins in the home goa l.Next another sharp move ended with Max Howell crossing for Jamie Taylor to volley against the bar with the ball coming down just the wrong side of the line.
Cousins and Taylor each had further efforts drive wide before Blackmore repeated the trick with an almost identical header, the ball this time looping over Trigwell to make it 2-0. Heath still looked well capable of scoring to get back into the game but it remained 2-0 at half time.
It was crucial that Heath get the next goal but only calamity was to follow as Carney was robbed deep in his own half by Scott Taylor and with substitute Marlon Maxwell unable to cover Taylor drove the ball towards goal. Trigwell seemed to have it covered but the ball somehow squeezed underneath him to all but end the Bears hopes of a comeback.
The game became very open and although Heath continued to push forward with Cousins being released by the returning Scott Weller only to see his shot pass agonisingly wide of the far post, Langney with the impressive Gary Ingrams and Taylor looking sharp still posed a threat to the rejigged Heath rear-guard. Another piece of slack marking allowed Saunders to make it 4 and with both Heath full backs caught up field when they lost possession, Simon Piper completed Heath’s misery. The final piece of action saw Cousins gain a well-deserved consolation goal from Martyn Flacks through ball. He had worked tirelessly and had provided the biggest danger to the hosts.
In some ways a strange game where the home goal was probably threatened as much as the visitors but where Langney were clinical Heath were off target and where Langney were tight, Heath were too far off their opponents. One bright note was the return of Scott Weller who showed he has lost none of his ability to have an impact on games. Steve Painter will be hoping for a more cohesive and determined response in the clubs historic first game in their new Countryside Stadium against local rivals Loxwood on Tuesday night.
Heath: Trigwell, Jones (Maxwell), Robinson, Flack, Tuck (Godfrey), Carney, Bold, Carvalho, Cousins, Taylor, Howell(Weller) Unused Subs Whitely, Watts.
GREAT START TO THE SEASON
BY STEVE ROBERTS
Langney Wanderers 5-1 Broadbridge Heath
The new football season started with a bang for Langney Wanderers against Broadbridge Heath.
Heath finished a fine 6th place last season and also did the double over us. So it was always going to be a stern test for us to open the season.
Wanderers couldn't of have had better start with new signing Dan Blackmore scoring a towering header from a Max Hollobone corner inside 2 minutes.
The game was being played at a frantic pace with both teams creating opportunities. Despite Langney taking the lead it was Heath that were looking the more dangerous with Dan Hutchins being called into action on several occasions in the first 20 minutes. Langney doubled there lead on 31 minutes in a carbon copy of the first, Dan Blackmore once again rose above everybody to nod in another excellent Max Hollobone corner.
Despite the 2 goal advantage the game was pretty even first half with both attacks causing problems for each others defence.
Half Time Langney 2-0 Broadbridge Heath
The second half started with Heath making a change in defence, chances early on in the half were limited but Gary Ingram was becoming more of an influence on the match but it was Scott Taylor who took the ball off a defender high up the pitch to slot home for Wanderers 3rd. Scott would probably agree it wasn't the cleanist of strikes but it did enough to beat Heaths keeper.
That goal pretty much took the wind out of the opposing sides sails and Langney were looking a threat every time we attacked. Goal 4 was another fine header, this time from Shane Saunders and Simon Piper made it five after good work from Gary Ingram.
Heath would gain a late consolation goal in injury time to put a small blot on the Langney performance, but all in all it was an excellent team performance.
Full time Langney 5-1 Broadbridge Heath
Broadbridge Heath are good team and I still think they will be up near the top come the end of the season. We were clinical today, scoring goals at the right time, while defensively we were organised with new boys Matt Cunnington and Mike Ginno putting in excellent performances.