3 On the Bounce
By Brad Davis
Lakenheath made it three wins on the bounce as they secured a league double over their young Norfolk opponents to move within three points of forth place in the league table, remaining unbeaten in 2019.
Heath kicked off, on a very heavy pitch, playing into a strong wind with conditions making it difficult for both sides. The visitors started well without creating many openings but looking especially dangerous at set pieces, indeed it was from a set piece that they took the lead. Reece Clarke saw his free kick from the left half cleared with the ball falling to Aaron Forshaw just outside the area, Forshaw lobbed the ball back into the box and Sam Hawley beat the offside trap to shoot low into the bottom corner.
The Linnets remained very much in the game finding a lot of joy down their right hand side and a good move in this area led to Upston being played in 1 on 1 with Blake Horton who pulled off a excellent block to deny the home side an equalizer.
After 35 minutes the games most controversial incident occurred, Heath were guilty of sloppy play which was capitalized on by Lynn who quickly got the ball forward to Upston. Heath captain Sanders slid in to challenge appearing to get some of the ball as well as the man, however the centre half was deemed to have committed a foul and be the last man by the match officials and so was dismissed for a professional foul. Heath re-organized into a 441 formation with Hawley dropping into Centre Half and taking over the armband, the subsequent free kick was defended and the 10 men withstood some pressure from the home team to see the half out 1-0 up.
Lynn started the second period on the front foot, dominating possession, but unable to make any breakthrough with Heath being very well disciplined defensively. With ten minutes gone in the second period, Jack Gould - on his 100th appearance for the club, was withdrawn as a tactical reshuffle saw Jordan Baker move to Centre Half, Hawley back into midfield and Fin Logan come into the left back position.
From this point onwards Heath looked much more comfortable and although Lynn still had the majority of possession the visitors were able to offer more of a threat on the counter. It was another set play that bought the security of the second goal on 70 minutes after Aaron Turner had been pulled back wide to the left of the area, Clarke put in an excellent delivery that was met by Hawley who's header couldn't have been better placed leaving the keeper with no chance.
The goal seemed to deflate the home side and it was Heath who added to the scoring in injury time when Nathan Lock held off 3 challenges to roll the ball to Hawley on the edge of the box, Hawley took a touch before firing a low shot into the bottom corner for 8th goal of the season and to complete his Hat-trick.
There was still time to almost add a forth as James McCabe broke down the right before squaring to Kelvin Enaro who's shot was narrowly wide of the far post.
Having played for over an hour with 10 men Lakenheath were delighted with this result and the three points, making it 13 from the last 15 available with a second clean sheet in three games an added bonus.
Next Saturday the team travel to Ipswich Wanderers for a tricky looking away assignment looking to keep the pressure up on the teams above them in the table.