For the opening game of the 2018-19 season Heath travelled to The Beacon home of Hassocks FC for their first match of the season in the SCFL Premier Division. The Heath side included 3 players making their debut, Ben Hands, Glen Woodburn and Ben Chowney and 2 players making a welcome return to the club Lee Carney and Mark Fox.
Heath started brightly with Devon Fender going close with a right foot shot that went across the face of goal and just wide of the left post and Stuart Chester got up well to meet Jamie Robinson’s left wing cross but steered his header straight into the arms of Hassocks keeper Alex Harris.
The home sides first attempt at goal came midway through the half when Spencer Slaughter won the ball on the halfway line and tried to lob Heath keeper Mark Fox but his effort sailed wide of the mark and minutes later Hassocks striker Liam Benson found space 20 yards from goal to hit a low left foot shot just wide of the right post.
In the closing stages of the half a Robinson free kick from the left was floated into the far post where Marlon Maxwell met the ball in his stride to fire a right foot shot narrowly over the crossbar but it remained 0-0 at the break.
The home-side started the second half strong and Fox was called into action when a long ball from the left almost crept in at the far post but the Heath keeper just about managed to push it wide and Slaughter followed up with a right foot shot with the outside of his boot that went wide of the post.
Hassocks were almost caught out on the counter-attack when George Cousins whipped a ball in from the right which struck home defender Dan Webster as he was running back and the ball flew off him towards goal but somehow Harris managed to react quickly enough to make a fantastic acrobatic save to deny the Bears.
With 20 minutes remaining a home player broke away down the right and took the ball to the goal-line before he cut it back to Jack Wilkins who was brought down 12 yards from goal by Maxwell and Benson got up to score from the resulting penalty.
Heath continued to push forward in search of an equaliser and were rewarded when Fender received the ball wide on the right, last season’s top scorer ran at the home defence, skipped past a couple of challenges before he hammered a left foot shot that flew past Harris into the net.
With the players tiring in the heat of the day, both sides continued to push forward in search of the win. Cousins, Fender and Chester all had shots narrowly wide but probably the easiest chance of the game came for Hassocks in the 87th minute when Benson took the ball wide on the left and played it into the path of Alex Spinks some 12 yards from goal but the midfield player fired wide with the goal at his mercy.
In the end most people felt a draw was a fair result and meanwhile games continue to come thick and fast with another match at Saltdean United on Tuesday night before we’re in FA Cup action.
BBH: Fox, S.Chester (Chowney 87), Robinson, Maxwell, Woodburn, Carney, Bold, Weller, Fender, Cousins, Hands (Godfrey 75).
Hassocks: Harris, Mills, Bant, Webster, Badger, Slaughter, Spinks, Berridge, Benson, Lindsay Wilkins. Subs Blake, Stokes
Written By: Andy Crisp 04/08/2018
Photo Credit: Post on twitter by @cn_things – Chris Neal