17th NOVEMBER 2018
Shoreham FC 0-1 Broadbridge Heath FC
Broadbridge Heath maintained their challenge for a top six place with a narrow but generally comfortable win against an improving Shoreham side who boasted a wealth of experience. Ex Brighton first teamers Stuart Tuck and Tommy Fraser, along with experienced striker Ryan McBride, posed a stiff challenge for the Bears. Heath had to cope with the last minute withdrawal of Jamie Robinson through illness with Tim Cook deputising at right back and Charlie Leach moving to left back.
Heath started on the front foot and won a series of corners. Shoreham defended solidly in front of goal and looked to feed off McBride’s flicks and lay offs which kept Ryan Brackpool and Andy Waddingham on their toes. Brackpool also came close from a corner going inches wide with a volley and Max Howell flung himself at a George Cousins cross only to see his header skim the bar. Ollie Moore then got on the end of a Tom Bold cross and hit a stunning volley that Broadbent somehow managed to touch onto the post and safety.
On the stroke of half time a through ball saw Broadbent out of his area and colliding with his own defender and Richard Wetton. The Shoreham goalkeeper fell badly and was motionless for several minutes. The Referee blew for half time and fortunately the Shoreham stopper was able to return to the changing room and after treatment continued for the second half.
Shoreham started the second half on the attack, and with Brackpool being unable to continue, Lee Carney dropped back into the defence, with Dean Wright coming on. During the reorganisation the hosts had their best period culminating in a thunderous volley from McBride that just missed the top corner. Then a Shoreham header came back off the post and a great block from Charlie Leach stopped McBride scoring.
After this Heath regained control and continued to threaten through Cousins and Howell on the flanks and Wetton down the middle with several near misses and a couple of smart saves from Broadbent keeping the scoresheet blank. Then on 68 minutes Wetton dropped deep, picked up the ball 30 yards out and hammered the ball into the bottom left hand corner to give Heath a deserved lead.
Heath continued to look for the second goal and Wetton, Cousins and Wright all went close but the margin was still only one as the game entered the last ten minutes and Shoreham, with nothing to lose, started to throw more players forward. Heath had to negotiate a couple of corners and a 25 yard free kick before the final whistle signalled another 3 points and a result born of excellent team spirit, some excellent football and determined defence when needed.
The reaction after the game showed the togetherness between the squad which was missing ; Jamie Robinson, Martyn Flack, Scott Weller, Tim Rivers, not to mention top scorer Devon Fender. As their new home ground approaches completion, Heath will welcome East Preston to the Leisure Centre next week.
Broadbridge Heath : Thorp, Cook, Leach, Waddingham, Brackpool (Wright), Howard-Bold, Carney, Moore, Wetton, Cousins, Howell.
Unused Subs: D.Riecker, Balfour.
ATTENDANCE : Unknown
MATCH REPORT : Sam Chapman (Press Officer)