Bears have to settle for a point.
Crawley Down Gatwick FC 1-1 Broadbridge Heath FC
Heath followed up their win at the weekend with another good performance at the traditionally difficult venue of Crawley Down’s Haven ground. They have not had much success there over the past few years and a point may well be a good return but after a game in which they dominated all but the last ten minutes of the first half and the first ten of the second half. They will feel they had the chances to bring home all three points.
Kieran Thorp pulled out of the line up during the warm up and was replaced by Conor Evento. Bradley Peters made his debut after signing on from Three Bridges. Skipper Tom Howard Bold was in the dugout with ankle swollen and splinted after his injury against Peacehaven.
Heath were quickly into their stride and pinned the home side back with the pace and movement of George Cousins, Jamie Taylor and Devon Fender. They appeared to have taken the lead when Moore’s shot was spilled by Greaves in the home goal and Fender fired home the rebound. Unfortunately the referee ruled that the ball had been kicked from the keeper’s hands despite the fact that at best he may have got a fingertip to it and neither he nor any home defenders appealed. This spurred Heath on further and Lee Carney thundered into a fair tackle which resulted in him splitting his boot.
Crawley Down were getting the ball forward early and causing some moments of anxiety from corners and free kicks, but Evento and his defenders held firm. Next a fantastic ball from Carney picked out Taylor’s run and the striker was prevented from opening the scoring by a last ditch tackle. Heath began to lengthen the game and this gave Crawley Down the chance to win several free kicks but half time came with the deadlock intact.
Heath were slow out of the blocks after the break and the Anvils took advantage, finding a lot of space in the last third and this resulted in a good finish from Ollie Leslie who latched onto a fine early cross. After having so much of the game it was a question of how Heath would react to this setback. As manager Steve Painter would have hoped, the goal woke Heath up and they proceeded to dominate possession and carve open further chances. Lee Carney was put in by Moore but thwarted by the onrushing Greaves and the keeper went down to his right to save Martyn Flack’s header. Then Heath won a free kick half way inside the home half and before anyone could react Carney played the ball behind the defence for Taylor to create an exquisite lob over Greaves into the net.
Heath now went in search of the winner and Carney was close to it when unmarked at the far post, but couldn’t get good enough contact. Taylor then got too good a contact, after Cousins squared the ball to him, and blasted the ball narrowly over the bar. Crawley Down briefly threatened when Evento had to go down smartly to his left to cover a shot from outside the box.
Heath’s charge for a winner was not helped by a ten minute delay a quarter of an hour from the end after referee Nick Blogg suffered an awkward fall and had to be replaced by his assistant. The game finished with Heath on the attack and in the end having to settle for the point from a fast and well fought game against the team directly below them in the league.
Heath now go to East Preston on Saturday and will have new signing Michael Dale, who has returned to the club after returning from travelling and possibly one other new signing. If they put in a similar performance they will be hopeful of getting another good result.
Broadbridge Heath : Evento, Flack, Robinson, Peters, Brackpool, Waddingham, Carney, Moore, Fender, Taylor, Cousins(Blake) Sub Jorge
Report by : Sam Chapman
Attendance : Unknown