Bears Cruise into top 6.
Heath overcame a hardworking Shoreham side to move up to sixth in the division and with the squad looking stronger than at any time this season can hopefully look forward to the last 7 games with confidence.
Kieron Thorp returning in goal was the only change to the starting line up from last week’s win at East Preston with Devon Fender not fit to start he joined Dane Riecker, new signings Mason Doughty and Michael Dale, and Conor Evento on the bench. Skipper Tom Bold was absent having treatment on his ankle injury but in constant touch by phone.
Shoreham, defending against the wind, set up with everyone behind the ball in an effort to frustrate Heath but within 3 minutes Jamie Taylor’s movement opened the space for George Cousins to cut inside and curl the ball into the top right corner to give his team the lead.
Heath continued to dominate possession showing great patience in their build up and had shots on goal from Ollie Moore, Dean Wright, Jamie Taylor and Cousins all saved by Broadbent in the visitor’s goal. Then on 23 minutes a clumsy challenge on Taylor in the penalty area allowed Ollie Moore to make it 2-0 from the penalty spot. The game continued in the same way but without further goals before half time.
The second half started with Fender replacing the injured Martyn Flack and Shoreham trying to make the most of the wind at their backs and committing more men forward and for ten minutes had Heath defending in their own half. But once Heath started to get the ball into the spaces Shoreham were now forced to leave in their attempt to get back into the game, the home side regained control and Andy Waddingham’s run down the right ended with his cross being turned in by Ryan Brackpool to put the game to bed.
Further chances fell to Cousins who hit the post after a dazzling dribble, Fender twice before substitute Mason Doughty broke through to finish clinically and complete a very comfortable victory for the Bears.
The next two weeks will surely bring sterner tests for Steve Painters men as they welcome Eastbourne Town and then visit Newhaven, both of whom will be desperate for points in the fight for a top 2 finish. The Bear’s squad is looking strong at the right time with the under 23s drawing with high flying Hassocks on Thursday. So despite not having silverware to play for it could be an exciting finale to the season as Painter draws up plans for 2019-20 and life at the new ground, at last.
Team: Thorp, Flack (Fender), Robinson, Peters, Brackpool, Waddingham, Carney, Moore, Cousins, Taylor(Doughty), Wright(Dale), Unused Subs D Reicker, Evento.
Reporter Sam Chapman