Heath held to draw by 10 man Chi
Photos by Ray Turner
Following their disappointing defeat at Three Bridges the previous weekend, Haywards Heath returned to Hanbury Park where they took on Chichester City. Martin Dynan made three changes to his starting line-up as Laing, Gilbert and Franzen-Jones all came into the side, Franzen-Jones making his first start for the club.
The visiting side started the game the stronger side, and within ten minutes they opened the scoring as former Blues player and now Chichester captain Josh Clack cut the ball across the box and Ethan Prichard showed real composure to take the ball past a sliding Tom Gilbert and fire home.
The Heath were nearly gifted an equalising goal before the twenty-minute mark, Kieran Magee playing the ball directly into the path of Tom Collins. Unfortunately, he was unable to finish first time and took an extra touch, giving the keeper time to recover and make the save. Blushes saved for the City man.
Just minutes before the break, Chichester’s Ethan Robb saw a second yellow card after hacking down James Dickson. This gave the Heath a way back into the game almost immediately, as James Dickson, the man pulling all the strings in the middle of the park, flicked the ball over his head on the edge of the box, and his midfield partner Byron Napper arrived at full speed to rifle the ball past the City goalkeeper on the half volley! The roar of the 400+ strong crowd highlighted the quality of the strike.
But the Blues were not done just yet, as Alex Laing spotted a gap in the Chichester back line and fed an inch-perfect through ball into Lukas Franzen-Jones who made no mistake as he rolled the ball past Magee and pulled the Heath ahead no more than seconds before the break. The striker clearly loved getting on the scoresheet for the first time for the Club, running to the crowd behind the goal and joining them in their jubilation.
From 1-0 down to 2-1 up in a matter of a few minutes, no doubt Martin Dynan would have wanted his side to push on and find another goal to finish the game off, but it was Chichester who started the second half the stronger and they would find a fantastic equalizer through Ethan Prichard. The Chi forward hitting a sweet free kick from the edge of the box dipping past the reach of Billy Collings.
Despite the hard work of the team and rotating his pack, Dynan’s side couldn’t find a third goal and it would remain 2-2 at Hanbury Park, the points evenly shared on a sunny Sussex afternoon between the two sides. This result unfortunately, kept the Heath at the wrong end of the table, sitting in 17th position.