Heath Wrap Up Boxing Day Win
Photos by Onion Bag Photography
After leaving Sheppey United with three points in the bag in Alex Walsh and Dale Hurley’s first match in charge, the fixture list saw Heath welcome local rivals East Grinstead Town to Hanbury Park.
Heath hadn’t been able to claim back-to-back wins yet this season were desperate to put this right in the Festive fixture against the Wasps. Dale Hurley and Alex Walsh made only one change to their side which beat Sheppey, Ibrahim Jalloh missing out on a starting place despite a first-class performance in Kent, Lukas Franzen-Jones linking back up with striking partner Tom Collins.
Heath nearly took an early lead through Tom Collins, a lovely corner by Alex Laing reached Dean Gunner whose header was then nodded on by the striker, but Matte Pierson had other ideas, palming the ball away and keeping the score level.
It would come as no surprise to Heath fans that goalkeeper Billy Collings was in fine form making 2 important stops in the first half, the best being a quick low stop to turn a Grinstead shot behind for a corner.
The half ended without further notable incident, the Blues would feel that they had the best of the first 45. When the second half started it took only eight minutes for Heath to take the lead, Leon Moore delivering a sublime cross to the back post for Alex Laing to
head home for his 3rd goal of the season, the majority of the 348-strong crowd sent into celebration.
The first change of the game was made shortly after, Ibrahim Jalloh coming on for Lukas Franzen-Jones. East Grinstead nearly levelled the scoring after rattling the crossbar from
range, the follow-up shot reacted to quickly and was well saved and held by Billy Collings. A wake-up call for the Blues, this game was far from over.
With 15 minutes to go and East Grinstead throwing players forward, the Heath delivered the fatal blow, Dean Gunner launched a ball forward which was well won in the air by Jalloh, Tom Collins latching onto the loose ball and set through 1 on 1 with the goalkeeper, his shot hit the post before Tom Cadman arrived full speed to fire home and double the home side’s lead.
Heath would make their final two changes late in the match, Ben Holden and Cameron Dobell replacing Leon Moore and Tom Collins as the clock ran down. And the Heath would hold on for the win and the clean sheet, their first since the 1st of October.
Joint Manager Dale Hurley hailed his side’s “brilliant defending” and that could be seen from the celebrations of the defenders, this clean sheet a long time coming. This win would also see them shoot up the table going into their next match sitting in a more respectable 13th position.
Man of the Match: Billy Collings