Heath leave FA Cup at first Hurdle
Saturday saw heavy rain and blustery conditions at Hanbury Park for the FA Cup tie with Whitstable Town. Jay Lovett forced into naming a changed side with a number of the squad missing through injury. Our new season injury jinx extended to a number of the starting 11 carrying injuries but playing on through the pain in an attempt to get Heath in the hat for the next round.
The game started during a break in the rain and was played at a good pace. Both sides trying to pass the ball and move their opponents out of position. The Heath defence given an early warning of the pace possessed by the Whitstable winger as he was easily able to blast past Max Blencowe in a chase for a through ball. It was indeed the pace of Josh Williams that would prove to be the difference between the sides in the 9th minute as a speculative clearance was flicked on and Williams easily beat Cadman in the foot race and was through on goal. A good initial save from Jones looked to have averted the danger but Williams kept his composure to slot the rebound past Joens and the recovering defenders.
Heath responded well and worked a couple of half chances before a McCarthy corner was well met by a George Brown header which was well saved by Eason in the Whitstable goal.
Whitstable doubled their lead in the 32nd minute when a careless pass out of defence was intercepted and Whitstable were able to exploit the transition to run and the heart of the Blues defence, Blencowe lost his footing and his fall allowed Andersen to roll the ball past Jones.
A Charlie Pitcher over head kick was Heath’s last attempt of the half, but his strike went over the bar.
The game was all but over as a tie in the 49th minute when a simple pass forward was flicked on in the centre circle and Steadman Callender was able to race away from the Heath defence and score.
The game was punctuated with a number of niggly incidents with both sides involved in several occasions that can only be described as “handbags”.
Once again Whitstable found it too easy to get away down their right and a good cross evaded Jones and Steadman was there again to nod in his second of the game.
A high, studs up tackle on Blencowe enraged the Heath players, their anger turning to confusion as the referee only produced a yellow card.
The scoring was completed with 10 minutes remaining as a low cross was steered home by Steadman to complete his hatrick.
Heath exited the cup, having been comprehensively outplayed, their attention now returns to the league with next weekend’s game away at Crawley Down Gatwick.