Heath Take Long Journey to Three Points
The Heath made the long midweek trip to Nyetimber Lane to visit Pagham FC, looking to maintain their current good run of form and pick up their fifth win in six games.
Alfie Jones made a welcome return to the Blues’ goal, with his hand injury sustained at Steyning not as serious as first feared with the Heath stopper suffering from a hairline fracture. With Pitcher on holiday and Uwezu unavailable, Abudiore returned to the starting line-up and would join Dobell and Skerry in the front three, with the latter being the focal point of the attack.
It was Abudiore who almost made the breakthrough in the 12th minute, cutting in from the left-hand side, his clipped cross bounced off the top of the crossbar to safety. Pagham were defending deep and allowing the Heath backline to keep the ball at will, with Blencowe, Zydonik and Jones getting plenty of the ball.
In the 23rd minute Adrian Britton made the breakthrough. Hayden Skerry was working tirelessly up front and after another clattering, won a free kick 25 yards out. The well-struck Britton free kick found the top corner via a slight deflection notching his second goal of the season.
The few minutes after this Heath simply stopped playing, causing their own issues with some sloppy passing. In the 25th minute, Zydonik received a yellow card for pulling back the Pagham striker who was racing onto a through ball, though the contact looked minimal and Jones looked likely to collect anyway. A corner was won from the resulting free kick and the referee adjudged another shirt pull in the area much to the consternation of the Heath defenders.
Alfie Jones though made a fantastic stop low down to his right to save the penalty, his second penalty save in consecutive starts, fortunately not getting injured in the process this time! It was Jones again who preserved the Blues lead just moments later after another giveaway, again saving low to his right with a smart diving save.
This spurred the Bluebells into action, and they finished the half on the front foot creating a number of chances from free kicks and corners. The pattern continued at the start of the second half, and on another day Zydonik may have had his first hat trick for the Blues let alone his first goal!
Cadman was replaced by Wadhams at half-time as a precaution after suffering a glute injury. Apart from the set pieces created by the Blues, the game had gotten very bitty with no clear-cut chances. That was until the 72nd minute when Heath’s pressing game finally paid off with Britton stealing the ball, running down on goal and slotting into the far corner with great composure.
Britton was rewarded for his second goal by a horrible challenge from the Pagham 4 who should have been sent off, and you can understand why the home side had picked up 21 yellows and 2 reds in their first 9 games. Whilst the Heath faithful behind the goal were singing that they would perhaps rather be anywhere else than Pagham, the referee indicated 7 minutes of injury time. Whilst this quite upset Bubbsy who was looking forward to his post match KFC, it allowed the Heath to add a third goal.
A deep cross from Goldsmith on the left-hand side eluded the goalkeeper, and Blencowe looked to bundle the ball in with two nearby Pagham defenders for company, though both will be claiming the goal unless VeoVAR can provide some conclusive evidence.
So in the end, a comfortable victory for the Blues even though there were nervy spells. This win raised the Heath to fourth in the SCFL table, with a big home game against Eastbourne Town to follow on Saturday.