10 Man Heath Hold on for 3 points
The Blues made the trip down to the south coast to visit Saltdean United looking to avenge their defeat the previous weekend against Eastbourne Town. George Brown was missing from the matchday squad with a back injury, which allowed Elliott Bresciani the opportunity to make his first competitive start for the Heath after impressing in several substitute appearances.
The Bluebells were on the front foot from the start and had an immediate overload on the left-hand side, with a fierce cross from Cadman headed behind. From the resulting corner the Blues worked a throw in to the edge of the box and Skerry’s low left footed effort was straight at the Saltdean keeper.
The away side continued to assert themselves, pressing high up the pitch and making it difficult for Saltdean to clear their lines. In the 9th minute a long ball down the left saw the ever-dangerous Goldsmith whip in a left-footed cross which Dobell could only strike wide on the volley at the far post.
Saltdean did carry a threat on the break though and in the 12th minute a long ball evaded Bresciani, with Jones racing out of his goal just winning the race and kicking the ball out for a corner.
Halfway through the first half and Goldsmith beat two players, running through in goal and forcing a low save from the Saltdean keeper. The Tigers defence threw themselves at several rebounds, then repeated the trick minutes later denying messrs Skerry, Goldsmith and Uwezu in quick succession before McCarthy blazed over the bar.
Cadman was next to fancy his chances, with Uwezu getting to the byline, cutting the ball back for the onrushing full back who forced a diving save from the keeper low to his right and yet another Heath corner. Next up was the debut of the 99 shirt as Cadman was suffering from a bloody nose. Not quite sure if 99 Dan Cadman’s will catch wind with the Heath faithful though.
Heath really should have been 4 or 5 up, not for the first time this season, and on the stroke of half time great work from Uwezu on the right hand side saw him reach the byline again, knock the ball to his left and another Dobell effort was blocked, as was Uwezu’s follow up.
A double change at half time saw Blencowe and Abudiore replace Dobell and Zydonik as Jay Lovett’s men continued to search for a breakthrough.
The Blues were immediately on the attack again and in the 50th minute the pressure finally told off. A long ball into the left channel again found the tireless Goldsmith who worked his way to the left touchline, playing the ball inside for Skerry. Skerry shaped to shoot but instead slid in McCarthy with a reverse pass, and this time the midfielder made no mistake with a fierce left footed drive beating the keeper on his near post.
The first and really last opportunity of the game for the home side would come minutes later with a long ball down the Heath right being crossed inside. The Saltdean striker bringing the ball down and making a yard for himself forcing a diving save from Jones to his left, doing what he needed to do in parrying the ball to safety.
It was still all Heath though, and in the 62nd minute Abudiore cut inside, his powerful strike deflecting off the defender’s thigh and hitting the underside of the bar with several Heath players and fans claiming the ball had gone over the line. Abudiore was growing into the game, and picking up the ball on the right-hand side he ran all the way across the defensive line, shaped up the defender and his clever toe poke just went wide leaving the goalkeeper stranded.
It was a nervous finish for the Blues after Hayden Skerry received a second yellow card for kicking the ball away, and tempers flared in the latter stages with Abudiore and Goldsmith also picking up yellow cards. The Blues held on comfortably enough though with Jones largely untroubled, and would now turn their attention to three successive cup games in seven days, starting with the visit of Midhurst & Easebourne in the RUR Cup on Tuesday the 19th.