Heath through on Penalties in Peter Bentley
After having their last 2 games postponed, the Heath made the short journey south to local mid-Sussex rivals Hassocks in the Peter Bentley Cup, their first fixture since beating Eastbourne Town on penalties 10 days before.
Naim Rouane named new signing Mitch Hewens in the starting 11 with plenty of rotation to the team that took on Eastbourne Town. An early injury to Elliott Bresciani forced Heath into a 5th-minute substitution, Liam Hendy was the man to now partner Tom Gilbert in the back line for the remaining 85 minutes. Hassocks found the opening goal after 20 minutes, Pat Harding’s cross meeting the head of former blue, Liam Benson whose header looped over Alfie Jones and into the net.
The hosts doubled their lead shortly after, Pat Harding the creator of the first, and scorer of the second benefitted from a massive deflection of his free-kick which rolled into the opposite corner from Heath’s number 1 who had reacted to the original direction of the shot.
Heath pulled a goal back before the break, Pitcher’s fantastic pass into captain Byron Napper luring the goalkeeper off his line, the skipper unselfishly passing it across goal to the eagerly waiting Cameron Dobell who had the pleasure of tapping into an empty net.
The Heath shone brightest in the second half, wearing down the opposition and peppering the Robins’ defence. JJ Minty came very close to finding a leveller but his shot couldn’t find the target despite a sweet connection with the hit. In the 56th minute, Pitcher pulled the Blues level. Darius Goldsmith played the ball to the striker who was on the left-hand side, cutting inside taking on his man, and unleashing a powerful shot towards goal. Although the keeper got a hand to it, it wasn’t enough to prevent the ball from trickling in.
Both teams couldn’t break the deadlock, so it would be a second penalty shootout in 2 games for the Heath. Goalscorer Liam Benson stepped up first for the hosts, but Alfie Jones guessed right and set the Heath up for a perfect run of penalties. Byron Napper, Darius Goldsmith, substitutes George McCarthy and JJ Minty, and sealed the victory with the superb composure of Cameron Dobell who left the keeper no chance; hitting the bar and in to send the Heath into the next round of the Peter Bentley cup.