Blues Settle For Point in Even Game
After their Boxing Day win against Hassocks, it was the turn of Steyning Town to visit the Home Smart Energy Stadium. In the reverse fixture back in late August, the Heath were comfortably beaten 4-1 at the Shooting Field, however, only 5 players who started in that game had their starting place 4 months later The visitors’ squad featured some familiar names to those who have kept an eye on the Heath for some time, Charlie Towning had a brief stint with the club last season and Sam Remfry another midfielder to have previously worn the blue and white.
Steyning had the better chances early on, with some vital blocks from Spinks and Hendy at the back. But Hendy’s game wouldn’t last long, 13 minutes in the defender went down with an injury and was replaced by Elliott Bresciani. The Heath’s best chance of the half came from Hayden Skerry, the winger given the ball on the edge of the box, his side-footed effort powerful, but just skimming the crossbar. With 5 minutes until the break, the Blues had to defend a barrage of corners from Steyning, Alfie Jones and his defenders doing everything they could and keeping the scores level and goalless at the break.
The second half was underway and Hayden Skerry was hacked down almost immediately, the referee showed Steyning their 3rd yellow card of the match, and Josh Spinks was shown one 10 minutes later. A double change for the Heath saw Benson and Napper replaced by Sam Geard and Ben Connolly in the 62nd minute.
The Barrowmen found the opening goal, Lloyd Francis’ shot saved by Jones into the path of Tom Chalaye who made no mistake with the rebound with 65 minutes played. It took 15 minutes for the Heath to find the leveller however, Hayden Skerry’s rifle of a free-kick was too powerful for Szendela-Goetzke to hold, forcing the punch into the air, Ben Connolly first to react and won the header across goal putting Lewis Finney in the prime position to smash the ball into the back of the net!
The game was into its final 10 minutes, and it couldn’t have been more end-to-end. Both teams desperate for 3 points in the race for promotion, as a draw meant Heath and Steyning would slip down a place with other results around the league – but neither team found the winning goal, and the points were shared at the Home Smart Energy Stadium in the Heath’s final home game of 2023.
An incredible attendance of 416 was the highest in the division by a distance, and every spectator having seen plenty of action and entertainment on the day.