Heath climb into top eight with win at St Francis

County League Division 1: St Francis Rangers v Broadbridge Heath (blue). St Francis's 1st goal. 07-03-15. Pic Steve Robards SUS-150903-162214001

County League Division 1: St Francis Rangers v Broadbridge Heath (blue). St Francis's 1st goal. 07-03-15. Pic Steve Robards SUS-150903-162214001

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Broadbridge Heath climbed into the top eight in County League Division 1 with a 3-2 away at St Francis on Saturday.

This was the third meeting of the sides this season with St Francis winning the two previous encounters 3-1.

The first was on October 8 in the Sussex Senior Cup, followed a few days later by victory at the Leisure Centre.

Player availability once again forced Heath manager Steve Painter to change his centre back pairing for the fourth time in four games with Andy Waddingham now partnering Martyn Flack.

The hosts started well and had Heath on the back foot from the kick-off, but despite dominating early possession they rarely troubled keeper Michael Chester.

On 20 minutes, Piers McDermott played a long free kick deep into the St Francis penalty area, a goalmouth scramble followed before the ball found its way to Tiago Andrade, who hammered a left-foot shot through the crowded penalty area into the net.

County League Division 1: St Francis Rangers v Broadbridge Heath (blue). 07-03-15. Pic Steve Robards SUS-150903-162140001

County League Division 1: St Francis Rangers v Broadbridge Heath (blue). 07-03-15. Pic Steve Robards SUS-150903-162140001

Suddenly it was role reversal with Heath dominating play and minutes later it was 2-0.

Ollie Moore played the ball over a defender, who tried in vain to head it back to his keeper, but Andrade read the play and nipped in to score his second of the match.

Andrade came close to adding a third on 30 minutes when his right-foot shot went narrowly wide of the post, but with Heath now on top it was the hosts turn to score against the run of play when Josh Bryant converted a corner to reduce the deficit.

Heath scored their third five minutes into the second half; Jamal Sultan got behind the left full-back and picked out Ollie Moore to score his 20th goal of the season from 12 yards.

Chester made a good save to deny Aaron Walsh midway through the half, but he could do nothing to prevent the St Francis second when a long free-kick was played into the Heath penalty area and Dan Lawrence glanced a header wide of the Heath stopper.

In the closing minutes, James Westlake came close for the home side with a direct free-kick that went over the crossbar and Sultan should have made it four when he went through on goal but pulled his shot wide of the post.

Full reaction and quotes from Heath boss Painter in Thursday’s paper.

Heath: Chester, Sultan, Robinson, Waddingham, Flack, Mobsby, Moore, McDermott (Legrange 75), Andrade, Holmes, Greig.