Late Hunter goal at Heath sees Wanderers go clear at the top

Broadbridge Heath manager Steve Painter
Broadbridge Heath manager Steve Painter

A late Liam Hunter goal pinched the points against Broadbridge Heath and saw Dorking go three points clear in Division 1 on Tuesday night.

The Wanderers substitute’s 82nd-minute header separated the two sides in a match that lacked any substantial quality.

On the balance of play Dorking deserved the points but I’m very disappointed at the way we defended the free-kick, their player should not have been allowed a free header

Steve Painter

Hunter went from hero to villain as he was sent-off soon after his goal and goalkeeper Kieron Campbell preserved the win with a fine late save to deny Tiago Andrade’s overhead effort.

Due to injury and unavailability Heath manager Steve Painter was forced to make several changes from the side that won at Eastbourne Town on Saturday.

Brendan Sebuliba, a former Heath youth player made a welcome return to the club at right full-back, Harry Balfour took over as centre-half and Danny Mobsby was back from injury for his first start since October.

There wasn’t too much to excite the supporters in a low-key first half played on a dreadful surface at the Leisure Centre.

Dorking’s front-two, the division’s leading goal scorer Tom Tolfrey and Charlie Pitcher, both looked lively but it was the Bears who had the first attempt on target when Martyn Flack headed a cross into the arms of Campbell.

On 30 minutes, Michael Chester was forced to make a save from Kevin Terry’s shot and five minutes later Chester made another good save this time low to his left to deny Luke Hackett.

The quality of play got even worse in the second, with the pitch cutting up badly and the game continually being stopped for what appeared to be minor misdemeanours.

The visitors had made the most of the possession but couldn’t break down the Heath defence until the 82nd minute.

A free-kick was awarded wide on the left and the ball was played to the far post where Hunter placed a header past Chester. Heath responded well and in the closing minutes Andrade executed a perfectly-timed overhead kick which Campbell saved brilliantly.

Painter said: “On the balance of play Dorking deserved the points but I’m very disappointed at the way we defended the free-kick, their player should not have been allowed a free header.”