Broadbridge Heath 4 Saltdean Utd 1: Andrade hat-trick seals fine win

Tiago Andrada has been a revelation for Heath this season. Two more goals on Saturday made it 24 for the season for the striker. Below: Both Heath and Loxwood can still finish the season as Division 2 champions
Tiago Andrada has been a revelation for Heath this season. Two more goals on Saturday made it 24 for the season for the striker. Below: Both Heath and Loxwood can still finish the season as Division 2 champions
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Broadbridge Heath topscorer Tiago Andrade continued his fine season by scoring a hat-trick to keep his side’s promotion hopes on track.

But victory was never going to be easy as Saltdean have signed six players in recent weeks, including four from Division One side Newhaven and came into the game on an unbeaten run of six matches.

So the Heath players knew full well what was expected of them and they certainly didn’t let their supporters down.

Heath started well and took the lead on 15 minutes, a right wing cross from Noel Etherington picked out Jake Holmes, his first-time right foot shot was parried by the Saltdean Tigers keeper Graham Leach into the path of Andrade who gratefully accepted an easy tap-in for his 17th goal of the season.

With six minutes of the half remaining Michael Wood drilled in a cross from the left which Andrade chested down with his back to goal, turned and hit a left foot volley that flew past Leach into the net.

The Tigers responded immediately with an attack down the right flank and a pinpoint cross into the penalty area was headed home by the prolific goalscorer Ryan Walton.

Into the second half and Heath continued to create chances, both Wood and Martyn Flack had efforts that went narrowly wide of the goal but the all important third goal finally arrived midway through the half.

Jamal Sultan received the ball in his own half, beat two defenders and ran through on goal.

The Saltdean keeper came out to narrow the angle and just as Sultan tried to take the ball around him the keeper clattered him to the ground just inside the penalty area, an easy decision for the referee pointing to the spot but a surprise that Leach was only shown a yellow card.

Andrade completed his hat-trick by sending the keeper the wrong way from the spot kick.

Heath completed the scoring in the 82nd minute when Andrade turned provider by splitting the Saltdean defence with an inch perfect through-ball into the path of Holmes, who was having his best game since returning from injury, and he ran through and hit a right foot shot past Leach into the bottom left corner.

This was an excellent 90 minute performance by the Heath players who worked tirelessly against a much improved and busy Saltdean side.

The only downside for Heath was yet another injury picked up during the game, this time it was defender Noel Etherington who was helped off the field with an injury that could put him out for a few weeks.

Heath: Fisher, Etherington (Day 60), Alfieri, Flack, Howard, Waddingham, McDermott, Andrade, Holmes, Sultan (Moore 80), Wood.

Man of the Match: Tiago Andrade