A great performance saw Broadbridge Heath complete the double over Loxwood to stay on the coat-tails of their local Division 2 rivals in the race for promotion.
Even more pleasing for Heath was the fact that the result was achieved with eight players who came through the Broadbridge Heath Youth setup, six of whom started in the under-eights, as goals from Tiago Andrade, Jake Holmes and Michael Wood secured victory.
At half-time the visiting Magpies must have been wondering how on earth they were not leading after several goal-scoring chances had gone begging.
Matt Hoyte was the first player with a noteworthy shot at goal when he forced Heath keeper James Fisher into action, tipping the shot over the crossbar.
It was Heath who took the lead in the 11th minute when a Holmes left wing cross picked out Andrade on the edge of the penalty area and Heath’s leading goal-scorer turned two defenders and toe-poked the ball into the net with his left foot.
The visitors replied with a series of dangerous in-swinging corners, played into a crowded six yard box but somehow the Heath defenders managed to clear their lines even though on a couple of occasions it looked odds on that the visitors would score.
One such corner saw the ball cleared to the edge of the penalty area to former Heath player Mark Cave, who struck it well through a wall of bodies where it hit the foot of one post, went agonizingly across the front of goal struck the other post and went out but the despite the goal-mouth scrambles the visitors just couldn’t get that equalising goal.
Into the second half and Heath played much better with the visitors rarely threatening Fisher’s goal.
On 67 minutes Andrade advanced down the right, played the ball into Holmes on the edge of the Loxwood penalty area and despite being closely marked by two defenders he somehow dribbled the ball between them both and hammered a right foot shot past Paul Williams. A super goal by the Heath striker getting back to the sort of form that saw him score 28 goals last season.
Heath felt they should have been awarded a penalty in the 80th minute when Andrade tried to take the ball past Loxwood’s Eddie French, who seemed to clearly handled it.
The Heath supporters didn’t have to wait too long for the third and final goal and again it was Andrade who was involved in the build up. This time he broke away down the right, took the ball around the defender to the goal-line, cut it back to Wood whose first strike was well saved by Williams but slotted home the rebound.
Loxwood stay second, but are now just two points ahead of Broadbridge Heath, both with five league games of the season remaining.
BBH: Fisher, Chester (Moore 60), Alfieri, Flack, Howard, Waddingham, McDermott (Purkis 70), Godfrey, Andrade, Holmes (Sultan 70), Wood.