Heath moved into the second round of the Division 2 Cup with a narrow 2-1 victory at Saltdean United - but once again they were reduced to ten men when debutant Kieron Purkis was sent off just after coming on in the second half.
Hosts Saltdean got off to a great start so it came as no surprise when they took the lead after only five minutes, Billy Cooper smashing home a rebound after a cross had struck the woodwork, and it could have been more but Luke Duchossoy shot wide and Andy Waddingham then cleared one off the line.
Heath gradually got into the game and Tiago Andrade saw a powerful header well saved from Giorgio Alfieri’s cross. On 12 minutes The Bears were level, Alfieri’s free kick was met by Tom Whiting and though his effort was blocked Ollie Moore pounced to make it 1-1, and further chances went begging for both sides before half-time.
It was Heath who came out stronger for the second period, Alfieri with two tame efforts at goal before Portuguese striker Andrade hit a perfect free kick from 30 yards midway through the half to give the visitors the lead.
New signing Purkiss came off the bench was on the pitch for less than ten minutes when he clattered a Saltdean player and was shown a straight red. In the aftermath Saltdean’s Thomas O’Donnell was also dismissed as both sides finished the game with ten men.
Praising his whole squad boss Steve Painter said: “I was very pleased to get through to the second round considering the number of players missing.”
Heath: M.Halsey, Etherington, Alfieri, Waddingham, Flack, Moore, Dale (Bates 77), Miller, Andrade (Purkis 68), Wood, Whiting (Sultan 75).