Tiago Andrada scored the only goal of the game three minutes from time to give Broadbridge Heath all three points away at Loxwood on Saturday.
Victory over one of the favourites for the Division Two title was no doubt particularly pleasing for Heath boss Steve Painter after seeing five of his players leave for Loxwood over the summer.
The match was a superb advert for Division Two football, two evenly balanced sides, end to end football with players in both sides giving their all for their team but it was Painter left with a smile as wide as a football field after seeing his new look Bears side snatch victory in the dying minutes.
The first goal-scoring opportunity fell to Loxwood’s Tom Lyons but Michael Chester - standing in for the unavailable James Fisher - saved with ease at the near post.
At the other end a corner fell to Andy Howard and he set up Matt Whiteford, who rifled a right-footed shot from the edge of the penalty area that was tipped over the crossbar by the Loxwood keeper Chris Coles.
Midway through the half Loxwood’s Dean Wright found space in the box and smashed a shot towards goal but Chester saved brilliantly to keep the score level.
Ten minutes before the break an injury to Heath’s Michael Wood saw last season’s top scorer Jake Holmes make a welcome return following his transfer 24 hours earlier from Newhaven.
The hosts started the second period much stronger but just couldn’t get through a solid looking Heath defence marshalled by the impressive Howard, but as the game progressed Heath began to get on top and should have scored when Holmes played in Whiteford who shot early but his effort was deflected wide by Coles.
Loxwood introduced Tim Martin from the bench and his pace and determined running caused Heath different problems but when the ball was played behind the Heath back four Chester was there to clear away the danger.
With time running out Painter introduced Grant Miller from the bench, another player who has returned to the club after a short spell at Horsham YMCA.
The extra bite in midfield came at just the right time as players started to tire and with just three minutes remaining Heath took the lead. Man of the match Noel Etherington received the ball some 30 yards from goal and played a pass that split the home defence allowing Tiago Andrade to run though and smash a right footed shot beyond the advancing Coles, a goal that sent the many Heath supporters who travelled to Loxwood jumping for joy.
BBH: M Chester, Bates, S Chester, Flack, Howard, Etherington, Waddingham, Moore (Miller 80), Andrade, Whiteford, Woods (Holmes 35).