Broadbridge Heath manager Steve Painter rotated his squad for Saturday’s 2-0 County League Division 2 cup defeat at Seaford, and the Bears were left incensed by a late penalty.
Already missing Martyn Flack, Tim Martin and Marc Cave through injury, the management decided to rest first team regulars Ben Arthur, Dan Attwater, Stuart Chester and Michael Wood, who all took up their positions on the substitute’s bench.
Heath started the match kicking up the hill towards the clubhouse with Dean Robinson leading the line and a midfield five with Jake Holmes and Jamal Sultan playing down the flanks and Ollie Moore, Piers McDermott and Gary Pritchard occupying the centre. And the visitors enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges but the home-side gradually worked their way into the game with their direct style of football which was far more effective on a wet and heavy pitch, aided and abetted by a torrential hail storm midway through the half. The scores remained level at the break but Heath had to thank keeper James Fisher for keeping the Bears in the game with two or three excellent saves to deny the home-side.
Heath reverted to a 4-4-2 formation for the start of the second period kicking down the slope with leading scorer Jake Holmes taking up his normal centre forward position and the change certainly made a difference with Heath looking far more threatening.
Midway through the half Arthur and Wood came off the bench and now Heath really started to get on top with Wood down the left flank and Sultan reenergised down the right, twice in quick succession Wood crossed from the left, the first saw Robinson inches from converting with a header and the second saw Holmes sliding in at the far post and only failing to give his side the lead by a fraction, but with normal time running out and against the run of play the hosts took the lead in very controversial circumstances.
A Heath attack broke down and the ball was cleared to a solitary Seaford striker who appeared be yards offside the linesman didn’t raise his flag and the forward continued to run at the Heath goal much to the disbelief of everyone on the away bench. Fisher came out to narrow the angle and brought down the player just inside the penalty area, the referee immediately blew for a penalty and Scott Dartnell stepped up to give his side the lead in the 87th minute. The Heath players and management were incensed with the decision.
Seaford then took advantage of Heath’s attempts to force a leveller with a breakaway goal in stoppage time through Ollie Davies.
BBH: Fisher, Godfrey (Chester 80mins), Ahearn, Waddingham, Swaine, Moore (Wood 65mins), McDermott (Arthur 65mins), Sultan, Holmes, Robinson, Pritchard.