Broadbridge Heath bounced back from last week’s lows to seal their place in the quarter-finals of the RUR Cup at the expense of holders Eastbourne Town.
The Bears pulled off the upset on Tuesday night as their high-flying visitors had only lost two games all season and remain unbeaten in the league.
It came at a perfect time as Heath manager Steve Painter got the vast improvement he called for following their dismal performance in their 4-0 defeat at Eastbourne United.
All six goals came in the second half and Painter praised his players as they booked their spot against Littlehampton in the last eight.
He said: “We got all the lads together to have a chat about putting things right. It was an honest conversation saying we had to look at ourselves as a management team and asked the players to do the same.
“It certainly worked as the response we got was brilliant. We thoroughly deserved the victory to be fair. And their management team and said by far the better side won.
“The response was unbelievable, but I did not expect anything less, we have a great group who are very capable of having results like that. I know full well if we can get a regular squad together we are definitely a top-six side in County One.”
The Heath starting line-up contained eight former youth players, one of whom, Dan Attwater, who has not played for four months, returned at centre-back.
Town goalkeeper Grant Young had a busy evening and denied an Ollie Moore shot and Tiago Andrade’s follow-up. He then denied Tim Martin three minutes later as they failed to find the elusive opening goal as the score remained 0-0 at the break.
The visitors started the second half in much better fashion but it was Young who again came to their rescue in the 52nd minute when he got his finger tips to push a Scott Weller corner over the bar.
From the resulting corner, Scott Weller delivered another dangerous ball into the penalty area which went straight in to give Heath the lead.
The visitors then netted with their first noteworthy attack as Kenny Pogue hit a clinical finish from 10 yards. Before Heath could react, the visitors made it 2-1 with Wes Tate scoring from a similar position.
Heath drew level six minutes later and Moore got on the end on a Weller corner with a header past Young on 65 minutes. Another Weller set-piece was cleared as far as Moore who played it back to the far post where Andy Waddingham’s header gave Heath the lead.
With just five minutes left, Andrade received the ball wide on the right 30 yards from goal and hit a ball that flew over Young into the far corner to relieve the pressure.
In the quarter-final, Heath will travel to the Sportsfield on Tuesday, December 1.
Painter added: “Andy Waddingham, who lives in London and never misses a game, was immense. I do not think there is another player in the league that covers more ground than him. Stuart Chester has played centre-half this year, somewhere he does not want to be, but pushed up into holding midfield and the pair of them were different class.
“They still weren’t the best players on the pitch. Scott Weller was class and is probably the best signing I have made here. Every single player, I could go through the whole team, they did everything I asked them to do.”
Broadbridge Heath: M.Chester, Ozga, Robinson (Wicking 75), Attwater, Howard, Waddingham, Moore (Wragg 80), S.Chester, Andrade, Weller, Martin (Holmes 80).
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