There was late, late drama at Broadbridge Heath on Saturday as Deven Fender hit a 98th-minute winner to complete his hat-trick.
The striker’s treble along with a brace from George Cousins saw the Bears secure their first Premier Division win of the campaign.
The game was played at quite a frenetic pace with end to end football starting in the first minute when Cousins burst through only to be denied by the Lingfield keeper Dan Burnett.
That reprieve was only temporary when Rob Godfrey played a ball in from the right which split the defence allowing Cousins to run through unopposed and place his shot wide of Burnett.
The Lingers responded immediately with Chris Ransome shooting narrowly over the crossbar and then being denied by Mark Fox.
It was a case of third time lucky in the 16th minute when David Heaton crossed from the left and the striker got in between two defenders to place a header wide of Fox into the goal.
At the other end, Burnett was forced to make another save at the near post form Ben Chowney, but midway through the half, Heath regained the lead when Chowney played a low ball across the face of the penalty area, Lee Carney did a step-over to distract the keeper allowing Fender space to drill a shot into the net.
On the half hour, Jamie Robinson hammered a shot that rattled the Lingfield crossbar, but just minutes later the score was level when Thomas Stead received the ball on the left of the penalty area and rifled home.
In the second half, Robinson advanced down the left flank and picked out Fender on the edge of the penalty area, the Heath striker controlled the ball and shot low into the corner of the net to restore Heath’s narrow advantage.
Things got better 10 minutes later when Scott Weller played Cousins through who shrugged off a defender before shooting past Burnett to give Heath some breathing space.
On 67 minutes, the visitors reduced the deficit when a cross from the left found Sam Clements and the midfield player calmly slotted past Fox.
With 12 minutes remaining the score was level when Jake Horn launched the ball from wide on the right and it dipped over Fox and in at the far post.
After a lengthy stoppage due to an injury and clash of heads,Fender hit the bar in stoppage time and then shot just wide.
In the eighth minute of extra time, Ben Hands played Fender through on goal again. This time the striker took no chances and dribbled the ball inside, beat the keeper and a defender and then smashed the ball into the net from eight yards to complete his treble and steal all three points.
Heath: Fox, Godfrey, Robinson, Chester, Maxwell, Bold, Carney, Weller, Fender (Flack 98), Cousins (Hands 85), Chowney (Howell 80).