Broadbridge Heath record first Peter Bentley Cup win in four years

The Peter Bentley Cup is a tournament that Broadbridge Heath have, traditionally, struggled in.

Wednesday, 8th September 2021, 4:31 pm
Ben Cooksley (centre) hit Broadbridge Heath's winner against Lingfield in the Peter Bentley Cup. Picture courtesy of Broadbridge Heath FC

You have to go back to August 23, 2017 to find the last time Heath won a game in the competition. A 3-2 home triumph over Littlehampton Town was secured through goals from Dan Attwater, Tim Martin and Devon Fender.

For Tuesday's cup clash with Lingfield, Heath manager Chris Simmons made a number of changes in defence. Andy Waddingham returned from injury, while Zac Young and Sean Terry started after missing Heath's previous three matches.

But, before the new look defence could get to know each other, the Bears found themselves a goal down.

A free kick from the left was fired in to the far post, and an unmarked Lingfield player ran in to head past Heath keeper Liam Matthews.

The Bears responded well, and should have converted one of the many chances that came their way, but it remained 1-0 at the break.

Lingfield started the second half well, and Heath were fortunate not to concede a second, but gradually the Bears got on top and equalised on 73 minutes.

Charlie Parmiter broke through the defence and got off a shot from the edge of the area. His effort took a deflection, and beat Johnny Thurbin in the Lingfield goal.

With five minutes remaining, 17-year-old Ben Cooksley received the ball outside the box. The youngster took on the Lingfield defenders, found some space, and then rifled a low shot into the bottom corner past Thurbin.

The Bears will travel to Shoreham in the next round. The Musselmen overcame Little Common on penalties after the game finished 0-0 after 90 minutes.

Heath host Croydon in the first qualifying round of the FA Vase this Saturday, before they return to SCFL Premier matters with a home game against Steyning Town next Tuesday.

Broadbridge Heath: Matthews, Terry, Young, Waddingham (Williams 82), Sim, Weller, Jones, Parmiter, Croal (Cooksley 72), Taylor, Watts (Goodsir 60).