Broadbridge Heath 1, Chichester City 3: Bears lose to another top three side

Action from Saturday's match by Tommy McMillan
Action from Saturday's match by Tommy McMillan

It’s been a difficult period for Heath in recent weeks having already lost to division leaders Shoreham and then to second-placed Haywards Heath and on Saturday it was the turn of third-placed Chichester City to take on the Bears at the Leisure Centre.

Heath were without Moore, Holmes and Howard all injured, Attwater, Weller and Godfrey all unavailable but that gave opportunities for former Heath Junior Mitchell Clark to make his first start in the team and a senior debut for U18 player Tallon Baker coming off the bench.

The visitors have only lost two league games all season and you can see why when they forced Heath keeper Michael Chester into making his first save of the afternoon when he pushed a Dan Heggarty effort wide of the post. The visitor’s continued to pressurize the home defence and scored their opening goal in the 12th minute when John Horncastle found space between two defenders to steer a header from a left wing cross wide of Chester.

Heath gradually got into the game and on 20 minutes Jamal Sultan had a shot cleared off the goal line and minutes later Tim Martin turned quickly to fire narrowly wide into the side netting but the score remained 0-1 at the break.

The visitor’s second goal was scored 20minutes into the restart, Dan Sandell was judged to have fouled a player some 22 yards from goal and Lorrenzo Dolcetti stepped up to hit a perfect left foot curler that went round the wall and into the top left hand corner, a superb strike from the Chi player.

The game was killed off 5 minutes later when Omar Barry found sufficient space wide on the right hand side of the penalty area and the player hit a shot across the face of goal but with no Chi player anywhere near it hit Harry Balfour tracking back and went in for an unfortunate own goal.

Heath should have pulled a goal back in the 80th minute when Tim Martin got on the end of a Sultan right wing cross but somehow the Heath striker headed wide of the post when it looked odds on to score.

In the final minutes Heath did get a consolation goal when George Cousins played a through ball into the path of Dean Wright who went on to chip the keeper from 18 yards.

The games don’t get any easier for the Bears when they travel to Steyning on Tuesday for a Peter Bentley Cup semi-final against in-form Haywards Heath and then on Saturday the team are on the road again this time to 5th place Eastbourne United.

Team: M. Chester, S.Chester, Robinson, Balfour, Maxwell, Sandell (Baker), Clark (Cousins), Findlay, Martin, Wright, Sultan.