A severely-depleted Broabridge Heath secured a superb three points with a 2-0 win away to Pagham last night.
Heath were missing Mark Fox, Georgio Alfieri, Jamal Sultan, Andy Waddingham and Andy Howard in defence, Kieron Purkis, Rob Godfrey, Noel Etherington and Jake Holmes in midfield, along with Tiago Andrade and Jack McNab in attack.
The hosts started well with Scott Murfin and Michael Asare looking a threat and Heath’s James Fisher was forced into action early on when he tipped a goal-bound Murfin effort over the crossbar.
Heath used the pace of Merv Bhujun and Jake Legrande, both making their first starts of the season, to counter-attack and almost took the lead when Danny Mobsby floated in a free kick that went narrowly wide of the far post.
Bhujun then had a shot charged down by the Lion’s keeper James Binfield and Mark Bevan struck a post with a downward header on 16 minutes.
From then on, Pagham dominated the half. Fisher again denied Murfin, Rob Brown headed just over the Heath crossbar from a corner and Rob Wimble lobbed Fisher as he came out of goal, but the ball went narrowly wide of the post.
Murfin was again in the thick of it and had an effort cleared off the line and Jamie Wanstall twice cleared away goalbound shots.
A few minutes before the break, Bhujun had a right-foot shot saved brilliantly by Binfield, but the keeper could do nothing to prevent Mark Bevan’s free kick which bent round the wall and crept in at the near post giving Heath an unexpected half-time lead.
Heath started the second period well and could have scored four themselves in the opening 15 minutes.
Bhujun raced away down the left and hit a shot that went just wide of the far post. Ollie Moore broke away down the middle but shot straight at the keeper, Bhujun went through again, but was once more denied by Binfield but on 59 minutes Heath made it 2-0.
Bhujun attacked down the left flank and picked out Moore on the edge of the penalty area and he dispatched a right-foot shot past Binfield.
In the closing 20 minutes, with the Heath defence sitting deep, the Lions finally started to get on top and put in some quality crosses into the Heath penalty area, but just couldn’t get on the end of them with the Heath defence holding solid.
Heath: Fisher, Chester, Bevan (Wicking 75), Attwater, Flack, Mobsby, Moore, McDermott, Legrande (Robinson 68), Wanstall, Bhujun (Holmes 75).