Seventh heaven for Broadbridge Heath as they hit best-ever Vase win

Southern Combination League, Premier Division: Broadbridge Heath v Loxwood. SR1720191. Pic Steve Robards SUS-170828-103428001
Southern Combination League, Premier Division: Broadbridge Heath v Loxwood. SR1720191. Pic Steve Robards SUS-170828-103428001

Broadbridge Heath were in seventh heaven as they eased into the second qualifying round of the FA Vase.

The Bears came away from Old Barn Road against local Division 1 side Southwick, who have had a tricky start to the season, with a comfortable 7-2 win and £550 worth of prize money.

The opening goal was scored by George Cousins on 13 minutes when the Wickers defence failed to clear their lines.

The Heath man slipped past two defenders and took the ball around the keeper to score from the angle.

Wickers had a great chance to equalise minutes later when Omar Selma cut in from the right and hit a shot with the outside of his right boot, but his effort curled just wide of Jamie Cravens right hand post.

Cousins made it 2-0 on 19 minutes when he played a one-two with Jack McNab on the edge of the box and placed his shot wide of the Southwick keeper Liam Stideford.

McNab made it 3-0 six minutes later when he controlled Alex Parsons’ long free kick from with his chest and slotted past Strideford with his right foot from eight yards.

A minute before the break, Marlon Maxwell made it hit the fourth, converting Dan Sandell’s pass at the far post.

Wickers pulled a goal back five minutes into the restart with Selma doing well with a right-foot shot from the edge of the penalty area.

In the 68th minute, Devon Fender disposed a defender and ran through on goal, Stideford came running out and clattered into Fender outside the area.

It looked a certain red card for the keeper, who, in his attempt to clear the ball, caught Fender with his studs, but after a couple of minutes’ break the referee decided a yellow was sufficient punishment.

From the resulting free-kick Fender hammered in a low shot past the wall, the keeper and into the net for Heath’s fifth and Fender’s tenth goal of the season.

David Hilditch capitalised on a mistake in the Heath defence to reduce the deficit, but in the 81st minute Heath substitute Dean Wright, making a welcome return to the side, beat two defenders in the penalty area before crossing to Fender at the far post who converted acrobatically with his left foot.

Wright completed the scoring a minute later with a delightful chip over Stideford to make this result Heath’s best ever in the competition.

In the next round, Heath will play the winners of the Bearsden verses Croydon Athletic game at the Leisure Centre on September 23.

Broadbridge Heath: Craven, Elkana (Findlay 55), Robinson, Attwater (Flack 46), Maxwell, Godfrey, Sandell, Parsons, Fender, Cousins, McNab (Wright 70).