Horsham YMCA 1, Haywards Heath Town 7: Full match report

It all came down to the final game of the season and Heath put on a display to seal the league and earn back to back promotions.

Sunday, 30th April 2017, 11:45 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 4:08 am
Haywards Heath Town players celebrate a goal. Picture by Derek Martin

The season came down to the last day where Heath lead second placed Shoreham by a single point. Shoreham travelled to the now safe Arundel and Heath travelled to Gorings Mead to face Horsham YMCA who had beaten Shoreham just several weeks earlier allowing Heath to take over top spot.

Heath knew they would have to be at their very best to not only win but entertain the bumper crowd of 395 that had entered Gorings Mead for the final game of the season.

After a few half chances for the returning Callum Saunders the deadlock was broken on 10 minutes when Melford Simpson met Karly Akehurst's freekick with a good header that the keeper made a good diving save but pushed the ball into Joel Daly's path and the youngster fired Heath into the lead.

The team celebrates. Picture by Derek Martin

Horsham YMCA almost drew level on 26 minutes but for a great diving save by Josh James in the Heath goal.

Heath's lead was doubled on 32 minutes as Melford Simpson and Kane Louis combined before the latter put the ball into Joel Daly's path for him to fire in his and Heath;'s second of the game.

With half time approaching it was 3-0 as Callum Saunders charged down a clearance before releasing Kane Louis who brilliantly fired into the corner.

After the break Nathan Cooper hit another wonder strike but was denied by the upright. Horsham YMCA then looked for away back into the game and scored after the Phil Johnson got to the ball before Josh James to head home from a corner.

Shaun Saunders celebrates with players. Picture Derek Martin

The goal did not deter Heath as both Jamie Weston and George Hayward were introduced.

Heath suffered a set back on 71 minutes as skipper Naim Rouane was stretched off after landing badly and damaging his ankle, top scorer Trevor McCreadie was introduced and looked to add to his seasons tally.

With 76 minutes played the game was finally settled and it was substitute Jamie Weston who fired into the bottom corner from 18 yards with a great strike.

Heath were now starting to run riot as Horsham YMCA heads dropped and with 80 minutes played Trevor McCreadie worked hard to win the ball back in the YM box and then finished brilliantly from a tight angle.

It was 6-1 3 minutes later as George Hayward ran on to a delightful ball from Melford Simpson and finished at pace into the far corner.

As the game finally approached the final whistle a brilliant run from full back Bailie Rogers saw the ball end at Jamie Weston's feet and his strike was only parried by the keeper and Melford Simpson smashed the ball in from five yards out.