AFC Uckfield return with a point from draw specialists

AFC Uckfield returned from their short trip west with a point following a 1-1 scoreline at draw specialists St Francis Rangers

After a two-week break due to cancellation of last week’s fixture and on the back of a 5-2 away victory at Shoreham, AFC travelled the short distance to Haywards Heath.

The minute’s silence at the start of the match was a fitting tribute to the sad loss of Brian Smith, a club stalwart, earlier in the week.

After a goalless first half St Francis took the lead on 51 minutes when Brannon O’Neill’s long, raking cross from the left was headed in at the far post by skipper Terry Gacias.

An immediate substitution by the visitors saw the introduction of top scorer Andy McDowell for Joe Dryer and, soon after, young Tom Swancott on for Drew Greenall.

And it was Swancott who made the difference when his shot went through a congested Rangers boxinto the back of the net.

The last 15 minutes of a match that had, up until that point been played in good spirit, saw a proliferation of yellow cards – and one red, for McDowell late on for a second caution.

But that was too late to change the outcome of the match and AFC returned to East Sussex with a point. It felt more like two points lost than a point gained, but they were playing the draw specialists of the division. Rangers had again failed to hold on to a lead as they played out their third successive 1-1 draw and, amazingly, their 10th stalemate in the last 13 games.