Gatwick grounded by Broadbridge Heath

Broadbridge Heath were without several regular starters at Crawley Down Gatwick but had the luxury of bringing in some great players from the U23s, six altogether. But they came away with a 2-1 SCFL premier victory.
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And what a wonderful day for a game of football, the sun was out, the sky was blue, and the pitch looked in really good condition so what more could you ask for.

Three points would be nice and that’s just what the Bears came back with after a narrow 2-1 victory away to Crawley Down Gatwick.

Lewis Croal was Heath's goal hero at Crawley Down GatwickLewis Croal was Heath's goal hero at Crawley Down Gatwick
Lewis Croal was Heath's goal hero at Crawley Down Gatwick
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In a pretty even first half it was the hosts who took the lead in the 19th minute when a foul was conceded six yards wide of the Heath area.

The ball was floated in to the danger area where a Crawley Down player tried an acrobatic overhead bicycle kick which only deflected the ball straight into the path of Charlie Pitcher for a tap-in at the far post, and Heath claims that Pitcher was offside were waved away.

Heath replied on the half hour when Charlie Gibson played a long ball forward to Jamie Taylor on the edge of the penalty area. The Heath striker, with three defenders around him, held the ball up and then played it right into the path of Lewis Croal, 12 yards from goal, and the former Down striker dinked it over the advancing goalkeeper to make it 1-1 at the break.

Both teams had chances to take the lead before half-time but it ended 1-1 at the break.

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The second half started in a similar manner to the first, some good football was played by both sides but clear chances were few and far between.

On 63 minutes Jack Frankland received the ball wide on the right just inside the Heath half and he played a long forward pass to Lewis Croal striding down the centre of the park.

The striker took three touches, the first to beat his marker, the second to control the ball and a third to lift the ball over the keeper into the net for Heath’s second.

Heath keeper Liam Matthews made several key saves to deny the hosts in the closing stages while at the other end the home keeper was forced to make a superb full length diving save to deny Mason Doughty’s right foot shot from creeping in at the post.

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It was a very nervy last 10 minutes for Heath but they held on and came away with the points.

Boss Chris Simmons said: “After a really tough run of games and some below par performances from us the attitude of the lads was fantastic this weekend.

“They gave everything and played some really good football in spells, but it really helped to be playing on a great surface, so full credit and thanks to CDG for that and their fantastic hospitality.

“Probably a draw was a fair result on the day but I felt we deserved a lot more at home earlier in the season when the result was reversed.

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“It was also great to see six or seven under-23s in the squad this weekend which shows what strength and depth we have this season.”

Next up is a trip to Peacehaven & Telscombe on Saturday.

JUNIOR FOOTBALL

Roffey Robins Atletico rounded off their season with a 5-2 win against Southwater.

The match, which had been postponed three times due to a waterlogged pitch was played on a lovely surface which certainly aided Atletico’s style of play.

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Atletico were the dominant side, passing the ball very well as they retained possession and controlled the game. They took the lead through Joshua Bellamy who bundled the ball home from an Aaron Woodhams corner. Full back Henry Dinsdale hit the crossbar with a speculative effort before Atletico doubled the lead.

If the first goal was scrappy, the second was beautiful. Luca Harris drove forward to the edge of the penalty area, with his route to goal blocked by the opposition defence. Rather than panic, he played a lovely reverse pass to Michael Gomes who struck the ball into the goal with his left foot.

Daniel Gardiner swung in a great cross which saw Romario Moratalla thwarted by the goalkeeper. Atletico had another corner where tall defenders Dan Klamm and Josh Davidson again caused concern for the opposition, which allowed Will Anderson to find himself unmarked to smash a Woodhams corner home from the six yard box.

Although Southwater pulled one back before half time, the second half followed a similar pattern. Keeper Theo Botevyle pulled off a few trademark saves with Fin Ledingham and Tim Clifford supporting him manfully in defence.

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It was from an opposition attack that Atletico scored their fourth. The ball reached Moratalla who played the ball through to Woodhams in the inside left channel, he was forced wide by the defender but had the ability to score from a tight angle.

Lucas Byrne hassled and harried on the right wing as Southwater continued to be pressured, although they pulled another back. Atletico scored the seventh goal of the game as the result was firmly put beyond doubt. Moratalla grabbed a loose ball in the penalty area that he had no right to win, before slotting the ball into the bottom right corner.

Manager Ricardo Moratalla said: “That was a fantastic way to end a challenging season. Illness and injury have tested our squad, but we have come through. Key partnerships in the team are working better than ever, and the whole team can take great pride in what they have achieved. To end with back to back victories sends us into summer with confidence.”

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