By Andy Crisp.
Broadbridge Heath got back to winning ways with a 2-1 away win at Arundel, a victory that sees the Bears move up to sixth place in the Southern Combination Football League.
Steve Painter was forced to make 3 changes to his back four due to injuries and unavailability and he welcomed back Martyn Flack for his first appearance of the season and the former Heath captain was partnered at the heart of the defence by Dan Attwater making his first start since the 4th October.
Jake Holmes had the first real chance of the match on 5 minutes when he headed a Scott Weller corner just over the crossbar but for the next 20 minutes it was the home-side who created the better chances with the lively Asa Nicholson being denied a goal by Flack who got back to clear off the goal-line.
Heath weren’t so lucky in the 18th minute when an attack broke down on the edge of the Arundel penalty area and the host’s counter attack ended with the ball being played out wide on the left to Harry Russell who drilled a low right foot shot under Chester from 20 yards into the far corner. A few minutes later Russell had a great chance to make it 2-0 but this time he shot straight at Chester.
Heath gradually got into the game and on 26 minutes a Rob Godfrey cross from the right came out to Shaun Findlay who tried to lob the ball over the Arundel keeper James Fernandes but the keeper did well to push the ball over the crossbar. Ollie Moore then came close with a shot that went inches wide of the post and Holmes had an effort cleared of the line. In the final minute of the half the pressure finally paid off when Godfrey played a through ball into the path of Moore who setup Holmes to hammer the ball into the net from 8 yards.
Midway through the second period, Heath were awarded a free kick on the edge of the penalty area, Dan Sandell took the kick but an Arundel player raised his hand high above his head to stop the ball and the referee immediately pointed to the spot. Holmes stepped up to convert the penalty for his 20th league goal of the season.
Sandell came close to making it 3-1 when he received the ball some 20 yards from goal and dribbled past two defenders before hitting a right foot shot that went narrowly wide of the post.
In the closing minutes Arundel introduced Cian Tilley as substitute and he almost levelled for the Mullets with a shot from 12 yards that Michael Chester saved brilliantly low to his left and then got up to block the follow up at the near post.
FT: Arundel 1-2 Broadbridge Heath
So another 3 points for the Bears but Arundel will be hoping their luck changes soon in their attempts to move away from the relegation places.