AFC Uckfield Town returned to winning ways on Saturday, beating Broadbridge Heath 1-0 with a late goal by Tyler Pearson securing all three points for the team, writes Sean Kirk
This was The Oakmen’s first win since the 4-2 FA Vase win against Holmesdate and the first league win since the 2-0 win to Eastbourne United in September.
The game was in doubt earlier in the day, with the pitch still heavy following more rain during the week but due to some amazing work by the ground staff, it was declared playable after an early inspection.
Thanks to these three points, it moves the club temporarily into second in the Southern Combinations, four points from first, although teams below do have games in hand.
The first chance of the game came after 9 minutes, with a great shot from Luca Page which was well saved by the Bears keeper, Liam Matthews, and moments later he made another tremendous stop from a marauding Jack Samways.
Page was lively today, starting after injuries to forwards Wayne Clarke and captain Sam Carrington, and was unlucky not to find himself on the goal sheet.
The Bears had their own chances however, with Charlie Parmiter’s superb dribble towards goal ending with the forward placing his shot effort wide.
Both teams adjusted well despite the conditions. A skilful turn by Morgan Vale saw him through on goal but a valiant lunging tackle prevented him from adding to his six goals already this season.
Uckfield continued pushing for the goal however, and at the 30 minutes the livewire Page beat the Bears keeper and back line to cross the ball to Vale who was unable to make a clean connection.
This was followed by a lovely move from Nathan Hover who picked out Page who ghosted into the box but fired his shot just over the bar.
The second half began and was just as entertaining, with Tibble making a sharp save off his line to deny an attack, with some great defensive work by Ben Kirk-Patrick.
Morgan Vale could also feel unlikely not to score on the night, as he went on another wonderful dribble and smashed his shot just along the top of the crossbar.
Uckfield continued pushing with some good football but were unable to convert their chances, with expansive play from Max Walsh & Jack Samways unable to create a chance.
The Oakmen made changes in an attempt to force an opening, with the final substitute Tyler Pearson replacing the hard-working Luca Page and was finally able to break the deadlock.
Pearson made an instant impact after coming on, placing the ball past the stranded Bears keeper Matthews to give the team the lead in the 82nd minute.
Broadbridge Heathwould still threaten their chances however, with Jason Tibble saving a certain goal at the far post from Parmiter following a free kick.
The game continued with the referee awarding five added minutes of added time but Uckfield were able to maintain their performance and were awarded the three points.
This allows The Oakmen to go into their next league game full of confidence, with the next game set to be away to Steyning Town next Saturday.
The average age of the Uckfield team lineup on Saturday was 21, the average age on the bench 20.
A young team performing like true professionals.