Harry’s agony! Defender’s last-gasp own goal leaves 10-man Chichester City pointless at Haywards Heath

Harry Williams’ agonising own goal in stoppage time meant 10-man Chichester City had three points snatched away in a 2-1 loss to Haywards Heath Town.

As the game drew to a close, Chi were set to grab a point from this entertaining battle, but the late winner resulted in them suffering defeat in this thrilling SCFL Premier Division match. Miles Rutherford’s outfit conceded when City had Drew Smith dismissed for an off-the-ball incident.

Chi started poorly when they struggled to clear their lines in the first couple minutes. This allowed Heath to square the ball to a waiting player who had his shot blocked by a brave Dan Hegarty, only to have the ball fall to George Hayward who turned in the rebound.

It didn’t take long for the visitors to respond. Scott Jones and Dave Herbert were unable to get a shot off but when the ball broke to Josh Clack at the back post, he made sure he found the back of the net.

There was plenty of action at both ends before the half with Hegarty almost getting on the end of a Clack free-kick and Heath’s Joel Daly fizzing a shot just wide.

City began to dominate with chances; Hegarty’s efforts resulted in a fine double save from keeper Simon Lehkyj, Herbert could have played his strike partner in but chose to have a go himself and blasted his shot over.

City were reduced to 10 men with just over 20 minutes to go when Drew Smith was dismissed for an off-the-ball incident.

Despite being down a player, Chi still threatened to edge in front; Lehkyj spilled an effort into the path of Jones who had his shot deflected, he then brought the ball down well and tried to lob the scrambling keeper.

The decider came almost six minutes into stoppage time when a whipped-in delivery was turned into the back of the net by Harry Williams.

The match was so entertaining that even ref Lee Cramp enjoyed it and took to Twitter to express his opinion. He said: “Most competitive game I’ve refereed to date. Both Heath and City battled from minute 1-90.”

This result sends Heath top and Chi stay in third. City’s next league fixture sees them take on lowly AFC Uckfield Town at Oaklands Park on Saturday 18th November.

Chichester: Ender, Hartley, Williams, Martin, Smith, Kilner, Clack, Hegarty, Jones, Herbert, Dolcetti. Subs (Haitham, Kanjanda, Way, Ndlovu, Hutchings)

About the Author

Josh Burford
Trainee journalist at Highbury College with a passion for film and TV.