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Heathens are spot on in penalty shootout against Burnham in Challenge Cup clash

Flackwell Heath beat Burnham 4-3 on penalties after holding them to a 1-1 draw in regular time in the Bluefin Challenge Cup on Tuesday night.

Adam Bernard’s 11th-minute opener had the Blues in control for the majority as the hosts passed up chances to increase their advantage.

However, on the 72nd minute, the Heathens levelled matters when Ben Fraser thumped the ball home from the penalty spot following some good attacking pressure.

With nothing more to separate the two teams, a blow of the full-time whistle ensured the tie would need to be settled on spot kicks where Marcus Richardson would see his side emerge victorious.

After the game, both Richardson and Burnham boss Ashleigh James admitted the result could have swung in either team’s favour and acknowledged there are lessons to be learned.

“It was anyone’s game to win,” said Richardson.

“It was a fairly scrappy game and there really wasn’t much to separate the two teams after 90 minutes.

“It took us the first 45 to really get into the rhythm of the game.

“My team have been playing really well lately but they just need to understand that we can’t get too comfortable.”

James added: “We rode our luck a lot and it was definitely a tale of two halves. But once it goes down to a shootout, it’s a lottery.

“They deserved to score a goal and take the game to penalties after a better second half.

“We’ve just got to keep improving and hope we can react better for this weekend.”

Burnham and Flackwell will face off again this Saturday at The Gore in a league match.

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Flackwell Heath progressed in the FA Vase with a 3-0 victory against Desborough FC on Saturday.

Adam Thomas (35’), Ashley Howell (90+1’) and Ezio Touray (90+3’) were all on the scoresheet for the Heathens as they move into the first round proper of the tournament.

They will face Frimley Green away on Saturday, October 31.

In the Hellenic Premier Division, Burnham were unfortunate not to take maximum points from Ardley United after a late goal meant the Blues had to settle on a 2-2 draw.

Rashid Hamid and Kian Duncan were the scorers for the Blues.

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