DANNY Heale says he was disappointed not to beat Lewes – despite trailing 3-0 at half-time.

The Gulls’ hapless defence were left punch drunk after an opening 45 minutes which left their fans fearing a cricket score in Tuesday night’s Ryman Premier clash.

But a brilliant hat-trick after the restart from John Sands helped earn an unlikely point, and Heale revealed he was left thinking it really should have been all three.

He said: “We were just horrendous in that first half. I think it was down to tired bodies because we worked so hard to beat Wealdstone.

“And we did so well on Saturday that I really did not want to change the side.

“Lewes hit us like a whirlwind and it was looking bad at one stage.

“But I knew we were better than that and I said to the boys at half-time they just needed to get a goal to give us something to build on.

“And in the end I was a bit disappointed we have not won it because John Sands has had a brilliant shot tipped onto the bar.

“But four points from our past two games is a good return, so I’m happy with that.”

Sands only returned to competitive action on Saturday in the win against league leaders Wealdstone after recovering from a broken jaw he suffered in November. Heale says the former Bury Town striker is not fully match fit yet, but is still a menace for any defence in the Ryman Premier.

Heale said: “John is just a raw talent. A massive part of his game is running in behind, but he’s not fit enough to do that yet.

“But he just loves scoring goals. He had no right to score two of the three he did against Lewes, especially after being out for two months.

“But that’s the type of character he is.”