Pre-Season Ends With a Win
By David Marriott
Burgess Hill ended their 2016/17 Pre-Season with a convincing 2-0 victory over local side Lewes. After a string of poor results, this was exactly what Ian Chapman and his side needed to boost their confidence before the league campaign begins next Saturday.
The new signings looked promising, with Cheick Toure in particular, who looked strong and composed at the back.
Early on in the game, Jack Brivio and Dan Thompson were continually causing the Lewes defence problems. Brivio was brought down in the box in the twelfth minute, which left the referee Stuart Mallows with no choice but to award a penalty. Dan Pearse stepped up and sent the keeper the wrong way with a composed finish to his right.
Despite their good build-up play, Burgess Hill failed to test Chris Winterton (a former Hillian himself) apart from speculative attempts from Lee and Pat Harding.
Hill’s efforts were eventually rewarded in the second half, close to the hour mark as a cross from Lee Harding was finished off by Pat Harding to double the lead.
However, Lewes did have their own chances to score. A free kick, that had Josh James beaten was unlucky to hit the post. Minutes later Lewes themselves won a penalty, but this time, it was parried away heroically by captain James.
In the end, Burgess Hill held on to their lead to register their first win since they faced Lancing nearly a month ago. This was also the first clean sheet kept by the Hill defence in pre-season. This may be a sign that the Hillians are beginning to find form again at the right time as they prepare to kick off the Ryman Premier League season next Saturday away to Needham Market.