Hillians Unlucky in Havant
By David Marriott
Burgess Hill Town fell to an unlucky 1-0 defeat away to Havant & Waterlooville on Saturday. The Hillians defended resolutely throughout the 90 minutes but an own goal from James Richmond seven minutes from time was enough to separate the two sides.
Ian Chapman chose to shuffle his cards ahead of this match with George Brown, Billy Medlock, Jonah Ayunga and Lee Harding all returning to the starting XI.
The Hillians started the game well. Jonah Ayunga had a chance in the first two minutes but saw his effort blocked away by Ryan Woodford.
A collision between George Brown and Toby Pointing left Pointing worse for wear and ended his afternoon early with young Guy Bolton taking his place.
Havant & Waterlooville dominated the possession for much of the first-half but several good saves from James Shaw in goal denied Alfie Rutherford from opening the scoring.
Leon Redwood and Jonah Ayunga both had their own efforts in goal but these were met by Ryan Young in the Havant goal.
At half-time, it looked as though the Hillians may be well on their way to picking up a hard-fought point if they could continue on in the manner in which they had begun the game.
Havant were unlucky not to score early on in the second-half when James Prior crossed the ball across the six-yard box but could not find a player in white. Bradley Tarbuck did well to put Alfie Rutherford in on goal, but the Havant striker dragged his shot wide of the target.
With ten minutes to go, ‘The Hawks’ were piling the pressure on the Hillians defence. James Shaw did well to save a powerful header from substitute James Prior. Just seven minutes from time, the Hillians defence could hold out no longer when James Shaw parried a shot out to the feet of Rutherford who’s low driven effort hit Richmond and into the back of the net.
The Hillians almost found a reply straight away when James Richmond forced a good save from keeper Ryan Young. This pressure stirred the Havant defence back into life as they saw the rest of the game out to keep the score at 1-0.
It was no doubt a disappointing result for the Hillians who had defended so well to keep themselves in the match.
With his team gradually improving every game, Ian Chapman will be hoping to get some points on the board when the Hillians face Tonbridge Angels away on Tuesday night, kick-off 7.45 pm.