The Hillians produced a quite brilliant display to progress into the Semi-Finals of the Sussex Senior Cup.
Simon Wormull made five changes to the side which lost 3-1 at Enfield Town on Saturday – including a debut for new signing, Yaw Osei.
The Hillians started the game on the front foot, with Beck firing wide after just 5 minutes. The visitors grew into the game and following a string of successive corners, had their first real opening in the 19th minute, as Ryan Hall’s driven effort flew just wide of Bromage’s post. In the 25th minute, Hamilton prevented debutant Osei from opening his Hillians account, with a terrific sliding challenge inside his own eighteen-yard box. Just a minute later, Bromage was called into action, as he brilliantly palmed Walker’s diving header away from danger. Borough began to show their class, but the Hillians were holding firm, preventing any real clear-cut opportunities. In the 40th minute, the Hillians almost broke the deadlock, as Osei did fantasically to find Harding, who’s header was saved well by the outstretched Howes. The half conluded with Walker coming agonisingly to turning in Briggs’ low delivery.
The visitors cranked up the heat after the restart, but, once again, the Hillians held firm to successive corners. Similarly to the first half, both sides were enjoying spells of possession, without truly testing either goal. In the 56th minute, Smith-Joseph’s effort flew just over the crossbar, following an audacious overhead kick from Pat Harding. Simon Wormull introduced some fresh legs, in the form of Dan Choules and Steven Sargent, as the game entered the final half an hour. In the 72nd minute, the visitors had arguably the best chance of the game so far, as Lloyd Dawes teed up Briggs, who saw his effort canon back off the crossbar. The 78th minute saw Pat Harding’s strike sting the palms of Howes, but the Borough stopper did well to hold his effort. Down the other end, a carbon copy, as Bromage was this time called into action, doing well to hold Briggs’ effort. WIth 10 minutes remaining, Jack Malleret was introduced for Yaw Osei, as the Hillians went in search of a late goal. In the 85th minute, Wills’ deep corner picked out the head of Gardiner, who’s header fell straight into the arms of Bromage. Bromage was once more called into action in the dying embers, as the young stopper saved well from West at his far post. As the game headed into injury time, that man Bromage produced an incredible save to somehow deny Lloyd Dawes.
FT 0-0. (onto ET…)
Having battled tremendously against Step 2 oppostion, the Hillians kicked off for the start of extra-time. In the 96th minute, Matt Crabb saw his effort fly just over the crossbar. Both sides struggled to produce anything clear-cut for the remainder of the first period of extra-time.
HT (ET) 0-0.
Understandably, fatigue was taking it’s toll on both sets of players. However, as the clock struck 112 minutes, Dan Beck finally broke the deadlock, as he smashed home from close range following Howes’ parry. The Hillians had something to hold onto heading into the final stages of extra-time. In the 114th minute, Jack Malleret passed up a golden opportunity to double the Hillians’ lead, but failed to capitalise on a defensive error from the visitors. As the game entered the final three minutes of additional time, Malleret passed up another opportunity to put the game to bed, as he blasted over with only Howes to beat. The Hillians held out superbly to pick up a brilliant victory!
FT (AET) 1-0.
A truly magnificent performance from the Hillians, as we defeat Step 2 opposition to progress into the Sussex Senior Cup Semi-Finals – where we will take on Haywards Heath Town at Culver Road.
The Hillians MOTM was awarded to the match-winner Dan Beck, who was a colossus for the Hillians all evening!
Thank you to all you Hillians who turned out to support the club this evening – your support is massively appreciated by everyone at the club.
Next up, we host the Angels!