On a drizzly evening in paradise, the Hillians got off to a flyer, as Max Miller poked home from Ryan Palmer’s whipped delivery inside twelve minutes. Pat Harding, then, drew Brannon Daly into a stunning reaction save – at the expense of a corner. Junior Baker rose highest to head home, giving the Hillians a two-goal advantage. In the 32nd minute, Pat Harding made it three following some fantastic link up play between ASJ and Miller down the left-hand flank. It took a last ditch sliding challenge from Tolulope Jonah to keep Hill’s clean sheet in tact going into the break.
The visitors pulled one back, in the 53rd minute, through Stephen Smith – sparking the start of what was to be a thrilling second half. Just a minute later, Aaron Smith-Joseph regained the three goal lead, scrambling home from Miller’s testing cross. Grinstead weren’t finished there, as Stephen Smith pulled another back – heading home from a deep cross. In the 63rd minute, the visitors got a third through Robin Deen – making things rather interesting… The madness continued, as Smith-Joseph rolled the ball passed the onrushing Daly to extend the Hillians’ lead once more. Harding put the game beyond any doubt, ten minutes from time, as he grabbed his second of the game with a sumptuous volley – rounding off a goal infested evening.
So, Hillians progress into the Sussex Senior Cup Third Round – marking a positive start to Jay Lovett’s reign.
Thank you to all of you Hillians who braved the conditions to support the club last night.