First Team
Friendly Sat 29 August The Home Call Carpets Community Stadium
Burgess Hill Town
  • Bennett (17')
  • Miller (81')
Cray Wanderers
  • Own Goal (59', 87')

It had been 172 days since fans witnessed live football at Leylands Park and a lot had changed in that time – including a stadium name change! Our humble abode is now called the More Than Tyres Stadium and it welcomed back the green and black supporters with open arms.

The opening chance fell the way of the visitors, but Josh James got down smartly to his left to preserve his clean sheet. After seventeen minutes, the Hill opened the scoring, as Reece Williams-Bowers broke away down the right, carrying the ball from the halfway line, beating two opposition defenders before cutting the ball back perfectly for Charlie Bennett to tuck in his first of pre season. Just ten minutes later, the lively Williams-Bowers should of got on the score sheet himself, but he miscued his effort and it flew high and wide. The first half finished with a flurry of action, firstly, Harry Reed forced the visiting keeper into a smart save. Down the other end, the visitors should’ve been level, had it not been for Martyn Box’s fantastic last ditch challenge.

HT 1-0. 

Similar to the first, Cray started off the second half sharply and tested James early on – but the shot-stopper was equal to the effort. Just before the hour mark, James was eventually beaten; as a corner fell beautifully on the edge of the area and was smashed through a crowd of players and into the bottom corner. Buoyed by their goal, the visitors looked to grab a quick-fire second, but a brilliant last ditch tackle from Elliot Cross thwarted the danger. With ten remaining, the Hillians restored the lead, as Trialist did superbly to rob his defender and slot through Max Miller – who smashed in his second goal of pre-season. Unfortunately, there was one final twist to this end to end attacking bonanza, as the Wanderers wide-man thumped in a scorching strike from twenty yards which flew past substitute keeper Joe Ridley and nestled right in the top corner. 

FT 2-2. 

Lots of pleasing performances for Jay Lovett to be happy with against a side who will be in and around the mix in the Isthmian League Premier Division.

Next up, it’s our final pre-season fixture as we host Corinthian Casuals at the More Than Tyres Stadium.

Report by Jack Naldrett.