Derbies are often fiesty affairs, which was optimised by former Hillian, Michael Wilson, who picked up a booking before ten completed passes had even been made! It was the visitors who took the lead after just three minutes, as a long throw sat up beautifully for Jordan Cox to hammer his effort into the roof of the net. The Hillians responded instantly, as Reece Williams-Bowers notched his first Hillians goal, slotting home after Billy Collings, another former Hillian, could only parry Alex Laing’s free-kick straight into his path. After the early flurry of goals, the half began to die down; with a lot of the ball being contested in the middle of the park. Debutant, Alfie Jones was called into action midway through the first half, producing a strong low save to deny Heath. Down the other end, Collings had to be on his toes as Laing attempted to catch the Heath stopper off guard with a long-range lob. As the half came to a close, Jones produced another good block to deny Clark from grabbing his second of the game.
Jay Lovett’s men started the second period much stronger, as Jordi Ndozid’s dipping effort flew just over the crossbar. Laing was next to threaten, but Collings stood equal to his attempt. In the 58th minute, Samual Ogunseye capitalised on some sleepy Hillians defending and found himself bearing down on goal with only Jones to beat – but the debutant stood tall and denied the visitors once more. Max Miller was introduced twenty minutes from time and almost made an immediate impact against his former side – but he failed to keep his shot down. With the clock ticking away, the Hill had another chance to grab all three points. In the 88th minute, a delightful dink from the right found the head of Martyn Box, but his header glanced millimetres wide of the upright. The final knockings saw substitute, Samson Doherty come close with a curling effort, but it failed to trouble Collings.
A first point of the season for Jay Lovett and his men; which was probably a fair reflection of an equally-contested encounter.
A big thank you to our sponsors for the afternoon, More Than Tyres and Alex Laing Plumbing & Heating, as well as all you Hillians who turned out to support the club.
Next up, it’s a trip to Sevenoaks.
Report by Jack Naldrett.