The hosts came close after just two minutes, with George Ironton firing wide from the edge of the box. They did take the lead, after just seven minutes, as Lee Close’s powerful header went in off the underside of the bar. Their lead was doubled in the 31st minute, as Alfie Jones’ punch fell to the feet of Carl Mensah, who volleyed home through a crowd of players. Robbie Buchanan and Jordan Kinoshi both came close to making it three before the break, with the Hillians thankful to hear the half-time whistle.
Things could only get better for the Hillians, and better they almost were, as Max Miller came close inside ten minutes of the restart. Despite the early pressure, the half failed to ever get going – with the hosts happy to sit on their two-goal lead. In the 73rd minute, Nathan Cooper gave the Hillians a lifeline, as he pounced on a goalkeeping error to cut the deficit in half. The game took another turn with twelve minutes left on the clock, as Mensah received his marching orders – leaving the hosts with ten men entering the final knockings. Pat Harding thought he’d clawed it back for the Hillians, but was adjudged to be offside as he poked the ball home. As the game entered additional time, Scott Kirkwood thought he’d sent the game to a penalty shootout, but for an outstanding reaction save from Charlie Crowley. The Clarets held on to progress into the Third Round.
A disappointing evening for Jay Lovett’s men as our FA Trophy adventure comes to an end.
Thank you to the strong contingent of travelling Hillians who made the long trip to support the club last night.