The Hillians' unbeaten pre-season came to an end at the hands of fellow Sussex side Horsham, with former Hillian Lee Harding netting the decisive goal.
- Harding (73')
It was the Hill who had the opening chance of the game, as former Hornet Lewis Taylor forced Sam Howes into a good low diving stop in just the 2nd minute of the game. Both sides made a fast start, good work down the Horsham right by Luke Robinson saw his fizzed cross fly across the Hill six yard box with nobody tapping home. Horsham threatened again a few minutes later but the familiar name of Trialist couldn’t head Charlie Harris’ corner on target. The visitors, who ply their trade in the Isthmian Premier, were beginning to assert some dominance and Luke Robinson was proving a danger, he did really well to create an opening but his effort was weak and straight at the Hillians stopper Taylor Seymour. Charlie Harris was next to try his luck from distance after near build up play but his finish was wild and lacked composure. The Hill were really having to do some defending and Josh Spinks kept the scores level with a fantastic last ditch tackle to thwart the speedy Robinson. Former Hillian hitman Rob O’Toole couldn’t head his effort on target from Tom Kavanagh’s deflected shot as the visitors pressure increased. The end of the first half was marred by a serious looking injury to Hillians defender Martyn Box who had to be stretchered off the pitch and taken away to hospital.
The second half carried a similar look to the first with the visitors on top, once again Robinson got in behind down the flank, he found Harris but again the Horsham midfielder could not hit the target. Midway through the first half, the Hillians managed to muster up a good chance, Lewis Finney did excellently to drive from midfield, bursting past two Horsham midfielders but just as he went to pull the trigger, former Hillian Will Miles put in an excellent tackle to thwart him. Heading into the final 20 minutes and still the Hill defence was standing firm, another Rob O’Toole effort came and went as the visitors piled on the pressure. After all the Horsham pressure the men in green and black had endured, they almost took the lead themselves! A wicked Josh Luther delivery found an unmarked Jordi Ndozid at the back post, he headed the ball back across goal but no Hillian was in the right place to tap it home. That proved even more costly when just minutes later, Brad Wilson delivered for Lee Harding to volley home the Horsham opener. That proved to be the last action of the half with the Hill unable to find an equaliser.
A first defeat of pre-season but plenty of positives for Jay Lovett to take!
Next up, we welcome a Brighton & Hove Albion XI to the More Than Tyres Stadium on Tuesday 3rd August.