The Hillians kickstarted pre-season in fine fettle as they put in a professional display against fellow Mid Sussex side Hassocks 6-0.
- Miller (25', 44', 45')
- Harding (32')
- Box (40')
- Brown (50')
The annual Ann John Memorial Trophy contested between these two clubs has bared fruitful for the Hillians in recent years, winning last years affair 8-1. This years action, on a much colder July than we are used to, started well for the Greens as the lively Andrew Herring forced a smart save out of the Hassocks keeper with Pat Harding unable to convert the rebound. Chances were coming thick and fast early on, lovely intricate play between Harding and Miller set up Herring who shot straight at the keeper. Just a few minutes later, Max Miller’s flick on set Pat Harding away but he couldn’t beat the keeper. The deadlock was broken midway through the first half, as Andrew Herring’s cross was headed home by Max Miller to give the travelling Hillians the first goal to celebrate in 7 months. 1 quickly became 2 as Pat Harding got his yearly goal against Hassocks, Martyn Box’s shot was parried straight into his path and he couldn’t miss! With just 5 minutes to go until the break, Martyn Box curled a beautiful free kick up and over the home side’s wall and into the top corner to extend our lead. The home side were waiting for the half-time whistle to come but the Hillians were rampant, as Josh Spinks carried the ball out of defence, played a lovely one-two, got to the byline and Max Miller was there to tap in his second. The first half scoring bonanza wasn’t finished quite yet as Andrew Herring chipped a delightful ball to Harding, who nodded it back across goal unselfishly to set up Miller for his hat-trick.
Straight from restart the Hillians picked up where they left off, as debutant George Brown thumped home a header from Scott Kirkwood’s corner to make it 6. The second half wasn’t as action packed as the first, with Jay Lovett rotating his side heavily and running his eye over some trialists. The very quiet 18-year-old Hillian youth keeper Joe Ridley was finally called into action in the 63rd minute when he produced a great save to deny a Hassocks man who had sprung the offside trap. One of our trialists almost made it 7 but he couldn’t keep his header down after he worked a yard of space in the box. With time ticking away, Scott Kirkwood was very unlucky not to grab himself a goal as his fierce free kick took a deflection and crashed off the base of the post and away to safety.
A very pleasant start to pre-season for Jay Lovett’s men, with an excellent £1200 raised for St Peter & StJames Hospice.
Up next, we travel to Chipstead for our second pre-season outing!