The Hillians succumbed to a home defeat as the More Than Tyres Stadium welcomed our wonderful fans back.
- Whitelock (63')
- Duah-Kessie (84')
Jay Lovett’s men are yet to get off the mark in the league this season as they fell to a home defeat at the hands of Phoenix Sports. It was the visitors who had the first chance, a short corner caught the Hill defence sleeping which let Andrew Dythe take aim but his shot lacked power and Taylor Seymour got down to save. The Hillians stopper was busy just a few minutes later, Frazer Walkers cross from the right was perfect for Jeff Duah-Kessie to head towards goal, the Sports striker thought it was in but Seymour, diving to his right, managed to claw it away one handed. It took until the 12th minute for the Hillians to register a shot, lovely hold up play from Michael Uwezu set up Lewis Taylor, he rolled it into the path of Pat Harding but from the edge of the area he curled over the bar. Apart from the early flurry of chances, there wasn’t a lot happening in the first half. With 5 minutes to go in the half and fresh from scoring his first Hillians goal last weekend, Reggie Ward tried his luck again, beating 2 Sports men before crashing a left footed effort just wide. The Hillians were ending the half on top. Great work down the left from Martyn Box, his cross found Harding who’s effort was well blocked before Lewis Finney fired the rebound over. The best chance for the Hill came with the last attack of the half, some sustained pressure down the left from Finney and Uchechi eventually ended up with Box crossing the ball and it cannoning off the post and straight into the Phoenix keepers hands and not at the feet of Harding who was ready to pounce.
Jay Lovett would have loved an early second half goal and almost got one when Daniel Uchechi worked a yard of space but curled his effort over. Down the other end, some great hold up play from Duah-Kessie gave Kweku Ansah a chance but it was well blocked by Finney. Half chances were coming frequently but both teams struggled to create clear cut chances. A delightful back heel from Uwezu gave Harding a shooting opportunity but he thumped it straight at Steve Phillips in the Sports goal. The Hillians were doing everything at the start of this second half but score, great work from Uchechi down the left, his fizzed ball in flew across the 6 yard box but no one was on hand to tap home. You felt that the first goal in this game might come through a mistake and that feeling almost came to fruition when Pat Harding lost the ball on the halfway line and Duah-Kessie bared down on goal but he lacked composure and fired over Seymours goal. The Hillians didn’t heed the warning and in the 63rd minute the visitors broke the deadlock. They pinched the ball in midfield, Duah-Kessie drove forward, played it out wide to the onrushing Whitelock, he brilliantly came back onto his left foot and curled a delightful shot past the helpless Seymour and into the top corner to open the scoring. The Hill were almost level immediately and again it was the exciting youngster Ward, he curled a left shot, which was heading in had Phillips not tipped it over the bar. The next chance to come and go was when Pat Harding whipped a corner in and up rose Trey Masikini off the bench but his header was cleared off the line. Pat was next to try his luck, more good hold up play from Uwezu set him up but his effort was blocked and the rebound didn’t fall kindly for a Hillian. With the Hill pushing men forward to try and grab an equaliser, the visitors almost killed the game off. The goal scorer Whitelock whipped a ball to the back post and Duah-Kessie, unmarked, volleyed over. Time was running out for Jay Lovett’s men, the substitute Masikini did well but couldn’t keep his shot down from the edge of the area. With 6 minutes remaining the visitors killed the game. A lovely give and go between Duah-Kessie and Ansah, with the former smashing home from a tight angle to seal the victory for the Sports.
A disappointing afternoon but no time to dwell as we’re straight back into league action on Bank Holiday Monday when we make the very short trip to Hanbury to take on Haywards Heath Town!