Burgess Hill started this Trophy encounter on the front foot and had 2 early chances in quick succession. A corner was flicked on and landed at the feet of Michael Uwezu but with his back to goal he couldn’t turn and fire an effort of note, the ball broke out to Max Miller who drilled an effort through a crowd of players but Ben Bridle-Card was equal to it. Captain Lewis Taylor had the greens next effort but he couldn’t keep his shot down as the ball broke to him 25 yards out. Sevenoaks had to wait till the 15th minute to muster an effort, Louis Collins heading wide from a teasing ball in from the right. The Hillians were the better team without troubling Bridle-Card overly, Uwezu and Connor Tighe linked up nicely before Tighe tested the keeper out with a fierce low drive which he was equal to. On the stroke of halftime, Sevenoaks almost took the lead in fortunate circumstances, Conrad Lee miss hit a cross but it almost flew over Seymour, with the Hillians stopper having to tip it over with great athleticism. From the resulting corner, the Oaks should of taken the lead. A brilliant corner landed right on the head of Dean Gunner but he glanced his header inches wide with Seymour beaten. All the best action came in added time of the first half, with the Hillians passing up 2 golden chances to score. Firstly, Max Miller did really well down the right to get to the byline, whipping his cross in, but the ball somehow evaded the head of Jaden Perez. From the follow up, Trey Masikini swiped at thin air. Seconds after this, Michael Uwezu turned down the right and fired in a cross which took a deflection and skidded to the far post, with Lewis Taylor’s a stud away from getting on the end of it.
Sevenoaks weren’t at the races in the first half but 3 minutes into the second, they took the lead. Some really sloppy defending from Harry Pollard allowed Stefan Wright to turn him and drive into the box where his cross was inadvertently diverted into his own net by Josh Spinks. Jay Lovett’s men looked for a quick response, again it came down the right, Michael Uwezu played a ball across, Lewis Taylor missed his kick and Connor Tighe was denied by Bridle-Card from yards out. The chances kept coming for Hill, Max Miller whipped a great ball in but Uwezu could only node wide from the centre of the box. Reggie Ward did well down the left to leave 2 Oaks men on the carpet before unleashing an effort but it was catching practise for Bridle-Card. With 22 minutes to go, we finally got our equaliser. No surprise that Max Miller and Michael Uwezu were involved, Miller doing really well down the right and standing a cross to the far post where Uwezu nodded into the bottom corner. They say you’re at your most vulnerable when you’ve just scored and the age old phrase almost rang true had Taylor Seymour not been alert to tip away a Ben Davisson strike. With just 7 minutes go, Sevenoaks almost nicked it, good play from Hayden Skerry saw him bustle past 2 defenders and cut the ball back to substitute Bradley Schafer who thought he had scored but Josh Spinks got in the way to deflect it wide. This was Sevenoaks best spell of the game, a testing corner wasn’t really cleared and the ball fell kindly for Hayden Skerry to volley it goalwards but Taylor Seymour, incredibly, stuck a big hand out and palmed it away. A moment of magic was going to win it and Connor Tighe is always the magic man, he played the most sublime ball in behind the defence and it looked perfect for Lewis Finney to slam home but Danny Devine just nicked it away off his toe. There is always one final chance and it fell to Tighe. Substitute Charlie Kelly did excellently down the left and whipped a ball in which was perfect for Tighe to come onto but he hooked his left footed effort past the post. Penalties beckoned!
The spot kicks were taken in front of the Hillians faithful, Ben Davisson converted Sevenoaks first penalty before Max Miller did the same for the Hill. Hayden Skerry was next to step up but Taylor Seymour went the right way and saved his poor penalty. Jaden Perez cooly sent Bridle-Card the wrong way to put Hill in the driving seat. Danny Devine was next to step up but he fell the same way as Skerry, out done by Seymour who guessed right and put Hill on the brink. Lewis Taylor was the third Hillian to step up and he calmly slotted home leaving Conrad Lee having to score. The left back, who had impressed during the 90 minutes, faltered under the pressure and blazed over the bar, sending the Hillians into the next round.
FT: 1-1. Burgess Hill win 3-1 on penalties.
The better team won in the end but we made hard work of it and are indebted to Taylor Seymour’s heroics to see us over the line. Next up we travel far far away to take on Ramsgate.