The Hillians hosted near neighbours Haywards Heath Town in front of a huge crowd of 803 at the More Than Tyres Stadium. It was a cagey start to the match with Davigildo Cravid forcing Taylor Seymour into an early save as the Heath settled quicker. Michael Uwezu had the Hillians first attempt on goal, but his shot from 25 yards was well held by ex-Hillian stopper Billy Collings. The dangerous Jerson Dos Santos, who netted against us earlier in the season forced Seymour into a good low save after he turned his marker from 18 yards out. Once again it was Dos Santos making Haywards tick. He broke down the left and cut inside but his shot was no trouble at all for Seymour. Both sides were littered with players who have played for both sides of Mid Sussex, Nathan Cooper falls into that category and he had a good chance to haunt Hill but he nodded wide from a deep free kick. Clear cut chances weren’t too frequent and we were made to settle for shots from distance, Conrad Honore did so and tested Collings but he kept it out. The Heath’s best chance fell in the 33rd minute. It was all too easy for Cravid to turn Finney and cut the ball back for Dos Santos who should of buried it but couldn’t beat Seymour. Back down the other end, only a fantastic Tom Gilbert block prevented Conrad Honore from troubling the Heath goal. Everything offensively for the away side came through Cravid and Dos Santos, with Cravid squaring for his partner who made a right mess off the finish and scuffed it straight at Seymour. Heath definitely should have taken the lead when Josh Clack picked up a loose ball and broke clear but when he had options to his left he decided to go for goal but fired wide to the absolute dismay of his teammates. The final chance of the half fell to Lewis Taylor but his speculative volley was on target but easy for Collings.
The opening chance of the second half fell to Tom Chalaye, as he pounced on a loose ball and breezed past his man – but his vicious effort was too close to Collings and he parried away safely. In the 57th minute, the roof flew off the More Than Tyres. A Conrad cross was aimed towards Uwezu, it was headed away only as far as Lewis Finney who hit his effort into the ground and past a despairing Collings to give the Hill lift off. As was standard in this back and forth encounter, Heath almost levelled straight away. Jerson Dos Santos must’ve wondered how he didn’t score. In the blink of an eye he collected it, turned and crashed an effort off the top of Taylor Seymour’s crossbar. Byron Napper almost gifted Max Miller a crucial second goal. His slack pass was seized upon, but Miller couldn’t capitalise as his shot was saved by Collings -a big chance. Conrad Honore had yet another shot from distance which didn’t cause Collings concern before Dos Santos missed his umpteenth chance. Again it was Cravid who provided, a cross from the left was perfect but he bulleted it over the cross bar from close range. Billy Collings was really coming back to frustrate the Hillians. Michael Uwezu touched it off to Lewis Taylor who strode forward and unleashed but Collings tipped it over the bar. Next, an wicked Lewis Finney set piece found its way to Max Miller at the far post but he could only scuff an effort towards goal which looked to be in until that pesky Collings clawed it off the line in the nick of time. On the counter, Lewis Finney got in behind but surprise surprise Collings made another vital save to keep his men in it. It really wasn’t Dos Santos’ day. A lovely cross from Tom Cadman was met by the Heath attacker but he glanced inches wide of the post. Heath were really throwing everything to get back level, ex-Hill favourite Cadman tested Seymour with a low drive which Seymour was equal to. You could feel the tension in the air and it converted onto the pitch. A poor goal kick from Seymour gave Dos Santos another chance but he again failed to take it. The Heath equaliser was coming but the manner of it would have certainly frustrated Hill. Hamish Morrison was given all day to pick a cross and find centre half Tom Gilbert who powered his header past Seymour. Michael Uwezu attempted to get our lead back but thundered an effort from 25 yards just wide of the post. The final chance to win it for Hill fell to Hayden Skerry, he was found by Martyn Box but he fired it over the bar. Tom Cadman had the games last chance but his weaker right foot he shanked wide and the points were shared.
A draw was probably the fair result on the balance of play but both teams would have felt they could have won it. A huge thank you to the 803(!) who turned out to support their side of Mid Sussex.
A massive thank you to everyone who donated in support of the Shelter #NoHomeKit campaign.
Next up, we travel to Chichester on Thursday evening for another all-Sussex clash.