The last time these 2 teams met on a cold Tuesday evening in October, the Hill were without a win all season and were rooted to the foot of the table. Oh how things have changed! Since this meeting, the Hillians fortunes have been completely transformed, while VCD have been steadily moving up the league and eyeing up a play off spot themsel
Jay Lovett opted to start left back Martyn Box further forward on the left of the front three and it was Boxy who had the first half chance as a long high ball was hoofed into the area and he rose highest but glanced his header wide. Conrad Honore has been a shrewd acquisition in the Hillians midfield and he almost set up the first goal. A gorgeous defence splitting pass found Max Miller, some good defending from the visitors thwarted him but the ball fell to Tom Chalaye and it seemed for all the world he was brought down on the edge of the area but somehow the free kick went against the young striker. VCD made a quiet start to proceedings but could’ve and absolutely should’ve taken the lead. A lovely cross down the right from Anthony Adesite was plum perfect for Jeff Duah-Kessie but the normally reliable Vickers hit man saw his header actually come off his shoulder and it flew over Tommy Reid’s crossbar. The opening 30 minutes saw a lack of cutting edge so maybe a bit of luck would yield the first goal. Lewis Finney charged down a clearance and got a lucky bounce not once but twice, he looked up and saw Martyn Box unmarked in the middle but his low cross took a dreadful bobble and flew of his shin as he hurled himself towards it desperate for his first Burgess goal. The Hill goal wasn’t being threatened too often but VCD did make Tommy Reid work when the dangerous Duah-Kessie outmuscled Reggie Ward and fired an effort at the young keeper from a tight angle which the stopper saved fairly comfortably. Just as we were approaching half time, the Hill really did blow a golden opportunity. VCD, very unlike them, were caught cold on the break led by Conrad Honore, Martyn Box was flying down the left and with the right weight of ball would’ve had a clear goal scoring opportunity but unfortunately, Honore’s final ball was slightly over hit and the good chance came to nothing. A lot of the VCD attacks were coming down Reggie Ward’s side in the first half, for the most part Reggie dealt with them tremendously but on this occasion; some silly footwork from Youssef Bamba gave himself room to fire at Reid but the youngster got down low to keep it out. VCD notably got better as the half wore on and Bamba again got in behind Hill’s high back line, Tommy Reid was caught in 2 minds whether to come out to Bamba or stay on his line, this indecision looked like it might prove costly as Bamba squared for Duah-Kessie but he got his effort all wrong under some great defensive pressure from Nic D’Arienzo. The final chance of an entertaining first half fell to Hill. D’Arienzo launched a free kick from the halfway line, Martyn Box rose highest to head the ball back across goal, it sat up for Tom Chalaye to give it a thwack and it was heading in had it not been for the Vicker on the line to prevent him.
Burgess Hill quite often do the damage in the 2nd half, would that prove to be the case again?
Lewis Finney attempted to get them off to the perfect start, Tom Chalaye teed him up but his powerful strike flew over the bar from 20 yards. Vickers, Crayford and Dartford (yes, that is what VCD stands for) had a throughly delightful move which saw some exquisite one touch, free flowing passing which led to Duah-Kessie calling Reid into action but the effort didn’t overly trouble the stopper. This game always had the feeling of a close, tight affair where the opening goal would prove crucial. It was the Hillians who got it. A long ol’ throw from D’Arienzo saw the ball fall sweetly to Conrad Honore to lash his effort off the inside of the beans on toast and into the net to grab his first Hillians goal and open the scoring for the afternoon. A one goal lead is never ever safe, so it was rather nice of Super Pat Harding to pop up with a game clinching 2nd, wasn’t it! Conrad Honore added an assist to his goal as he flicked a header for Pat Harding to latch onto and he rolled back the years, calmly slotting the ball past the helpless Vickers keeper to make it 130 goals in the famous green and black for Super Pat. What’s more impressive than winning 2-0? Winning 2-0 while seeing the game out in a very professional manner, limiting VCD to next to nothing.
A testament to both teams and a great advert for Non-League football. Luckily for the 401 in attendance, it was the Hill who showed enough quality to edge past and grab another vital 3 points.
Yesterday’s match sponsors, The Thatched Inn Hassocks awarded the Man of the Match to Lewis Taylor.
Next up for Jay Lovett’s boys is a trip to table toppers Hastings United!