Burgess Hill Town completed the double over Sittingbourne as they comfortably beat them 4-1 in Mid Sussex.
- Chalaye (2', 88')
- Finney (44', 72')
- Stannard (25')
Do you ever get the feeling that today is going to be a good day? Burgess Hill Town certainly had that feeling, you could sense there was goals in the air after back to back recent stalemates, the sun was shining, over 400 piled into paradise once again and the men in Green and Black certainly delivered…
How do you like your starts? Well, here in the Hill, we like ‘em FAST! Barely 2 minutes had passed before the Hillians opened the scoring in the Sussex sunshine. It was a lovely passing move which saw Max Miller break the offside trap and burst clear down the left hand side. He controlled the ball and looked up for support and it duly arrived in the shape of Tom Chalaye, Miller rolled the ball to him and Chalaye could not miss from 6 yards. I think you call that a perfect start guvnor. Remember those 2 0-0s we had just watched? Yeah, me neither. Burgess had absolutely flown out of the traps here and set about adding to the lead, Lewis Finney slipped in Max Miller but his attempt from a tight angle was always flying wide of the goal. The game was just starting to settle down midway through the first half until disaster struck. There was little danger when Tyler Anderson played a hopeful ball down the line but Harry Pollard got himself into a right old muddle and passed it straight to Johan Caney-Bryan. He beared down on Will Huffer, with his attempt smacking the post but Harry Stannard was on hand to tap the ball home to equalise for the Brickies. The Hillians quickly set about restoring the advantage and came very close minutes later. Lewis Finney who, as ever, was string pulling in the midfield, he found Max Miller who flicked it towards Tom Chalaye. The big striker did ever so well to send Emmanuel Dasho for a cheese string and cut back on his favoured right foot but a Brickie man did get a partial block on his shot to send it spinning behind for a corner kick. That resulting corner brought about a Hayden Skerry half chance, the corner was cleared to him on the edge of the area but he sent his effort dribbling harmlessly past the post. The Hillians were well on top in this match and really should’ve been ahead, this time the post came to Sittingbournes aid. A lovely pass inside from Hayden Skerry found it’s way to Pat Harding in the D. He took one touch to control it and with his second he looked to curl it into the bottom corner but was cruelly denied by the thud of the post as it came crashing back out. Connor Tighe, making his 5th consecutive start, was as instrumental as ever in midfield and he was next to have a crack at grabbing the lead but his long ranger flew over Taylor’s crossbar. With just 9 minutes to go in the first half, a really big opportunity was squandered for the Greens. Max Miller chipped in a delicious cross from the right, plum on the head of Lewis Finney who could only head over when unmarked from 10 yards. Should’ve done better. Frustration was beginning to seep in as the half drew to a close, Max Miller smashing an effort which was more danger to the local bird life than the goalie. There was to be one final Burgess Hill chance to finish the first 45, the liveliest man on the pitch, Hayden Skerry won the team a dangerous free kick and dangerous it did prove to be. Up stepped Lewis Finney, who’s shown multiple times this season already that he loves a set piece goal, this one was whipped beautifully up and over the wall, off the inside of the post and into the bottom corner. Sweet. As. A. Nut.
Burgess Hill started the second stanza just like a team who were buoyed by a goal on the stroke of HT. Max Miller had the earliest chance when he marauded down the right hand side, attempted to whip a cross in but it almost foxed everyone and landed onto the roof of the net. Dan Cadman started the next Hillians move down the left hand side, he found Tom Chalaye who set up Hayden Skerry who’s left footed effort was very well saved by Charlie Taylor in the Sittingbourne net. Whilst there was still just one goal in this game of association football, Sittingbourne rarely threatened but substitute Daniel Taylor did test Will Huffer with a free kick from 25 yards but it was meat and drink for the Hill stopper. Back down the other end and a great flick on from Hayden Skerry saw Max Miller away down the right but once again he lacked the finish as he sent his effort crashing into the Alliance behind the goal. You felt a third goal was coming and low and behold, it came. Leon Moore sent a deep cross in which Pat Harding sliced up in the air, but at the second attempt he volleyed a cross right onto the noggin of Lewis Finney who nodded the ball home. The visitors spurred on by some very loud and proud Brickies supporters were not giving this game up, Alex Flisher had a left footed snapshot which wasn’t far away from nestling into the top corner. Anything one brother can do, the other could do better! As the Hillians failed to properly clear a corner, Sam Flisher unleashed a powerful 30 yard strike which had Will Huffer beaten but luckily, it smashed off the crossbar and away but some more signs that this game wasn’t done with just yet. Max Miller looked to break his scoring duck and finish this game off but once again the Hillians chief speedster failed to hit the target after bursting through. Sittingbourne we’re naturally pushing more men forward as they looked to get back in this match but that left more space up the field for the Hill to try and exploit. Fresh from the bench, JJ Minty set clear Tom Chalaye but the goalscorer was off balance as he struck it and it led to the ball going very high into the stratosphere. As the time edged closer and closer to 90, there was just enough time for a fourth goal, Charlie Kelly hot off the bench chested a long throw into the path of Tom Chalaye who absolutely belted it into the bottom corner to seal the victory in some style.
I believe the phrase is ‘Hillians Hillians, Boing Boing”. Commanding performance from the men in Green and Black sees them comfortable winners and up to 7th place in the Isthmian South East division.
Our match sponsors yesterday, More Than Tyres, awarded Lewis Finney with the Man Of The Match award.
We return to our travels next weekend when we head on over to Eltham to tackle Cray Valley Paper Mills.