If you ever come to the footie in search of a plethora of goals, this fixture might just be one to avoid in future. Consecutive 0-0s with the Bay this season and previous meetings have only yielded 3 goals in 5 games. It was always destined to finish goalless wasn’t it? It certainly wasn’t for the lack of trying, as a game in which there was 29 shots certainly didn’t make this a typical 0-0 bore.
It was the visitors from Kent who sprung quickest out of the metaphorical block, Zak Ansah capitalised on that pesky Leylands bobble which has haunted many throughout the years, he slipped in Kieron Campbell but his finish left a lot to be desired frankly as he walloped the ball in the direction of the bird life. The aforementioned Campbell was clearly full of beans early on and he was certainly getting closer. A delicious touch took him away from Harry Pollard which allowed space for a shot but from 20 yards, he pulled his effort past Will Huffers post. Herne Bay were certainly on the front foot in the opening 15 minutes and Will Huffer was called into action this time as Zak Ansah got in over the top but a strong left hand from the stopper prevented the deadlock being broken. Another Ansah chance came and went when a hopeful free kick landed on his head but his flick towards the goal landed on the roof of the net rather than it. It took the Greens half an hour but they did fashion a shooting chance, Dan Cadman laid the ball off to an oncoming Lewis Finney but the scorer of great goals couldn’t add another one as this strike was a bit too high. If the Herne Bay goal was raised up 10 feet, they might’ve been in business as another shot was much to high, this time from Max Miller. Just as the half was drawing to a close, there was enough time for another Bay chance. A wicked delivery from the left was fizzed across goal and it looked for all the world Eddie Allsopp would tap it home at the back stick but a combination of a scuffed finish/brilliant defending from Dan Cadman/another top drawer save from Huffer kept the scores level.
Burgess Hill didn’t create a shedload of chances first half but 7 minutes into the second, they created the most golden of opportunities. A raking ball from Josh Spinks was misjudged by Dan Johnson at the back for Bay and that meant Hayden Skerry was clean through down the right with Max Miller waiting in the middle for a certain tap in, or so we all thought. Skerry did his part in controlling it beautifully and playing it across to Max but with the goal gaping, Miller somehow steered it wide. Max couldn’t let that miss affect him too much as 2 minutes later, he would have another chance. A Connor Tighe corner was perfect for Miller to head at goal but he glanced his effort across the face and wide of the goal when he was unmarked. It was much more attacking from the Hillians in this second half, Connor Tighe was the next man to have a dig and his effort needed tipping around the post by a sprawling Jordan Perrin. Burgess Hill we’re getting closer and closer and closer. A Max Miller cross from the right was flicked on by Pat Harding and it was only a matter of centimetres away from Lewis Finney tapping it home as he hurled himself at it in vain. This second 45, although still goalless, was starting to get very end to end with chances at either end. Will Huffer made the save of the day when he got down to tip a goalbound Bay header around the post when most of the ground thought it was in. Ex Whitstable hitman Aaron Millbank, who has hurt Hill in the past with free kicks found himself standing over one with 20 minutes to go. Fortunately for the Hill he smashed it way over the bar. Back came the Hillians down the other end, Hayden Skerry tried to fashion something out of nothing with an audacious volley but he caught it too sweet if anything and he saw it whistle over. As we entered the final 10 minutes, a point wasn’t really beneficial for either team so we were in for a frantic finish. Pat Harding saw a clearance land on his left foot but as he met it on the volley, it was a fairly comfortable save for Perrin in the net. For once in this game, Herne Bay did beat Huffer but they didn’t beat the crossbar. Eddie Allsopp skipped inside JJ Minty too easily and no one closed him down so he unleashed a ferocious dipping effort which Will had no chance with and was mightily relieved to hear it clang off the bar than it thud into his net. Things were getting pretty desperate now for both teams, Lewis Finney had another speculative effort which was far too high as the clock ticked towards 90. This time the final chance of the match fell to U18s striker Ollie Davies, Hayden Skerry played him in down the right as Bay bodies were pushed forward but he didn’t quite connect with his shot as he would’ve hoped and it rolled the wrong side of the post to the frustration of all in attendance.
A good performance against a good team but a lack of cutting edge was evident for both teams. A point was a fair result for both sides.
The Hillians man of the match was presented by the matchday sponsors, The Alliance. They chose shotstopping superman Will Huffer as MOM today.
Next up, it’s another Kent team at home as we welcome Sittingbourne to the More Than Tyres Stadium next Saturday!