Viva. Max. Miller.
What better way to give Super Pat Harding a send off he so richly deserved after 11 seasons and 464 games, than by winning in the 90th minute in fantastic scenes.
It was the Hillians who made the quick start in Crawley, Lewis Finney had the first attempt of the afternoon and he wasn’t a million miles away from beating former Hillian Mitch Bromage in the Bridges net but Finney saw his long range effort whistle narrowly over. The Hillians were facing a Three Bridges team packed with Ex Hill, Dan Perry being one of them and he had the home sides first chance of the game but his shot was wild and wayward. Burgess Hill opened the scoring after 10 minutes and it will not be one that Mitch Bromage will want to see again. A cross came in from the right hand side and as Bromage come to claim, he dropped the ball right at the feet of Tom Chalaye who simply couldn’t miss from 6 yards. If the Hill were going to keep a clean sheet this afternoon they would have to keep Hitman Dan up top for TB very quiet. They weren’t doing this in the early stages. Soon after Chalaye’s opener, Dan Perry burst through on goal after bulldozing his way past defenders but he dragged his shot well wide when very well placed. Josh Spinks has been a standout at the back for the Green and Blacks this season and the only thing he’s missing is a goal. How that nearly changed. A corner was swung in from the right and Spinks got free from his man but glanced his header wide from a good position. Burgess Hill we’re very much in control and the chances kept flowing, Tom Chalaye had 2 bites at the cherry to get his brace but his first effort was blocked and the second flew towards Gatwick Airport. We’ll let him off. As we approached the final HT of the season, Jay Lovett’s men were really upping the ante offensively. Max Miller though he’d doubled the lead but a fantastic last ditch block put pay to that before the final chance of the half came via Lewis Finney. Our top goalscorer went on a brilliant mazy run from virtually the halfway line all the way into the Bridges box and he eventually let fly but unfortunately his effort rippled the side netting instead of the back of the net.
Lewis Finney was clearly buoyed by that late chance and he got the second half’s action underway with a speculative effort which again endangered the aviation lovers instead of the football lovers. Do you really go and watch non league if you don’t see at least one long throw a game? The answer is no. Three Bridges almost got the equaliser 9 minutes into the second from this method as it was hurled into our penalty area and we made the mistake of letting it bounce but thankfully nobody was at the back post to tap it home. 1-0 Hillians was a common result this season but you got the feeling we needed a second. How joyous it would’ve been if Mitch Bromage hadn’t denied Super Pat Harding. A cross from the left fell to Pat, he took it down and let fly but Bromage stood tall and batted it away from his goal. Another chance came and went when on the half hour mark, Max Miller broke the offside trap and burst clear on goal but his finish wasn’t up to scratch and it rolled past the post instead of inside it. Without doubt the best move of the game came in the 66th minute. Some glorious one touch passing between Martyn Box and Connor Tighe down the left saw Tom Chalaye set through. Instead of shooting, he cut the ball back to Lewis Finney but just as he went to shoot, Finney was off balance and ended up sweeping the ball wide. What I am about to describe to you must be purely put down to boredom on Josh Spinks behalf because why on earth he went racing clean through on goal in the 75th minute like prime Aguero I haven’t a scooby. He found himself completely alone in the Bridges half and only had Bromage to beat but beat him he could not before the rebound fell to Finney who could only smash wide. Chance after chance after chance. Miss after miss after miss. You know what’s coming, don’t you? Failing to take your chances allows Bridges to stay in the game and when they have HitMan Dan up top, he won’t miss too many. This goal might be the easiest he ever scores, though. What I can only describe as a right royal scramble occurred in the Hill 6 yard box and we just could not clear the ball eventually allowing Perry to tap home from virtually on the goal line. 10 minutes to find a winner, who might step up? Lewis Finney? Poor Lewis only seems to score on home turf (and Sevenoaks) he had another chance when he was sent clear but that man Bromage was proving tough to beat again before the resulting corner was shinned over the bar by Spinks. With 7 minutes to go, Michael Uwezu and Ollie Davies were sent on to try and grab a late winner and my word U18 Davies had a glorious chance. Pat Harding whipped a delicious free kick in and Davies, centre of the goal, could only nod wide. So near but yet so far. As the clock struck 90, we were begging for one final chance and as luck would have it, it came. Michael Uwezu caused bedlam for the Bridges back line when he came on and he went through one on one, Bromage again denied him but the ball was trickling towards the goal line, Tadley Bromage completely made a 2 and 8 of getting the ball away and Max Miller said thank you very much as he slid the ball home from on the goaline. Chaos on the pitch, chaos behind the goal as the Forza Alliance went completely DoLally, what better way to finish off a season, ey?
FT: 1-2. It’s a goal and a win which really sets Burgess Hill up nicely momentum wise for next season. This young team, almost certainly the youngest in the league, have done the club proud. Just sometimes, it’s an older dog that you need to rely on and Max Miller stepped up big time.
We couldn’t thank you enough for the support even if we tried. Home and away, near and far, where we go, you absolutely do follow. We’ll see you all in July when this football lark starts all over again. From now until then. Come. On. You. Hill.