Anyone for an Ice Cream?
The Rooks made the very short trip over to Mid Sussex as we hosted our first game back at home this summer in this freakishly hot weather we are currently basking in.
The Hillians, missing a few familiar faces to normal, knew the task facing them today as Lewes ply their trade a step above the Hill, so a stern test was sure to be presented by Tony Russell’s side. It was those Rooks who started the quicker in the Saharan like heat, with the Hill being indebted to Reggie Ward for a stellar last ditch tackle to thwart a visiting attacker from beating down on goal. The visitors swiftly came again however and this time were not to be denied. Martyn Box lost the ball down the Hill left and Lewes showed their class, counter attacking at lightning speed and cutting the ball back for a waiting Rook to calmly slot the ball into the bottom corner just 9 minutes in. The Hill were struggling to match the visitors intensity and Lewes were hunting a second, they almost got it as well but a good chance went begging not long after the opening goal went in. It took until the 20 minute mark for the Hill attack to cause the Lewes back line problems but what a move it was! Jeff Duah-Kessie broke away down the right and played in a lovely cross for our striking Trialist who nodded the cross down into the ground and towards the bottom corner but the Lewes GK made a cracking one handed save to push it around the post. That was the only clear cut chance of note for Hill in a half where the visitors were really asserting their dominance. They were straight back on the attack keeping our Trialist GK very busy with Will Huffer away for this match. Now, I’m not sure if you’re familiar with non league grounds but there is no VAR or Goal Line Technology in Mid Sussex, in the 36th minute, it might of been useful! Lewes doubled their lead after a fierce shot cannoned off the crossbar and the referee, from the edge of the area, deemed the ball to of crossed the line. Impossible for myself, down the complete other end of the ground, to comment, your honour. Burgess Hill we’re again ruing the *kind officials who agreed to officiate in this weather*! From a corner, we had the ball in the back of the net thanks to a Trialist but the celebrations were cut short when the linesman raised his flag. As the first half was drawing to a close, the Hillians were just starting to get some momentum, former Rook Nic D’Arienzo and Hayden Skerry both had headers that went straight into the grateful arms of the GK.
The visitors from the Pan which Drips had a plethora of substitutes ready for the second half, which is very typical of a pre-season friendly. The theme of the first half of the visitors making it very difficult for us continued, with our Trialist GK being once again called into action from a dangerous Lewes attack. To be very much expected, the good tempo of the game from the first half did slow somewhat in the second 45 with the warm weather really taking its toll, constant stoppages for much needed drinks breaks did little to help the rhythm. The constant pressure from Lewes was only being repelled by our extremely busy Trialist GK who was beating away everything thrown at him by the men wearing red and black shirts. The Hillians only had 4 substitutes on the bench and one of them almost got Hill a foothold back into the game. Charlie Kelly, who has impressed in pre-season so far, did so well to fashion the chance for himself but he battered his effort at a good height for Rooks GK who swatted it away from danger. That was our final chance before Lewes netted a game clinching third. Once again it came from down their right as a low shot across the goal beat our GK and ensured a friendly success for Lewes. If you thought the Hill would go down without a fight, you would be mistaken. Once again Charlie Kelly was inches away from getting on the scoresheet, he cut in from the right, beat his man and arrowed an effort which looked destined for the bottom corner but a top save from the GK thwarted him. From the resulting corner, the Hillians did get one back. A deep corner was kept alive by Hayden Skerry and Jeff Duah-Kessie headed past the GK to keep his perfect pre-season record going and end the afternoon on a high.
More valuable minutes in the tank for Jay Lovett’s men on a blistering afternoon heat wise.
Things only get hotter, as this Tuesday evening we travel to Hassocks for the Mid Sussex Scorcher, otherwise known as the Ann John Trophy.