Football. Is. Back.
Max Miller scoring in the dying embers at Three Bridges back in April, captured beautifully by the lens of Chris Neal, remember that? Seems like yesterday whilst also feeling like forever.
At the Camping World Community Stadium, Burgess Hill Town set their sights firmly on the new season ahead. Jay Lovett’s 2022/23 side dusted off the cobwebs in some style as they returned to action on a gorgeous summer evening in Horsham. With 20 players at the managers disposal for the opening friendly including 4 Trialists, Jay Lovett fielded a first half XI and a second half XI with only Harry Pollard and Josh Spinks starting both halves. It was the Hillians who opened the scoring through Mr Trialist in the 12th minute, a neat close range finish to get the scoring underway. This specific Trialist was a huge handful for the Magpies defence all first half and would’ve undoubtedly caught the eye of management. Another man who impressed in the first 45 was Charlie Kelly. On another day, CK could’ve had a hattrick but he was finding the Loxwood GK very hard to beat, producing save after save to thwart the left footed wizard. Burgess Hill seemed to be in full control until Loxwood won themselves a penalty in the 34th minute which they converted to level up proceedings. It was rather against the run of play but Hill quickly attempted to regain the lead with another bright spark, Ollie Davies. He found the net with a bullet header from a Kelly cross but the linesman ruined all his fun by raising the flag. With just 5 minutes to go until HT, Loxwood took a 2-1 lead. The Hill had numerous chances to go into HT ahead but they ultimately trailed at the break and gave the second half XI a bit of a task.
The second half XI scored 5 goals in 7 minutes. No, genuinely. It was as if a goal shower was raining down briefly, in the blink of an eye Burgess Hill turned this friendly upside down. It only took 5 minutes for Hayden Skerry to get the equaliser, cutting in from the left and firing the ball back across goal and into the bottom bins. This was the start of goalscoring mayhem. Just 2 minutes later, new signing Jeff Duah-Kessie opened his Burgess Hill account and gave us the lead again in Horsham. Martyn Box felt rather left out of this goal show and less than 120 seconds later, rifled a booming drive across the GK and into the bottom corner to make it 2-4. No sooner had Loxwood kicked off for a 4th time this half, a dreadful mix up at the back for the Magpies saw a back pass roll past the GK and into the net for 2-5. We aren’t quite done there either, and we’re only 56 minutes in. Hayden Skerry grabbed his second of the game and the 5th of the half for the relentless Hillians. The game did finally settle down after this, more substitutes were introduced and the Hillians started knocking it around in confident style. No further goals were added to the already hefty scoreline and 2-6 was how our first outing of the summer ended.
A good opening friendly for Jay Lovett and his troops against a very hard working opposition who never stopped running. Thanks to Horsham for hosting and the very best of luck to the Magpies in the SCFL this upcoming season.
Up next for Hill is a trip to Steyning Town on Tuesday evening – 7:30 kick off.