Brighton & Hove Albion bought a plethora of the finest young talent the South Coast has to offer down to the More Than Tyres Stadium and it all culminated in a cracking 90 minutes in-front of a packed out crowd.
Burgess Hill and corners don’t typically go together but just 5 minutes in, the deadlock was broken from a set piece. A lovely corner was whipped in from the left and the captain Spinks attacked it, it didn’t come off his head and truth be told we don’t know what it hit – the most important thing is, it did hit Spinks and it absolutely flew past a helpless Brighton GK. The Hillians continued on the fine start and could’ve doubled the lead through Martyn Box. Another corner opportunity, this time it was a deeper one and Nic D’Arienzo kept it alive before Martyn Box headed wide. The Albion were playing some neat and tidy football at times but we’re struggling to advance the ball into the final third. On an occasion they were able to, they won themselves a free kick on the edge of the box and it produced a stunning Will Huffer save to claw the ball away from the top corner. Lewis Finney looked to double the lead down the other end of the pitch, a really neat passing move from Burgess resulted in last seasons top goalscorer firing a vicious effort which was well saved by the GK at the second attempt. The Albions only attempt were coming from free kicks, they got another decent chance on the edge of the box but this one was straight at Huffer.
The Hillians made a fast start to the first half and similarly made one in the second half. Just 6 minutes inti the second half the Hillians won a contentious penalty, the Albion thought it may of been outside but the referee deemed otherwise. Lewis Finney scored from the spot against Hassocks and looked to repeat the trick but this time his effort was saved by the Brighton GK. It was all Hill to start the second half. A deep corner was kept alive by goalscorer Spinks, the GK dropped the ball under pressure before Lewis Finney rifled one goalwards but it was well blocked by a defender. The Hillians made all 6 changes midway through the second half and 2 of them almost combined to great effect. Charlie Kelly dinked a beautiful ball for Max Miller but his header crashed off the crossbar. First the crosssbar, secondly the post got rattled! This time Max Miller turned provider, he beat his man and stood a cross to the back post where a Trialist fresh from the bench slammed against the post. Those pre-season Trialists keep on impressing, a shot from the edge of the box was deflected narrowly wide before the resulting corner fell to Lewis Finney who smashed one inches over the crossbar.
Burgess Hill claimed yet another pre-season W as the season draws ever nearer. Many thanks to the Albion for bringing an array of talented youngsters who I’m sure all have a bright future.
Next up, we travel to Fetcham Grove to tackle Leatherhead for our final friendly on August 6th.