Apparently you make your own luck. If someone can direct us to a place where it’s made, we would be greatly appreciative…
A big crowd of over 500 piled into the More Than Tyres Stadium on this Bank Holiday Monday and they were rewarded with an action packed game. Littlehampton had the opening chance of the afternoon when Dion Jarvis slipped in George Gaskin but captain Josh Spinks thwarted the No9 with a fine block. Burgess Hill’s first chance came when the ever threatening full back Martyn Box opened his legs and galloped down the left hand side, showing Shay Wiggans a clean pair of heels before clipping an inch perfect cross onto the head of Max Miller who must’ve thought he had scored but he was denied by a truly brilliant reflex save from James Binfield in the Golds goal. The Hillians had started really well, positive, bright, on the front foot. What happened next was a punch to the gut. A long Littlehampton throw was flicked on and it fell to George Gaskin who smashed it goalwards, Josh Spinks deflected it onto the underside of the bar before the rebound came down and struck Reggie Ward. The referee, to the surprise of everyone, awarded the Golds a penalty and sent Reggie Ward off as he deemed the young fullback handled the ball. The replays show that it may well of struck Reggie on the hand/arm but there was absolutely no intent. The ball dropped out of the sky. It’s perhaps a penalty kick, the referee was in a good position but a straight red card is extremely harsh. Nevertheless, Hillians legend Scott Kirkwood, now plying his trade in the old Gold, stepped up and belted the ball into Will Huffers top corner. No chance for the Huffman. When it rains it pours for Hill currently but we quickly set about trying to even the deficit. Dan Perry was slipped in down the left but he couldn’t beat James Binfield in the Gold goal. The backend of the first half was quite stale, not much happened which suited Littlehampton fine. They did have a half chance to double the lead, a long ball was nodded down by Dion Jarvis to George Gaskin, Gaskin then set up Jarvis but not once but twice, Dan Cadman hurled himself infront of the ball to block the shot. Body on the line stuff.
Littlehampton knew that they needed a second goal after the break to calm any nerves and stop threats of a Hillians revival, they quickly went on the ascendancy as Kyle O’Brien was allowed to run with the ball for far too long before being allowed to shoot but it curled just wide. Once again, the dangerous O’Brien capitalised on a Hill error as he won the ball off Lewis Finney, he then charged towards goal before unleashing a wicked effort but luckily for Hill it was just too high. Some silly errors were creeping into Hills game at the start of the second period, Josh Spinks completely misjudged a long ball and that saw George Gaskin in behind, but he went to chip Will Huffer and got in a right old mess with the ball just dribbling through to Huffman. Gradually, the Hill were starting to get the foot on the ball a bit more and gain some momentum and this almost culminated in an equaliser. Martyn Box cut in from the right hand side and whipped a dipping effort which looked for all the world like it was nestling in the top corner but James Binfield back peddled and leapt and somehow got a finger on it to tip it over the crossbar. Another chance came and went when the brilliant Max Miller nodded a long free kick down for Dan Perry, he controlled it with his back to goal and swivelled onto his left foot but he blasted the ball high into the sky instead of into the net but it was much better play from Jay Lovett’s battling boys. When you’re pushing for an equaliser you’re always going to be more open at the back and the visitors looked to exploit this. They had the ball in the net midway through the second half after George Gaskin tapped home Dion Jarvis low cross but the linesman flag was up. Another chance came and went to wrap the game up as two former Hillians combined when Josh Short skipped by Dan Cadman and crossed for Scott Kirkwood who volleyed high and wide. Littlehampton did eventually score a second but naturally, it was about as unlucky a goal as you will ever see. A corner came in from the left, Olly Allen missed his header and the ball subsequently smashed Kieran Rowe in the face and the ball flew past the helpless Will Huffer and that sums up our luckless season I’m afraid. To the Hillians credit, they still kept going even at 2-0, substitute Charlie Kelly whipped a peach of a cross into Martyn Box’s head, the wideman throughly deserved a goal but alas his header whistled inches over. The final chance also fell to Box who was my MOTM, if you cared, a late free kick was powerfully curled at goal but Binfield read it and made a good low save.
10vs11 for 75 minutes is always going to be tough. On another day, the result could’ve been different. James Binfield in goal for the visitors immense. Hillians rallied commendably in the second half and deserved more than what they are currently getting out of matches. Keep the faith. It will come.
Next up for Jay Lovett’s men is a return to Emirates FA Cup action as we travel to old friends, Corinthian Casuals.