Proof, if ever you need it, that Burgess Hill can score goals. 3 of them in fact! Read on to find out how they safely soared into the First Qualifying Round of this years Emirates FA Cup…
After failing to score in our opening 2 games, the message was very clear from the outset; start hard and fast. The players responded to Jay’s message as they began very much full throttle and on the front foot. Max Miller twice in quick succession at the start of the match had early chances but neither hit the target. After just 6 minutes, the Hillians missed a golden chance to take the lead. Martyn Box, a late call up to the XI after an injury to Dan Cadman in the warm up, did really well down the left to twist and turn and clip a cross into an unmarked Jeff Duah-Kessie, but only 6 yards out, Jeff headed wide off the goal. A promising start, nonetheless. This promising start was rewarded in the 27th minute when the ball finally found the back of the net. It came from a corner as Brad Santos and Lewis Finney played it quickly and Santos cut in from the left with the Stansfeld defence napping and fired a venomous shot which flew into the bottom corner to open the deadlock. You wait 207 minutes for a goal and then the second arrives just 2 minutes later. Football, ey! Jeff Duah-Kessie showed great strength to overpower his man, the ball ran to Dan Perry who set Max Miller bearing down on goal, Millers effort was saved but the rebound fell kindly to HitMan Dan to notch his first goal back in the colours of his adoring people. The Hillians confidence was just flowing now in Mid Sussex! 2 nearly became 3 when Brad Santos pulled the ball back to Dan Perry but Hitmans attempt only hit the base of the post with the visitors managing to scramble clear.
Burgess Hill looked relatively comfortable in the first 45, especially after going ahead, the HT chat would’ve been along the lines of, ‘more of the same, can we extend our lead, let’s keep a clean sheet’… well. Those sheets became rather dirty just moments into the second half. Stansfeld broke down the left hand side and crossed the ball into the box, Harry Pollard looked to block the attackers shot but only succeeded in making contact with the man in the box and the referee very quickly pointed to the spot. Will Huffer had been a bit of a bystander but he had to pick the ball out of his net as Dan Parkinson leathered the ball into the roof of the net to spark a potential comeback from the Londoners. From a position of control, suddenly the Hillians had backs against the wall. Stansfeld tails were up and they set about getting an equaliser, a couple of chances from decent positions were spurned as they just lacked a clinical edge infront of goal. The longer the game remained 2-1, the more nervy and edgy the mood became around the More Than Tyres. Jay Lovett introduced Connor Tighe and Olly Allen for his Hill debut and he attempted to get a game clinching third, firing a vicious effort at Charlie Cottrell’s goal which was 2 hot to handle but no Green and Black was following in. Stansfeld, as you would expect, were chucking the proverbial kitchen sink at Hill but it left them prone to counter attacks. Jeff Duah-Kessie was set clean through, the big man got his shot away but his powerful effort was brilliantly tipped over the bar by Charlie Cottrell. A very very good save. The game should’ve been wrapped up in the 88th minute. From a Stansfeld free kick, the Hillians broke and Max Miller set Connor Tighe away. If anything, Connor had too much time and with just the GK to beat, he pulled his effort wide of the far post to keep the Londoners in the contest. Just as the clock struck 90, the Hillians did wrap the game up. Substitute Olly Allen played a delightful chip over the top which Dan Parkinson failed to clear. Max Miller was quickest to react and he poked the ball home past the onrushing GK and into the back of the net to safely send the Hillians into the next round.
A good win for the Hillians as we rack up our first win of the campaign, now it’s time to get that W on the board in the league.
Next up, it’s a trip to newly promoted Chatham Town as the Hill head to Kent for the first time this 2022/23 season!