First Team
FA Trophy 1st Qualifying Round Tue 13 September Dellwood Avenue
Felixstowe & Walton Utd
  • Whight (15')
  • Harrison (76')
2 (2)
Burgess Hill Town
  • Finney (41')
  • Kelly (79')
2 (3)
2-2 (2-3 pens)

The Hillians can’t of overly fancied a 260 mile round trip to East Suffolk on a Tuesday evening but you best believe those boys in blue enjoyed the journey home as Burgess Hill went through on penalties.

It was a damp and drizzly evening in Felixstowe making the pitch very slick for passing football which both teams would of enjoyed. It was the hosts who had the first opportunity of the match and a mighty fine chance it was too, a cross got fizzed in from the left and it went all the way to the back post where a Felixstowe man was waiting to slam home, except he fired it wide with the goal at his mercy. Bit of an early let off, that. The early pressure carried on from the Seasiders and it was only a heroic Dan Cadman goalsaving block that thwarted them from opening the scoring. Burgess Hill’s first opportunity came when Martyn Box won us the ball back high up the pitch, and Connor Tighe took the ball and looked to bend one into the upper echelons but it flew millimetres wide of the upright. If that was close, then our next chance off the woodwork couldn’t get closer! Once again, the Hillians won the ball back high up the pitch, Jeff Duah-Kessie got the ball, put his man in a washing machine spin, rinsed him and fired a left footed rocket which was well tipped onto the crossbar by the Felixstowe GK. Unfortunately, it’s fine margins in football as just a minute later, Felixstowe took the lead. A corner in from the left was missed by Tommy Reid and that left Joe Whight with the simple task of heading the Seasiders into the lead. One almost became two as the hosts had their tails up, they counter attacked us from our own corner and had a 3 on 1 but really mucked it up and dragged a shot well wide of the target. The Hill almost equalised on the half hour, a lovely move saw Lewis Finney pick up a loose ball, spread it out wide to Max Miller where Lewis Finney continued his run and Miller found him with a peach of a cross which Finney headed just over. The Hill were starting to get control of this game now and the chances kept on coming! Max Miller fed Connor Tighe 20 yards out but once again, Callum Robinson pulled off a cracking fingertip save to tip it over the crossbar. This pressure the Hill were applying late in the first half worked wonders, as in the 41st minute, we had a penalty. Jeff Duah-Kessie was too quick for a Seaside defender who couldn’t resist dangling a lazy leg out which tripped Jeff and the ref rightly pointed to the spot. Up stepped Lewis Finney who sent the GK the wrong way to get us deservedly back into the cup tie.

HT: 1-1.

The second half had only been underway a matter of minutes but Martyn Box had a golden opportunity to put us ahead. A cracking run from the left footed wizard saw him burst through with only the GK to beat but he almost had too much time to think about it and slotted it narrowly wide of the target. Back down the other end and Felixstowe tested Tommy Reid’s shotstopping as a powerful 25 yarder came hurtling towards him but the Brighton stopper was equal to it as he parried it away to safety. The second half was being controlled by the Hillians with Felixstowe looking to hit on the counter. Martyn Box, who was brilliant once again for Hill, had another attempt, this time a bit further out but the home GK did well to tip it away for a corner. From the resulting corner, the ball dropped to Max Miller but he just couldn’t force the ball over the line. As the time was ticking on, the first few murmurs of Penalty Shootout were being ushered, that was until the hosts retook the lead. It was a sloppy error at the back from Nic D’Arienzo, a shame for him as he had a very solid game with this being the only blemish, he lost the ball in a dangerous area and Felixstowe crossed the ball in for Callum Harrison to tap home at the far post. How do these Hillians respond? In absolutely perfect style. Jay Lovett responded to going behind by introducing Charlie Kelly, what a move this proved to be! It was a fantastic team move, Jeff Duah-Kessie held the ball up, laid it out wide to Martyn Box who spotted the late arriving Charlie Kelly gliding into the box, the cross was perfection, right onto Kelly’s forehead to bullet his header down into the ground and Into the back of the net, sparking a beautiful knee slide celebration infront of the travelling Hillians! Felixstowe ended the game on top, forcing a few late free kicks but the Hillians cleared everything thrown at them and the match was destined for penalties.

FT: 2-2.

Felixstowe took the first penalty which Tommy Reid saved and Connor Tighe stepped up to score our first. The post then denied our hosts from the spot before Brad Santos had his effort saved. Felixstowe finally scored with their third penalty, something Lewis Finney responded to as he thumped our third penalty into the top corner. Tommy Reid denied our hosts with the 4th Felixstowe penalty which meant Charlie Pitcher stepped up to win it, but unfortunately the GK saved. Felixstowe had to score the 5th pen and they did meaning it was down to Martyn Box to send us through and it was never in doubt, was it? Cool as you like, bottom corner, Hill win 2-3 on penalties. Bish Bash Bosh.

It’s never, ever easy is it? Goodness me.

Next up, we return to the Emirates FA Cup as we travel to Met Police on Saturday afternoon!