First Team
FA Trophy Third Qualifying Round Sat 8 October The Home Call Carpets Community Stadium
Burgess Hill Town
  • Perry (6')
  • Box (72')
Hanworth Villa
  • Hippolyte (74')

If we didn’t know much about our London visitors before the match, we certainly wouldn’t forget them in a hurry come FT. An aerial bombardment on the pitch, a Marilyn Monroe cardboard cut out off the pitch. Truly one of the most peculiar days of football at the More Than Tyres Stadium in a long time.

The afternoon couldn’t of got off to a better start for Hill, with Dan Perry opening the scoring after just 6 minutes. Lewis Finney drove forward with the ball before laying it off to Hitman who took a touch before burying it past Terry Buss in the Villa goal. It took until the 20th minute for Tommy Reid to be called into action, the on loan Brighton GK sold Kieran Rowe down the river with a pass and Villa broke, Reid redeemed himself when he saved a powerful effort on the right hand side before Nic D’Arienzo followed that up by hurling himself in the way of the rebound to keep our lead. The first half if truth be told was a real drab affair, chances few and far between with the majority of the ball being had by the visitors but with no real end product. A chance did fall the way of the Londoners when a long ball was laid off by Jonathan Hippolyte into the onrushing path of Tom Scott but his fierce left footed effort was beaten away low down to his right by Tommy Reid.

HT: 1-0.

Albeit the Hillians were a goal up at the break, I doubt Jay Lovett was doing cartwheels round the dressing room at HT, enforcing the message to his players that they needed a big second performance if they were to keep hold of the lead. It was the Villains, as you might expect being a goal down, who started the brighter, a corner from the right hand side was flicked inches over Tommy Reid’s goal by captain Tom Bender. Some sloppy play the Hill around our own box almost gifted Hanworth an equaliser, Lewis Finney lost out and Jonathan Hippolyte latched onto the ball and tried to round Tommy Reid but the angle was against him and his effort only went into the side netting. You always had that feeling that 1 goal probably wasn’t enough for Hill and Connor Tighe looked to change that, a cross from the left was cleared only as far as Tighe, he dropped a shoulder and worked some space but he belted his left footed effort straight at Terry Buss in the net. That sparked a little spell of Hill pressure, Lewis Finney missed his kick when well placed but it fell to Dan Perry in the box, he jinxed his way through to the byline and pulled it back for Kieran Rowe on the edge of the box but he volleyed his effort wide of the target. With 20 minutes to go, Hanworth missed a glorious opportunity to draw level. A corner was swung in from the left, Tommy Reid missed it, everyone in green and black missed it and it fell to a Villa man 3 yards out but he somehow volleyed his effort over the bar in a strong contender for miss of the season. That miss proved even more costly just seconds later as Hill doubled the lead. A clearance landed at Connor Tighe’s feet and he played a gorgeous ball over the top of defence which saw Martyn Box race in on goal, he never looked like missing and miss he didn’t, slotting it confidently past Terry Buss to double the lead. You are at your most vulnerable when you’ve just scored and so it proved for Hill. Straight from KO Tommy Reid was forced into a finger tip save from Jonathan Hippolyte’s half volley but the defence was breached from the resulting corner. It was swung into the box and Tommy Reid punched it straight against the head of Hippolyte who knew nothing about it but it flew into the net to halve the arrears and spark this game back into life. From this point onwards it was backs against the walls for Hill. Meshach Williams fired a shot through a crowd of players and it fell to Tom Bender at the far post but he couldn’t sort his feet out and the chance was gone. One final chance came when a free kick landed at a Hanworth mans feet on the edge of the box but he volleyed into the Ashley Carr Terrace and the final whistle went to the noise of sheer relief from Hill.

FT: 2-1.

The Hillians are into the FA Trophy 1st Round but that was not a 90 minutes many will remember. Winning is all that matters and these Hillians are finding ways to win, which can only be a positive thing.

Next up, the Hillians head to the coast as we tackle old friends Whitehawk at the Enclosed Ground on Tuesday Night.