August and September has been and gone and the month of October often proves a successful month for the Hillians and it got off to the perfect start….
Infront of a crowd of 453, the Hillians began the contest on the front foot but we had to wait until the 15th minute for a clear cut chance. A long Nic D’Arienzo free kick was pumped forward, Harry Pollard nodded it down to Jeff Duah-Kessie who returned the favour, slipping in Pollard, he fired a shot in on goal which forced Matte Pierson into a head height save. There was a few returning Hillians in the EG lineup and one of them tried to open the scoring in audacious fashion. The Hill lost the ball in our own half and it fell to Danny Uchechi who tried to catch Taylor Seymour off his line, the idea was good but the execution wasn’t as the ball sailed over the bar. Clear cut chances were hard to come by in this close and tense all Sussex affair, Connor Tighe whipped a corner in which EG didn’t clear, it fell to Jeff Duah-Kessie who turned and fired but a cracking block from Harrison Parker thwarted the big forward. Harrison Parker was busy at the back for the visitors again minutes later as Hayden Skerry looked to set Dan Perry in behind, Parker should of had it covered but he got outmuscled by Hitman but thankfully for the Grinstead number 5 he got back to block Perry’s shot. The half ended with Connor Tighe cutting in from the left and having a dig, it bounced awkwardly for Matte Pierson but he kept it out and the game remained goalless.
The Hillians were attacking the Ashley Carr terrace unusually for the second half but would the atmosphere that end creates prove crucial in breaking the deadlock? The Hill started well, a Nic D’Arienzo cross fell to Hayden Skerry, he controlled it and then slipped in Martyn Box but his effort was slapped straight at Matte Pierson. A really good chance that for Hill. Harry Pollard was deployed at RB in a position which isn’t his strongest but he was having a superb game, he burst down the right and crossed for Dan Perry but Hitman couldn’t sort his feet out and hooked his effort past the post. The Hill pressure was growing, some neat play around the box came to Martyn Box on the right, he cut inside but his shot was deflected past the post for a corner. That corner provided another really good Hill chance, a Connor Tighe corner landed on captain Josh Spinks’ head but it flew just wide of the far post. You sensed a goal was coming. And it came. It was simplistic in nature for Hill, Josh Spinks hooked a ball down the right hand channel, Hayden Skerry dummied it and Dan Perry got on the end of it, he cut inside Harrison Parker, nutmegging him in the process and fired a shot with his left foot, Parker slid in to try and reclaim some pride but it looped off his foot, spinning in the air, Matte Pierson in the goal saw it fly over his head and although the GK back peddled and dived, the ball bounced and spun over the goal line to spark a huge roar around the More Than Tyres Stadium. That goal sparked a wave of Hillians attacking pressure as we looked to get a second to kill the game off. A brilliant cross field pass saw Hayden Skerry in, a beautiful touch from Hayden gave him a chance to shoot but it was tremendously well saved by Matte Pierson before Harrison Parker stopped Dan Perry from tapping home a second. The Hill were purring now and chances were flowing. Martyn Box got away down the left and pulled his cross back for Lewis Finney who must’ve thought he had scored but Glenn Wilson got a piece on his shot and it fell in Matte Pierson’s arms. The attacks weren’t stopping as Grinstead lost the ball straight away and Martyn Box again was causing problems, this time he skipped inside and had a go with his right foot and Matte Pierson had to tip it over. The Hillians had been well in control and deserved to be ahead but it was only a goal lead and we know how perilous they can be. With just 3 minutes remaining, Tariq Straker whipped in a dangerous cross, Taylor Seymour missed it and it fell to substitute Reece Price-Placid at the back post but he headed it wide. There’s always one final chance and it came in the last second for Grinstead. A corner came in from the right and a visitor headed it on goal but thankfully for Hill it was straight at Taylor Seymour, the whistle went and the Hillians joined the 2022/23 Isthmian League party.
Relief. Joy. Ecstasy. You name it. We felt it. A deserved win, a battling clean sheet. 1-0 to the Hillians is as old as time. Dan Perry is back home. Hill are back.
Next up for Hill, it’s back to FA Trophy action on Saturday as we host Hanworth Villa.