If we come across as gobsmacked, bewildered or completely and utterly flummoxed at yesterday afternoon’s match, that would be because. We are.
It was the table topping visitors who created the opening chance of the game, Ashley Miller taking aim and firing towards goal from 25 yards saw Tommy Reid make a flying save to tip the ball away from the top corner. The Hillians opening chance, wasn’t even really a chance. Hayden Skerry, back in the starting lineup, looked to whip a left footed cross in, overhit it but it clipped the top of the crossbar. How’s your luck? The opening quarter to this one was being played at 100MPH, the Rams won a free kick which was nodded down at the far post for Josh Ajayi but he slammed it into the side netting. The Rams continued to press for an opener, Tijan Jadama, who has scourged the Hill previously, unleashed from 25 yards but Tommy Reid was equal to it. Back down the other end, Hill decided the best form of defence, was attack! Reggie Ward picked the ball up and dazzled his way past 3 players before he got to the edge of the area but produced a defenders finish, smashing it out of the ground with his weaker left peg. Suddenly this sparked an avalanche of Hill chances. Dan Perry found himself out wide right and produced a delightful cross for Lewis Finney. He was unable to convert but it seemed to fall for Martyn Box but a brilliant last ditch Callum Emptage tackle prevented Boxy from opening the scoring. From the resulting corner, it fell for Harry Pollard but he fired wide. The chances just kept coming. Kieran Rowe threaded a delightful ball for Lewis Finney who was in one on one, he nutmegged Josh Bexon but GK got something on the ball to take the sting out of it and as it was rolling towards the goal line, Jahmal Howlett-Mundle thumped it away from danger. That missed chance proved costly as the Rams broke up the other end and opened the scoring. Josh Spinks thought he could win the ball from a Ram on the halfway line and got turned, Ashley Miller sped down the right, crossed it for Josh Ajayi, he found Tijan Jadama and like he always seems to do, he scored against Burgess Hill, slotting it past a helpless Tommy Reid.
The second half carried on the same pattern as the first, with Hill missing chances. This time Harry Pollard, up from the back, was the guilty party as he had a free header from a corner but put it wide. Massive Chance, that one. As was the next one, which occurred 6 minutes later. Dan Cadman played a gorgeous ball down the line for Martyn Box, he whipped a cross in which fell for Brad Santos at the back post, he took a touch and seemed certain to score but his shot was deflected over the crossbar, causing even more Hill head in hands. You want more frustration? Coming up! A short corner was whipped in by Santos and Dan Cadman of all people gets on the end of it, he nods it down but the ball zips inches over Josh Bexon’s crossbar. It just won’t go in. Entering the last 20 minutes, the Hill had put so much into the game, they were beginning to run out of steam big time. Substitute Jeff Duah-Kessie set up Dan Perry but his effort was straight at Bexon and the seemingly unthinkable was made into reality.
Probably Burgess Hill’s best performance of the season against top of the league but incredibly, despite battering the Rams, they just couldn’t put the sphere in the rectangle.
Our match sponsor, the Thatched Inn, awarded Kieran Rowe the MOTM award. We thank them for the continued support!
Next up, we make the short trip to HQ to face Lancing at Culver Road on Saturday.