Burgess Hill got the Sussex Senior Cup campaign off to a flying start as they breezed past SCFL side Horsham YMCA 6-1.
Jay Lovett only made 2 changes from the weekends heartbreaking Isthmian League defeat to Beckenham with Josh Spinks returning after suspension and Charlie Kelly replacing Sam Remfry. It was an incredibly first start by the Hillians with Max Miller passing up the first opportunity just 3 minutes in when he headed straight at Mark Fox from a corner. It took just 6 minutes to open the scoring as 17 year old Zack Lawrence was given time and space to roam down the right flank and he whipped a pinpoint perfect cross onto the head of Hitman Dan Perry who pealed off his man and headed home his 14th of the season. Before the twitter admin had time to describe the first goal, he was scrambling through his camera roll looking for a goal gif as less than 2 minutes later, it was 2-0. Charlie Kelly found himself with the ball in the box on the left hand side and he set up Max Miller who comfortably slotted past a helpless Fox to double the lead. The Hill weren’t done there. A rampant opening quarter was topped off by Hitman Dan. Max Miller this time turned provider as his cross was swept nonchalantly into the top corner by Dan Perry with supreme confidence. 15 for Hitman. 3 for Hill. 13 minutes gone. Clinical. The goals did eventually dry up in the first half but the chances did not. Lewis Finney was looking to get in on the goalscoring fun but his effort from just inside the area was well saved by the busy Fox. Quite how it wasn’t 4-0 in the 26th minute, we aren’t sure. It turns out Dan Perry is human after all, Zack Lawrence with more brilliance down the right, he whipped the ball across the box where Hitman had a tap in from a few yards but somehow he diverted the ball past the post and not inside them. It had been a rampant first 30 minutes for Hill but they switched off defensively and YMCA had a big chance to pull one back but they missed a glorious chance with only Will Huffer to beat. That miss proved costly as the Hillians sprang back into life at the other end and made it 4. Max Miller gave Clem Asiedu a torrid time down the wing and he breezed past him once again, his low driven cross was inch perfect for Hitman Dan Perry to slide in for his hattrick. The Hill were 4-0 up and proving to be ruthless but if it wasn’t for Mark Fox, the scoreline could’ve been much better. Max Miller was keen on adding to his goal and he burst in down the right but it was a fine save from Fox. The YMCA probably deserved a goal and they almost got one at the end of the first half. The Hill switched off for a corner and a looping cross come shot had to be headed miraculously off the line by an alert Kieran Rowe. The final chance of a frantic half was set up by Charlie Kelly as he found Ashley Elson but it was yet another very smart save by that Foxy Fox.
The second half continued in similar fashion, with the Hill pressing and probing for more goals. Charlie Kelly had an early effort deflected wide for a Hill corner as we hunted a fifth. Lewis Finney was desperate to get on the scoresheet but he was once again denied before Mark Fox gave the ball straight to Hayden Skerry 25 yards out but Hayden agonisingly missed the target with the goal gaping. Charlie Pitcher made his return from injury midway through the half and immediately got involved, however he squandered two good headed opportunities to extend our lead. Someone who was equally as frustrated was Ashley Elson, the ball just wouldn’t go in for our goalscorer at Beckenham, another chance came and went when he fired an effort at goal but it was well blocked by a visiting defender. It took the Hill until the 65th minute but they did manage to get a fifth. Lewis Finney seemed to be running out of room on the left hand side of the box but he managed to keep the ball in, nutmeg his man and fire a beautiful effort which crashed in off the far post to make it 5-0 Hill. Five very quickly became 6 as the Hill won a corner, Charlie Kelly whipped it in and it deflected off the face of poor Dean Lovegrove who was helpless in making it 6-0. You can’t say the visitors didn’t have chances to get on the scoresheet and they missed another good chance when they burst in down the left hand side but got the final shot all wrong. They did get a goal which they deserved 12 minutes from time as they won themselves a penalty which captain Dean Lovegrove smashed past Will Huffer to add a little bit of gloss onto the evenings scoreline.
A comprehensive and professional Hillians performance sees us comfortably into the hat for the Sussex Senior Cup third round, with the draw to take place on Saturday evening.
Next up, it’s an extremely rare 12:30 kick off in the Isthmian League as we welcome Sittingbourne to Paradise with some more points up for grabs.