Performance’s like that can be the catalyst to finish this season on a high and with momentum. Of course, it always helps when you have the best striker in the league, Dan Perry helping himself to 3 more goals to take his tally to 25 for the season, but it was more of a team effort that would have delighted the travelling Hill massive.
It was a fast start by Matt Longhurst’s men as he made his return to a ground he knows all too well, Dan Perry forcing Matte Pierson into a good save before Lewis Finney’s rebound was blocked by a Wasp. Hillians bright start was ultimately rewarded after just 9 minutes. Lewis Finney whipped a corner in which Josh Spinks nodded back towards the danger zone and Martyn Box reacted quickest to power his header past the sprawling Pierson to notch his 5th goal of the season and give the Hill a perfect start. The Hill really controlled the opening 15 minutes but the hosts did have a good chance to equalise when a cross to the back post was fired back across goal and Max Walsh was sliding in round the back but he couldn’t direct it on target. What almost would have pleased the Hill more than the current scoreline was seeing their talismanic skipper, Lewis Taylor back in the lineup and leading the troops. In the 18th minute, Pierson had to be alert to parry away a strike from Taylor as the Hill pressed to double their lead. Such was the dominance of the Hillians in the opening half hour, you really felt we should of been more than a goal to the good. A lightning quick counter attack presented Hill with their next chance, Kai Brown found Dan Perry who teed up Hayden Skerry who only had Pierson to beat but beat him he couldn’t, much to the relief of the hosts. East Grinstead were being kept to shots from distance as Hill remained in control, Lewis Unwin fired in an effort from 25 yards but it was easy for Will Huffer in a quiet half for HuffMan. The chances just kept coming in a rampant first half for Longhurst’s men. Our front 3 looked so bright, Hayden Skerry got himself on the end of a pull back but with the goal gaping, he fired straight at a Wasp and the hosts survived, again. Scoring just before HT is always a perfect time to score, and the Hill were rewarded for a dominant first half, by doubling the lead. Hill won a free kick on the right which Connor Tighe took, and for reasons unbeknown, the Wasps failed to mark the deadliest ST in the league, Hitman got to the near post and sent a header flying past the helpless Pierson to double our advantage. The chances didn’t end their and it could have been worse for Grinstead. Kai Brown found Connor Tighe advancing down the left, and Connor smashed an effort which Matte Pierson had to keep out to keep his team in the game.
2-0 can always be a potentially tricky scoreline and as well as Hill played in the first half, they would be keen to kick on and see the game out 2nd half. Lewis Taylor kicked off the second half in ambitious fashion, looking to catch Matte Pierson off his line but his audacious effort dropped narrowly wide. Just 11 minutes into the 2nd half, the points were essentially wrapped up. Matt Longhurst must’ve been working on set pieces in the week as all 3 goals came from routines. This time, Connor Tighe whipped a corner in, Lewis Taylor headed it towards goal and like all good poachers, Dan Perry reacted quickest to nod in ahead of the GK for his 24th of a remarkable season. What could’ve topped this day off would be a volley from the halfway line, to lob the GK, to secure your hattrick, and put us 4-0 up. Arise Sir Perry! The ball came to him and the Wasps were at sixes and sevens at the back, quite what Matte Pierson was doing off his line, I’m not too sure but Perry hit it flush on the volley, it bounced over Pierson and into the back of the net to spark jubilant celebrations infront of the masses of Hillians. 25 goals for the best ST in the league. And he’s one of our own. Even after scoring 4 goals, you still felt there was more to come. Hayden Skerry deserved a goal but it simply would not go in for him. 9 yards out, centre of the goal, Skerry looked certain to smash home a fifth but all he smashed was the midriff of Matty Astle on the goalline to deny a definite goal. One final chance for a fifth came and went, Lewis Finney set away the debutant, Lateef Adaja but it was a fine save from Pierson’s feet, who without him, it would’ve been more than 4 for Hill.
An outstanding display of attacking football but what is even more pleasing is a clean sheet for the defence, and throughly deserved as well.
Next up, a rare free midweek for the boys as we are next in action at home to Whitehawk on Saturday Afternoon.