First Team
Isthmian League South East Division Tue 21 February Reachfields Stadium
Hythe Town
  • Smith (4')
Burgess Hill Town

The Matt Longhurst era began with a tricky midweek trip the Hythe Town who came into the game on the back of 4 consecutive wins.

It couldn’t have gotten off to a worse possible start for Longhurst. Hill conceded a long throw which was clearly a weapon in the Hythe arsenal but Hill failed to clear their lines and it fell to Liam Smith to smash the ball through a crowd of players and give the inform hosts a very early lead. The Hill were caught in the eye of a Hythe storm and needed to be careful the game didn’t slip away from them early doors. A dipping home shot had Will Huffer concerned but thankfully it landed on the roof of his net and not inside it. The next Hythe effort was even closer, a shot across the box flashed past Will Huffers post as the Hill defence creaked loudly. Will Huffer was getting his moneys worth action wise, he was forced into a strong near post to stop the scoreline from being doubled. From the resulting corner, a header on goal was the next threat but that failed to hit the target. The had to wait until just before half-time to create an opening, such was the home teams dominance in the first 45. Reggie Ward marauded down the right and whipped in a cross which almost ended up sneaking over Hythe GK Steve Phillips but he managed to get a fingertip to it, tipping it over. From the resulting corner, Dan Perry headed over in a tough chance but it was a much better end to the half for the Hillians.

HT: 1-0.

Truth be told, this will be a very short second half summary. Absolutely. Nothing. Happened. The Hill saw a lot more of possession but on a typical non league pitch in February, they struggled to gain any momentum against a compact Hythe defence. Martyn Box, who was Hill MOTM once again, crossed for Max Miller who headed wide and that was quite honestly about as exciting as it got. It wasn’t for a lack of effort or willingness, this is a Hill team in transition. It was always going to be tough. The Hill piled on the pressure in the closing minutes and forced a flurry of late set pieces but they were all dealt with by the huge Hythe defence and they held on for a 5th successive win, whereas the Hillians dropped back into the dreaded bottom 4.

FT: 1-0.

A frustrating opening game to the Matt Longhurst game era as a sloppy early goal does for the Hillians, in a game where they certainly could’ve forced a point and go home happier.

Next up, it’s a huge Sussex Derby as we travel to East Grinstead Town where 3 points are a must.