Burgess Hill crowned Ryman League champions

Burgess Hill Town FC vs Chipstead FC.JPMT.Dan Batt SUS-150323-091704001
Burgess Hill Town FC vs Chipstead FC.JPMT.Dan Batt SUS-150323-091704001

Burgess Hill became Ryman League South champions when second half goals by Pat and Lee Harding gave them a 2-0 win at Carshalton Athletic.

Hill manager Ian Chapman made just one change to the side which beat Ramsgate 2-1 at home on Wednesday with topscorer Pat Harding restored to the team playing up front while Rob O’Toole was on the bench.

Pat Harding gave them the lead in the first minute of the second half when he headed a corner from Callum Saunders into the net from the far post.

It had been a poor first half with neither side dominating or having much in the way of clear-cut chances.

Carshalton forced a fine one-handed save by Hill keeper Josh James in the opening exchanges with a shot by Austin Gacheru.

At the other end both Lee Harding and Darren Budd saw chances blocked by the home defence.

Pat Harding, Burgess Hill Town FC. Picture by Steve Robards SUS-150113-082335001

Pat Harding, Burgess Hill Town FC. Picture by Steve Robards SUS-150113-082335001

Hill should have been on-target when Lee played a ball through to Pat whose glancing header was just inches wide of the upright.

Darren Budd had a go from long-range which drifted wide, then a melee involving most of the players broke out for an incident which led to Sean O’Toole for Carshalton and Hill’s Joe Keehan both receiving yellow cards.

The game exploded into life with with Pat Harding’s opening goal which was his 19th of the season.

Hillians followed this up with a second 15 minutes later when Pat Harding crossed, keeper James flapped and missed the ball and Lee was left with a simple opportunity to head into an open goal to put Hill 2-0 up.

The game exploded into life with Pat Harding’s opening goal which was his 19th of the season.

The result was effectively sealed two minutes later when Carshalton’s O’Toole was booked again for diving and was sent-off for his second bookable offence, leaving the home side to play out the last 27 minutes with only ten men.

Hill saw out the rest of the game in Carshalton’s half with Dan Perry going closest to scoring a third.

In the final minute Hill nearly added a third goal by Rob O’Toole which was cleared off the line by Carshalton skipper Adriano Moraes.

HILL: Josh James, Toby Pointing, Sam Fisk, Darren Budd, (capt), Andy Pearson, Will Miles, Scott Kirkwood (Pearse 66), Joe Keehan, Pat Harding (Rob’Toole 73), Lee Harding, Callum Saunders (Dan Perry 58)

Lee Harding, Burgess Hill Town FC. Picture by Steve Robards SUS-150113-082239001

Lee Harding, Burgess Hill Town FC. Picture by Steve Robards SUS-150113-082239001

Unused subs: Graham Martin, Spencer Slaughter

CARSHALTON ATHLETIC: Liam Sallis, Jordan Higgs, Ricardo Panton, Owen Roberts, Adriano Moraes (Capt), Mathew Males (Warren Sadare-Morgan 80), Ryan Young (Bobby Price 58), Brendan Murphy-McVey, Austin Gacheru (Ricky Korboa 66), Tommy Bradford, Sean O’Toole.

Unused subs: Connor Power, Daniel Boateng

REFEREE: Graham Kane

ATTENDANCE: 338