Burgess Hill on wrong end of giant-killing in FA Cup

Pat Harding returned to the starting XI
Pat Harding returned to the starting XI

Burgess Hill Town were on the wrong end of a giant-killing as they exited this year’s FA Cup after a surprise loss at Southern Combination League side Horsham YMCA.

A year after Hill were knocking out higher league opponents such as Sutton United and Aldershot Town from Cup competitions the tables were turned as YM became giant-killers.

Hill welcomed back Sam Fisk and Pat Harding to the starting XI in place of Toby Pointing and Callum Saunders from the midweek narrow loss at Harrow Borough.

Midfielder Scott Kirkwood shot over the bar for the first chance of the game on eight minutes and YM’s Dave Brown headed over from a deep Dean Carden cross three minutes later.

Hillians had two chances in as many minutes soon after, firstly Lee Harding’s corner was headed by Will Miles to Sam Fisk, who’s shot went wide of the post and then Chris Smith held the ball up well and knocked it forward for Lee Harding to shoot which was saved by home keeper Simon Lockwood.

Another deep cross from the hosts saw Dan Evans head straight at Josh James but it was at the other end where the dead lock was nearly broken.

Andy Pearson’s long ball down the right found Smith who’s first time shot was turned round the post by Lockwood and two minutes later Smith’s lob from Darren Budd’s ball over the top was again saved by Lockwood.

Former Hillians favourite Nick Sullivan latched on to a through ball but he shot well wide and Fisk nearly gave the Hillians the lead at the other end when his header from Kirkwood’s cross hit the bar.

It was YM though who broke the deadlock when a defensive error allowed Sam Schaaf a free run to goal and he slotted the ball past James.

Ian Chapman made a change at half time brining on Callum Saunders for George Branford but it was YM who doubled their lead after 55 minutes when Schaaf’s cross from the right found Brown who shot home from ten yards as an upset began to look likely.

Things got worse for the Hillians five minutes later when skipper Budd was forced off with an injury.

Schaaf had a shot saved by James but it was the Hillians who pressed looking for a way to get back into the game.

Dan Perry came on for Smith up front and he made a quick impact with two chances. Pat Harding crossed for Perry who beat the defender but his effort was saved by Lockwood for a corner and from the corner Perry collected the ball, turned and shot and Lockwood saved well on the line.

Perry though was not to be denied his first goal of the season as Pat Harding flicked the ball on for Perry who volleyed the ball low into the bottom corner to give Hillians a lifeline.

Although Hillians pressed for an equaliser they failed to break down YM’s defence and it saw the hosts progress through to the 2nd qualifying round.

Hillians: Josh James, Dan Pearse, Sam Fisk, Andy Pearson, Will Miles, George Branford (Callum Saunders 46), Darren Budd (Guy Bolton 60), Scott Kirkwood, Pat Harding, Lee Harding, Chris Smith (Dan Perry 66).

Not used: Toby Pointing, Elliott Dollner.

YM: Simon Lockwood, Dean Carden, Dan Evans, Alex Gathern, Matt Crane (Dan Sullivan 23), Dean Wright (Josh Brown 75), Nick Sullivan, Ashley Dugdale, Sam Schaaf (Liam Hunter 86), Luke Gedling, Dave Brown.

Not used: Paul White, Harry Horner.

Attendance: 140

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