Burgess Hill Town 0, East Thurrock United 2: Hillians still without a league win in 2016

Ian Chapman, Manager Burgess Hill Town FC. Pic Steve Robards   SR1602127 SUS-160117-130857001

Ian Chapman, Manager Burgess Hill Town FC. Pic Steve Robards SR1602127 SUS-160117-130857001

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Burgess Hill Town are still yet to record a league win in 2016 after a 0-2 defeat to East Thurrock United on Saturday.

The goals for the opposition came from winger Lewis Smith late in the second half, with defender Jimmy Nottage adding a second a few minutes later.

The two sides came into this game having played the reverse fixture only eleven days earlier, with East Thurrock the victors in that game also.

The afternoon began with a minutes silence before the game in remembrance of former match day secretary Malcolm Stephens who passed away last week.

Ian Chapman was forced to field a slightly altered starting XI after Andy Pearson picked up an injury against Brentwood the week before. Joe Keehan was moved back into centre half to fill the gap.

The game began slowly with the first chance coming after 12 minutes. Chris Smith was played through on goal with his first shot being blocked by the defender and his second effort was well saved by keeper Lukas Lidakevicius. Minutes later Dan Pearse was able to get a shot away but it was forced well wide.

It was not long after when East Thurrock began to impose themselves on the game. Both Aaron Morgan and Tom Wraight had good opportunities in quick succession but failed to find the back of the net.

The best chance of the half fell to Lewis Smith who was one on one with keeper Josh James, but chose to take his shot early rather than round the goalie. This turned out to be the wrong decision as James made the crucial save.

The Hillians were unlucky not to score early on in the second half. Sam Gargan was put through on goal but was ruled offside. It was Gargan again minutes later whose header hit the junction between the post and the crossbar. Lee Harding and Chris Smith also had chances saved by Lidakevicius.

Whilst it was the Hillians who were ramping up the pressure, it was East Thurrock who broke the deadlock. Lewis Smith flicked the ball over the defender and when the ball was returned to him, he slotted the ball home underneath the goalkeeper. This knocked Hill’s confidence as minutes later Jimmy Nottage was able to dribble through their defence and his deflected shot sent James the wrong way to give the visitors into a 2-0 lead.

Despite Ian Chapman immediately using all three of his substitutions after the second goal, the Hillians were unable to find the correct formula in order to breach the East Thurrock defence.

This result leaves Burgess Hill 14th in the league, with Metropolitan Police and Harrow Borough having three games in hand below them. Therefore Ian Chapman and his side will be hoping they can end this bad run of results when they face 10th place Enfield Town at the Green Elephants on Wednesday evening.

Hillians: Josh James, Toby Pointing (Elliot Levy 80), Sam Fisk, Darren Budd (Scott Kirkwood 78), Joe Keehan, Will Miles, Dan Pearse, Pat Harding (Jack Rowe-Hurst 79), Sam Gargan, Chris Smith, Lee Harding

Not used: Guy Bolton, Cam Wiltshire

Attendance: 412

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