Burgess Hill Town 1, Enfield 0: Kirkwood goals seals win for the Hillians

Burgess Hill Town v Enfield Town. Picture by Phil Westlake
Burgess Hill Town v Enfield Town. Picture by Phil Westlake
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Burgess Hill Town recorded their first league win since Christmas with a 1-0 victory over Enfield Town in the Ryman Premier on Wednesday.

Midfielder Scott Kirkwood scored the only goal of the game to give the Hillians all three points, picking up only their second clean sheet of the season in the process.

Burgess Hill Town v Enfield Town. Chris Smith. Picture by Phil Westlake

Burgess Hill Town v Enfield Town. Chris Smith. Picture by Phil Westlake

Burgess Hill went into this game on a poor run of form, registering only two points in their last five games in the league. The reverse fixture in August ended with a 1-0 defeat for Hill, something they would have been keen not to repeat.

Ian Chapman named a slightly altered starting XI after his side’s 0-2 loss on Saturday. Lee Harding was moved to right back, shifting Toby Pointing into centre half. This meant that Scott Kirkwood could move back into midfield with Pat Harding up front and Chris Smith playing a slightly deeper role.

Burgess Hill started the game well. Lee Harding made a good run down the right, flicking the ball passed Samir Bihmoutine, with his low cross allowing Scott Kirkwood to tap the ball home for the first and only goal of the game.

Hill were on the attack again a few minutes later when Darren Budd’s ambitious effort on the edge of the box ended up wide of the left hand post.

Scott Kirkwood, Burgess Hill Town SUS-150719-173512001

Scott Kirkwood, Burgess Hill Town SUS-150719-173512001

Despite this good start, Enfield Town soon found their rhythm and began to ramp up the pressure on the Burgess Hill defence. Bobby Devyne was played into the box by Tyler Cambell and his shot came crashing down off the crossbar, which was eventually cleared away. Just moments later, Enfield hit the woodwork again as Corey Whitely’s effort had Josh James beaten, but was unlucky to hit the post.

Half time could not come soon enough for Hill as Evans Kouassi was denied after a handful of saves from James.

The second half began slowly with the Hillians defence working hard to deny the Enfield offense. Substitute Jack Rowe-Hurst made an immediate impact as he was put through on goal by Scott Kirkwood, but keeper Nathan McDonald saved his shot. The rebound fell to Kirkwood whose strike was parried and his third attempt was headed over the bar by Harold Joseph.

Just five minutes later Rowe-Hurst was through on goal again, thanks to a brilliant looped ball over the top from Toby Pointing. His shot was met by McDonald and put out for a corner.

Burgess Hill Town v Enfield Town. Picture by Phil Westlake

Burgess Hill Town v Enfield Town. Picture by Phil Westlake

New signing James Fraser was given a run out in the last ten minutes of the game, to make his Hillians debut, for what was to be a nail biting finish to the match.

After a frantic six minutes of added time from referee Damith Bandara, Burgess Hill held onto their lead to win the game.

These invaluable three points mean Burgess Hill now sit in 13th place in the Ryman Premier, as they prepare to face 11th place Wingate & Finchley on Saturday, a victory that could leave them just outside the top ten.

Hillians: Josh James, Lee Harding, Sam Fisk, Darren Budd (Jack Rowe-Hurst 60), Toby Pointing, Will Miles, Dan Pearse, Joe Keehan, Pat Harding, Chris Smith (James Fraser 78), Scott Kirkwood

Not used: Curtis Gayler, Cam Wiltshire, Guy Bolton

Attendance: 302

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