Burgess Hill Town attracted a crowd of 326 for this Wednesday night fixture with Merstham,
Hill put the visitors under pressure from the start and Greg Luer tested the home defence when his good run down the right saw him beat two defenders and his cross come shot just went wide of the far post however Hill kept pushing and the opening goal came on ten minutes when the impressive Neil Watts put in a teasing cross that flashed across the goalmouth and Rob O’Toole slotted home from two yards out. Neil Watts came close to adding a second when Greg Luer’s corner found him unmarked at the far post but his powerful header was cleared off the line by Tommy Hutchins, Merstham created their first effort on twenty minutes when they were given a free kick just outside the home box and Fabio Sargiva’s well struck effort was matched by Josh James excellent save. Joe Keehan was working hard in midfield and he set up Graham Martin on twenty two minutes but his well struck shot was comfortably gathered by Brannan Daly and just a minute later Hill hit the bar when Sam Fisk’s long throw found Luer but his effort rebounded off the bar. Hill carried on applying pressure and the hard working Pat Harding saw his long range effort saved by Daly but the deserved second goal came on thirty two minutes when a great move saw Luer cross from the right to Rob O’Toole and his first time cross found Scott Kirkwood who made no mistake from inside the box. The rest of the half saw both sides have plenty of the ball but no real chances were created by either side.
Merstham came out for the second half with a very positive approach and applied plenty of pressure but Hill nearly found themselves three up when Pat Harding’s cross was nearly headed into his own goal by Anton Douglas however no real chances were created until on seventy two minutes another great cross by Greg Luer found Fisk who’s effort went just over. Merstham should of pulled a goal back on seventy five minutes when substitute Aaron Rhule made a great run down the left and his cross found Tommy Hutchins at the far post but somehow from two yards out he put the ball the wrong side of the post however this didn’t stop the visitors pushing for a goal to get back in the game and five minutes later they created another great chance but Toby pointing was able to head Simon Cooper’s cross out for a corner and luckily Stefan Cox was unable to keep his shot on target from the corner. Ian Chapman made three changes in the last ten minutes with Chris Breach, Dan Perry and Lee Harding replacing Graham Martin, Greg Luer and Rob O’Toole unfortunately the changes didn’t bring any more goals for the Hillians but did see them restrict Merstham to one more chance which fell to Hutchins but his powerful shot missed the target.
Hillians: Josh James, Neil Watts, Sam Fisk, Andy Pearson, Toby Pointing, Graham Martin (Chris Breach 81), Joe Keehan, Scott Kirkwood, Rob O’Toole (Dann Perry 85), Greg Luer (Lee Harding 85), Pat Harding.
Not used: Will Miles, Stuart Tuck