Bowman on the Road: Angels weep as Hill haul themselves off the Bostik floor

James Richmond keeps Nathan Elder quiet
James Richmond keeps Nathan Elder quiet

As a full blown Hillians fan any kind of smile factor has been a long time coming.

All through November December and much of January the club has witnessed a volley of moral sapping mistakes, goals against and Bostik Premier league reversals.

Massed away fans celebrate important win.

Massed away fans celebrate important win.

For some of that time we have been operating at the foot of the table which has been very uncomfortable to say the least.

However, our manager Ian Chapman has remained steadfast and over the past five days we just might be turning a corner. A breezy 2-0 midweek home win against Harlow gave us all a shot in the arm but beating Tonbridge Angels away yesterday was a real confidence booster.

For me what made yesterday the perfect away trip was the fact that around 50 to 60 die hard Hillian fans were in house. Most were packed behind the goal but there were others seating in the main stand.

They made their presence felt all through the game belting out traditional Hillians songs and coming up with a few new ones. Special mention goes to youngsters Charlotte, Cam, George and Jack who made a tortuous trip by bus, train and finally a two-mile hike from Tonbridge Station.

My MOM James Shaw.  Solid performance

My MOM James Shaw. Solid performance

I spoke with general manager John Rattle later in the evening who said: "It was really lovely to see so many away fans supporting the team, the players really appreciated it, I hope they enjoyed what they saw and will decide to travel again."

On the pitch Aaron Smith-Joseph put the game to bed with a stunning goal on seven minutes.

He glided down the left unchallenged, cut inside, then unleased an unstoppable shot across the keeper and in off the far post. A goal worthy of winning any match.

The Angels did start to fly after that but the Hillians back four and keeper James Shaw seem to have most things under control. Two long range goal bound efforts were expertly dealt with by my man of the match Shaw, the first a full length dive to his left and the second a confident hold. A 1-0 half time lead.

Dan and Steve at Tonbridge Castle

Dan and Steve at Tonbridge Castle

Owing to the Hillians being a yard sharper than of late Tonbridge never really settled during the second half. We won a majority of the 50 50s and were first to most of the second balls. In honesty the hosts lived on crumbs for much of the half. On the hour mark club legend Sam Fisk put his body on the line to block a fierce goal bound strike. Then with time running out Hillians got a piece of luck when Angels sub Dan Bennett some how put an effort wide when it looked easier to score.

Tonbridge are a decent football club with a top quality stadium and support. They will be livid to lose at home to the bottom side. I send best wishes to them for the rest of the season. But the afternoon belonged to Burgess Hill Town FF and their army of fans. On the final whistle there was an old school out pouring of mutual celebration between players, management and away support.

Its now down to all Hillian connections to make the most of this perhaps unexpected reverse of fortunes. We are now off the bottom and have a myriad of exciting adventures to come. First up we have a huge opportunity to progress into the semi final of the Sussex Senior Cup when County League Saltdean come to town on Tuesday evening 7.30 kick off. Then next Saturday we entertain Hendon FC 3pm kick off.

Two consecutive wins doesn't make a season and we are still in a relegation battle to be honest. However it does prove that this club does have fighting spirit and bottle. Together, lets now keep that going.