Brentwood Town 1, Burgess Hill Town 1: Keehan saves the day for the Hillians

The moment Joe heads home on 90 mins. Picture by Colin Bowman
The moment Joe heads home on 90 mins. Picture by Colin Bowman

Substitute Joe Keehan headed in a 90th minute equaliser as Burgess Hill Town returned from Brentwood Town with a point and moved up a place to 14th.

The hosts had a new manager with Mike Flanagan taking charge of his side for the first time.

Signage at Brentwood. Picture by Colin Bowman

Signage at Brentwood. Picture by Colin Bowman

It was largely an unforgettable first half, striker Chris Smith had a volley from the edge of the box saved comfortably by home keeper Oliver Bowles two minutes in.

Bowles was again called into action when he saved low to his left from a Lee Harding shot after he had made a strong run towards goal from midfield.

Hillians were dealt a blow when defender Andy Pearson had to be taken off for precautionary reasons. He was replaced by Keehan who was returning from his recent honeymoon.

At the same time as this change the referee was forced off due to feeling unwell. One of the linesmen took charge whilst Brentwood’s goalkeeping coach, a qualified official, took the line with both managers in agreement.

Amazingly this is the second time this season the Hillians have had a referee unable to continue, the last time was in the league match at home to Wingate & Finchley where that day the linesman also went off injured.

The remainder of the half saw both sides struggle to create any clear cut chances.

The second half was just two minutes old when Hill had their first effort, Pat Harding shooting just over from the edge of the box. Soon after Bowles tipped Hill skipper’s Darren Budd shot around the post and Sam Gargan was also denied by Bowles.

After 56 minutes Robbie Rees shot over from 25 yards but two minutes later he gave his side the lead.

An excellent delivery from Tom Richardson on the left was headed home by Rees.

Hill applied more pressure going in search of an equaliser, Lee Harding had an effort from 20 yards tipped around the post and from the resulting corner Gargan saw his header tipped onto the bar by the keeper.

Budd then saw his powerful long range effort tipped over the bar and Smith also saw his effort saved by the keeper as Hill couldn’t find a break through.

With Hill looking for an equaliser the hosts broke and nearly doubled the lead as Richardson did well down the right and cut inside. His low drive through was well saved by Josh James.

Just as time was running Hill grabbed their deserved equaliser as Keehan headed home Budd’s corner to send the Hillians home with a point.

Hillians: Josh James, Toby Pointing, Sam Fisk, Will Miles, Andy Pearson (Joe Keehan 24), Dan Pearse, Darren Budd, Pat Harding (Jack Rowe-Hurst 77), Lee Harding, Sam Gargan, Chris Smith (Cam Wiltshire 85).

Not used: Scott Kirkwood

Brentwood: Oliver Bowles, Martyn Stokes, Louis Baucutt, Connor Witherspoon (Connor Hogan 79), Ryan O’Rawe, Lewis Knight, Shad Ngandu, Mitch Hahn, Tom Richardson (Chris Manangu 87), Robbie Rees (Petrit Elbi), Andrew Freeman.

Not used: Bradley Nobbs, Sherwin Stanley.

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