Burgess Hill crash to defeat against play-off rivals

Max Miller scored the Hillians goal
Max Miller scored the Hillians goal

Burgess Hill Town crashed to a 4-1 defeat against their play-off rivals, Folketsone Invicta.

Hillians were missing Lee Denyer, who was replaced by assistant manager Stuart Tuck, for his first start since early October and Paul Armstrong.

Folkestone started brightly with striker Johan Ter Horst looking sharp and showing why he has been receiving plenty of interest by pro-clubs including Premiership side Aston Villa, and it was he that game them the lead after just five minutes when he skipped past two Hillians defender to confidently slot the ball past Alan Mansfield.

The goal woke the visitors up and Hillians created a couple of half chances before getting an equaliser 7 minutes later when a long clearance by Mansfield reached the opposition box where the hard-working Pat Harding pressurised the keeper into making a mistake and the ball fell kindly to Max Miller who calmly found the back of the net.

The remainder of the half saw both sides try and keep possession without a great deal being created.

The second half started slowly with the first real chancing falling to experienced former Lewes forward, Paul Booth, who shot from 25 yards out which went just wide.

On 52 minutes Joe Keehan picked the ball up just outside the opposition box and his positive run forced Liam Friend to put the ball out for a corner which Curtis Gayler swung over for Tuck to powerfully head just over.

8 minute later there was confusion between Keehan and Tuck which enabled Booth to hit a powerful shot which was easily saved by Mansfield and three minutes later Ter Horst went down the right and put a dangerous ball in which started a goalmouth scramble which was eventually cleared by Tuck as the hosts put the pressure on.

Gayler was set up by Luer but his shot went wide of the post and within two minutes Folkestone took the lead.

A long throw by Chris Elliott eluded everybody but fell to Booth who calmy slotted home from close range.

With 13 minutes remaining Booth got his second to kill off the game when he picked the ball up from 25 yards out and struck a shot into the bottom corner.

Manager Ian Chapman made a triple substitution on 83 minutes to try and get back into the game but it was Folkestone who finished the game off on 88 minutes when Booth completed his hat-trick with an excellent free kick

Hillians: Alan Mansfield, Toby Pointing, Sam Fisk, Darren Budd, Stuart Tuck, Danny Curd (Neil Watts 83), Pat Harding, Curtis Gayler (Spencer Slaughter 83), Greg Luer, Joe Keehan (Scott Kirkwood 83), Max Miller.

Not used: Joe Kay & Dan Perry