Burgess Hill Town were defeated 1-3 at home by Bognor Regis Town on Tuesday night. Despite Will Miles seeing red just before half-time, it was a valiant performance from Hill to fight their way back into the game.
Ian Chapman recalled Lucas Rodrigues and Joe Keehan to his starting XI. Former Hillian James Fraser and former captain Darren Budd were present for Bognor. See Ian Chapman's reaction below
The Hillians started brightly with Lucas Rodrigues weaving his way through the Bognor defence, laying the ball off to Joe Keehan who skied his shot over the bar.
Aaron Smith-Joseph also had a good chance to score against the keeper, but couldn’t keep his shot down.
The game lived up to its billing with James Fraser volleying wide but James Crane was on hand with a diving header, seeing his effort come off the post.
Six minutes before half-time, Bognor were awarded a penalty due to a handball from Miles, which ended his evening through a second bookable offence. Former-Hillian James Fraser stepped up to send keeper James Shaw the wrong way.
Bognor doubled their lead minutes before half-time when Sam Fisk was brought down inside the box, leaving Chad Field a free header.
Ian Chapman’s words at half-time obviously worked as Hill started the second half the better side. Lee Harding was a threat in the box but couldn’t quite get an effort on target. Jack Brivio tested the keeper with a stinging free-kick from the edge of the box to force a corner.
The Hillians finally pulled one back on the hour mark when a James Richmond header from a corner bounced over keeper Daniel Lincoln.
Bognor regained their two-goal cushion when James Fraser found Oliver Pearce in space on the right for the latter to drill his shot underneath Shaw in goal.
Ian Chapman decided to try a roll of the dice, making a double substitution, introducing Guy Bolton and new signing Ibrahim Diallo.
Meanwhile, with less than ten minutes to go, former Burgess Hill Town captain Darren Budd came on to respectful applause from both sets of fans.
In the end, the Hillians couldn’t quite find the recipe to breach the Bognor defence to mount a series challenge back into the game. Next up, Hill are at home on Saturday to Staines Town, kick-off 3 pm.