'We’re not a million miles away,' says Burgess Hill Town boss Ian Chapman

Gary Charman in action against Whitehawk. Picture by Chris Neal
Gary Charman in action against Whitehawk. Picture by Chris Neal

Burgess Hill Town boss Ian Chapman feels his side are ‘not a million miles from being OK’ despite falling to a 4-2 home defeat to Whitehawk on Saturday.

After falling behind to Brannon O’Neill goal, Hill rallied and made it 2-1 thanks to Andre McCollin and Ben Pope.

Whitehawk equalised through ex-Hill player Lucas Rodrigues, before second-half strikes from another ex-Hillian, James Fraser, and Henry Muggeridge consigned Hill to defeat.

The Hillians are yet to pick up a win in the Bostik Premier and Chapman feels things need to be done ‘sooner rather than later’.

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He said: “Going forward we were really good but defensively we were very poor and it’s something we’ve got to sort out quickly.

“I thought all the goals we conceded could’ve been dealt defensively if we had done our jobs properly.

“We’re not a million miles away from being OK but I can’t keep saying the same thing so it’s got to be done sooner rather than later.”

Whitehawk went ahead on 6 minutes as O’Neill rifled home from 20 yards to beat Josh James.

Hill got their equaliser on 35 minutes as McCollin rode several Hawks tackles to score and 12 minutes later Pope bagged his first goal for the club to put the hosts ahead.

The Hillians couldn’t hold out until half time as Whitehawk’s Rodrigues bundled home a free kick to level.

After the restart Gary Charman headed a Hill corner onto the underside of the bar, with appeals going up that the ball had crossed the line but to no avail.

The visitors regained the lead on 52 minutes as Fraser looped a header over James, and they added a fourth six minutes later as the impressive Muggeridge dinked the ball over James to make it 4-2.

Hill did have chances to get something out of the game as McCollin came agonisingly close to connecting to a good cross and Charman hit the post twice but it wasn’t to be for the hosts.

Hill host Folkestone Invicta in the FA Cup on Saturday, and Chapman is hoping that winning this tie can be a catalyst for their season.

“Folkestone are a terrific team but if we want to get our season up and running we need to win games like this.”

Burgess Hill: James, Diallo, Fisk, Beck, Elphick, Charman, McCollin, Bennett (Watson 68’), Pope (Pamment 55’), Tighe, Smith-Joseph (Harding 74’). Unused: Franzen-Jones, Cadman.