Non-League Sussex: Super sub Thompson saves the day, Heath make it 17 in four and an un-bear-lievable decision

Football round-up
Football round-up
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Hassocks 1-1 Broadbridge Heath: The Bears take home a point from Hassocks after a late equaliser denies them three.

For the trip to Hassocks, Heath welcomed back Piers McDermott and Ollie Moore, who missed the previous away trip to Worthing United.

Early on, Moore advanced towards the Hassocks goal before unleashing a shot from thirty-yards, which was punched over the woodwork by keeper, Broadbent. From the corner, Piers McDermott crossed to the far post where Moore powered a header that Broadbent could only push into the roof of the net, for what appeared to be the opening goal- But with the Heath players celebrating, Broadbent gathered the ball and threw it out to a team-mate. Only then did it become apparent that the Referee had not blown his whistle and had allowed play to continue.

The Heath players and management were stunned by the decision but their appeals were ignored and the game continued with Heath dominating play. The Bears finally took the lead on sixteen when Jake Holmes played a through ball into the path of Tim Martin who drilled a low shot past Broadbent into the bottom right corner.

Minutes before the break Heath were reduced to ten men when McDermott barged into a Hassocks player and saw red.

The second half was very much a case of backs to the wall as Heath played with one up front and defended as if their lives depended on it. Hassocks, with the extra man, had most of the possession but rarely did they threaten the Heath goal, their best chance came to Nathan Miles who headed a cross straight into the arms of Michael Chester. Deep into injury time, Hassocks found their equalizer after taking the ball to the goal line and cutting it back to a team-mate who converted with a side foot from six yards.

Manager Steve Painter comments: “I’m still mystified why the referee had not allowed the goal, the ball was clearly pushed into the roof of the net by the goalkeeper, everyone could see it, even the linesman signaled for a goal, why didn’t the referee speak to his linesman?” He also said that although he couldn’t argue with McDermott’s red card, had the referee blown for the initial foul on Scott Weller, second earlier, then the incident with Piers would not have happened, Scott was clearly fouled and unable to continue in the second half”.

South Park Reserves 1-1 Frimley Green

The first half was not short of chances; Frimley had twelve shots on target, and scored twice – both of which were disallowed. Reserves had a much slower start to the game, only creating two attempts on goal in the first half.

After the interval, the hosts tightened up, and created more chances. Debutant keeper, James Cundy made some great saves and recent signing Reid paired well with centre-back Taylor throughout. The breakthrough came on eighty-nine, when the ball split Green’s defence and was slotted into the back of the net. In the last gasps of the game, Horkan calmly converted from the spot to bag a point for Frimley.

Chairman, Matt Flude spoke to BOTN after the game; “To be honest I have no idea how we didn’t win that. I’ve never seen such a performance since being at the club... With an average age of just 23, the future is bright for FGFC! Within 15 minutes it should have been 5 or 6 but - some excellent defending, saves, and potentially a bad call by the officials, we somehow reached half time level. South Park gave it a good go second half and a few half chances - But this should have been Frimley’s day and the players should be happy with their performance.”

Burgess Hill Town 2-1 Grays Athletic

Burgess Hill Town came out 2-1 winners over Grays Athletic in the Ryman Premier League, despite going behind after fifteen minutes.

Manager Ian Chapman made four changes from last Saturday’s defeat, with new signing Michael Aziaya starting at right-back. Grays took the lead after fourteen minutes when a long ball over the top allowed striker Kieran Bishop to get the better of James Richmond to calmly place the ball over Josh James. Grays’ lead was to only last six minutes when Lee Harding got on the end of a scramble in the box to level the scores.

This brought new life into the Hillians attack as they bombarded the Grays goal. Jonah Ayunga rounded the keeper well but was unable to find a Hillians player inside the box. Dean Cox played in both Tyrell Richardson-Brown and Jack Brivio, but neither player could find a finish going into half-time.

The second-half began very much where the first left off. A Dean Cox free-kick was met by Jonah Ayunga but was parried out by the keeper with referee Leigh Crowhurst judging it to have not crossed the line.The introduction of Dan Thompson on sixty minutes proved to be the deciding factor. Just three minutes after coming on, Thompson headed home from a Dean Cox cross to put the Hillians into the lead.

As Jack Brivio limped off with an ankle injury, the Hillians shut up shop in an attempt to hold onto all three points. Dan Thompson and Tyrell Richardson-Brown both had good chances minutes from time, but keeper Amadou Tangara kept Grays in the game.

Grays failed to take the initiative in the final few minutes and Burgess Hill held out for the win. This game marks the Hillians first league win since 25th October against Hendon. Ian Chapman and his side will be hoping this is the beginning of a happy Christmas period, with his team at home on Tuesday to Whitehawk in the Sussex Senior Cup, kick-off 7.30pm.

Three Bridges 0-4 South Park

After the highs of their shock victory over Dorking Wanderers last week, Bridges were brought swiftly back down to earth by the rampant South Park.

Kieran Lavery and Chris Smith’s clinical finishing gave South Park a 2-0 lead at half time, as the host struggled to make any threat in the game. The second half didn’t offer much change, and Bridges’ keeper Kieron Thorp was on hand to keep the deficit at two goals. South Park’s third came on the hour, when Kofi Quartey fired past Thorp, and Lavery ended the scoring from the spot with eight minutes to.

It was an afternoon to forget for Bridges, and they have the chance to on Tuesday when they host Worthing in the Sussex County Cup on Tuesday.

Yeovil Town 5-0 Crawley Town

Crawley Town were completely outclassed at Huish Park as Yeovil moved into the playoff places in League 2.

It was a dire performance by the Crawley defence, as the Yeovil front line cut through with ease throughout the half, and were 3-0 up at the break with goals from Otis Khan, Tom Eaves and Ryan Hedges.

The Reds misery continued after the interval when Khan hit his second after Crawley’s Glenn Morris had saved well from Ryan Hedges’ shot. On seventy-three minutes, Francois Zoko completed the humiliation with a well-placed volley.

Crawley Town have the second worst away form in the league, picking up only 8 points on the road, as they sit just 5 points from the relegation zone in 16th. Crawley have two more tough away trips this week, facing Coventry in the EFL Trophy on Wednesday before travelling to 11th placed Crewe Alexandra on Saturday.

Loxwood FC 0-3 Haywards Heath Town FC

Haywards Heath Town reached an astonishing 17 goals in 4 games with a straight forward 0-3 away win over Loxwood FC. Heath found the opener on the stroke of half-time with Alex Laing stabbing home from a long ball over the top. In-form Laing found his second of the afternoon just five minutes into the second half, with a composed finish into the bottom corner. Callum Saunders scored from the spot to round off a wonderful afternoon for the travelling Heath faithful.

Walton Casuals 3-0 Horsham

Horsham lost 3-0 away at Walton Casuals, and have now gone five games without a victory. The home side deservedly took the lead in the thirtieth minute when Malachi Hudson broke into the box and calmly fired the ball into the net. Walton were always on top, and sealed their victory when Jack Sammoutis made it 2-0 on sixty-seven minutes. It was no more than the home side deserved, and Horsham will need to dramatically improve their performance when they travel to Hastings United on Tuesday night.

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