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HUFC v Burgess Hill, photo: Liam Willis

Christmas Shenanigans Corrected in Late Winner

Saturday 28th December

Hastings United 3-2 Burgess Hill

After United’s Boxing Day do five goals thrashing at Ramsgate, they had to put it right today, especially with Peacehaven taking full advantage. Kenny Pogue returns after being unavailable for the trip to Ramsgate. United drew 1-1 last time they played the Hillians this season, but with a 5-0 defeat only 48 hours behind, a win to United would be very important today. Liam Willis reports.

A slow start to the game changed gear when Burgess Hill’s Denyer spotted that Pelling was off his line. Denyer tried to lob over him, but Pelling managed to retreat fast enough to be able to frustrate his effort with no trouble. The first significant effort of the game fell to United’s Sam Adams. Vickers intercepted a bad clearance and gave the ball to Sam Adams, who sidestepped the defender and found himself in space in front of the goal. However, Adams could only draw his left foot shot wide when he should’ve done better.

A little fracas then erupted after McCreadie caught Hill’s Danny Curd in the head after a high foot; no cards though. Burgess Hill made United’s earlier chance look weak when they took the lead after twenty minutes. Gayler’s corner from the right was met by the powerful head of Denyer to but the Hillians in front. Few chances then fell to either team for the remainder of the first half. The best chance fell to Tom Vickers, who shot at Mansfield as he found a loose ball on the edge of the penalty area. Vickers then had another chance, more by luck than of his making. Vickers proceeded to whip in a freekick, but it was caught by the wind and smacked the top of Mansfield’s crossbar and out of play for a goal kick. At the interval, Burgess Hill lead by the one goal.

No changes to the sides at the interval, but there was a change to the scoreline moments after the restart. Luer’s hard work and cross from the left was met in the middle by Harding, whose shot was blasted past Pelling in goal to put Burgess Hill 2-0 up. With United staring in the face of a second defeat, McCreadie was presented with the best United opportunity of the game. A through ball from Vickers saw McCreadie with only Mansfield to beat, but he dragged his shot wide.

A quick substitution of Olorunda for Ellis saw United pull a goal back. Trevor McCreadie scored it, but it was one of the best team goals we’ve seen at the Pilot Field this season. Pogue’s sweet back heel to Sam Adams, led to a superb ball in to McCreadie in the middle and a header well beyond Mansfield. A prompt restart saw United place much more pressure on the Hillians with Pogue’s cross in to Vickers, a cross alas he couldn’t quite meet.

Luer sent a freekick from 25 yards harmlessly over Pelling’s crossbar for the Hillians as United had only fifteen minutes left to turn things around. And turn things around they did. There appeared to be no danger when Mansfield had the ball after a backpass from Watts. However, Mansfield seemed to delay his clearance until Tom Vickers was right in front of him. This pressure on Mansfield left him no option but to bounce the ball off Vickers for it to trickle in to the net for United’s equaliser. Vickers snatched up the ball and hurried to get the game underway again with United level.

The Hillians nearly took the lead immediately after United’s equaliser. Miller crossed to Luer, unmarked, but Luer could only scuff his shot to go harmlessly wide. Burgess Hill continued to play better after United’s equaliser as the game ticked in to injury time.

After ninety-three minutes, Trevor McCreadie held the ball up well on the edge of the penalty area, before laying it off for Danny Ellis to smash the ball beyond Mansfield into the top right corner of the goal. United lead! The Pilot Field absolutely erupted with joy and relief. Seconds after Burgess Hill restarted the game, the referee blew the whistle and handed United a very important win.

So important, as Peacehaven and Telscombe came from 3-1 down to win 5-3 and Walton Casuals drew 1-1 with Three Bridges.

United starting XI: Pelling, Gilbert, Henson, Olorunda, Judge, Kelly, Dolan, Adams, McCreadie, Pogue, Vickers.
Subs: Darby, Ellis, Camara, Pacheco, Lee.

Burgers Hill starting XI: Mansfield, Watts, Fisk, Budd, Denyer, Curd, Harding, Kirkwood, Luer, Keehan, Gayler.
Subs: Armstrong, Slaughter, Martin, Tuck, Miller.

Liam Willis is also Hastings United Programme Co-Editor

Posted 00:08 Sunday, Dec 29, 2013 In: Sport

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