Bowman on the Road: Josh James nicks a point at Met Police

Dan and Steve, a pretty entertaining afternoon. Picture by Colin Bowman
Dan and Steve, a pretty entertaining afternoon. Picture by Colin Bowman

One league victory in nine might usually have fans and perhaps managers reaching for the Valium.

But for Burgess Hill Town FC right now it’s a case of steady as she goes as Ryman Premier League safety is becoming a formality.

Impressive lights at Imber Court. Picture by Colin Bowman

Impressive lights at Imber Court. Picture by Colin Bowman

Several fans, including myself, were perhaps hoping for a play of tilt especially after a breezy start to the season however as Ian Chapman has always maintained the Ryman Premier league is a tough environment. Indeed the club took a another major step when battling out a one one draw at Imber Court last Saturday afternoon.

After some ‘hectic’ trips of late it was nice to get back to a rather more simple experience. Many thanks to Steve for driving the short distance around the M25 and in towards Sandown Race Course. We arrived in time for a quick beer in the splendid Met Police sports facility club house before taking our place on the covered terracing behind one of the goals.

As you expect Met Police have a nice ground with perhaps the best looking floodlights at level. Four traditional pylons tower above which wouldn’t look out of place at any lower league stadium. The weather a moody grey but surprisingly mild for mid February.

A stunning opening period ensued full of excitement and several ‘debated’ decisions.

Something amiss with first goal Dan and Andy's arms raised. Picture by Colin Bowman

Something amiss with first goal Dan and Andy's arms raised. Picture by Colin Bowman

The host’s benefitted from the first of these when they scored on 24th min. Something had gone on before Will Salmon nodded home as the linesman’s flag was flying high. The ref went over to discuss the incident and for every Hillian in the ground there was annoyance as the goal stood.

Mr Chapman perhaps the most ‘agitated’. However from then on in it was Town who benefited from any good fortune around.

Not that luck played in part in the equalizer on 34 mins.

A brilliant flowing move involving Sam Gargon saw Chris Smith slot a superb goal under the keeper. On 41 mins a deep Police free kick eluded everyone and pinged off the inside of the far post and then somehow rolled to safety. Then as half time approached Met scored what looked to be a fine goal. But again the ground held its breath as the same lines man flag was flying. This time no goal.

Chris Smith never gave up running. Picture by Colin Bowman

Chris Smith never gave up running. Picture by Colin Bowman

One one at half time could easily of been three one.

The 2nd half was a bit dour in comparison.

The hosts defense really shut up shop making it difficult to create any real chances. In comparison their attack opened up which left our defense and particularly goal keeper James with a lot to do. On around 80 mins he made a world class take from a deadly in swinging corner and then on time he rubber stamped his man of the match performance with a sensational save sharp down to his left, I thought it was going in ! All in all a very beneficial point on the road.

With 12 exciting Ryman Premier games left BHTFC perhaps can now start to relax and really enjoy the remainder of their debut season.

There are some massive games to come including going to Dulwich, Kingstonian and Bognor. With league safely virtually assured Ian Chapman and his back room staff already have the luxury of looking towards season 2016/17. The club entertain league strugglers Brentwood Fc on Saturday where I am sure the players will be looking to get a positive result and play with some swagger in front of their fans.

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