Burgess Hill Town 2, Wingate and Finchley 3: Hillians fall to late agonising defeat

Pat Harding
Pat Harding
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Burgess Hill Town fell to an agonising 2-3 home defeat to Wingate & Finchley on Tuesday night. Despite going 2-0 up, Wingate fought back in the final twenty minutes to turn the game around.

Ian Chapman made just two changes from Saturday’s disappointing defeat to Metropolitan Police. Captain Dan Pearse returned to midfield and Pat Harding replaced Billy Medlock up front.

It was a slow start to the game with the ball being bogged down in a midfield battle. The first chance of the game fell to James Richmond. who’s header was palmed away by keeper Shane Gore.

Wingate & Finchley came back fighting at the Hillians. Josh James pulled off two good saves to palm away a Steve Wales free-kick and a powerful volley from Reece Beckles-Richards.

The Hillians began to gain some momentum as the first-half progressed. Pat Harding put in a good floating cross as Richardson-Brown managed to head over from two yards out. Dan Pearse teed up a ferocious volley on the half-hour mark but saw it bounce just wide of the far post.

Hill finally took the lead when Lee Harding’s cross was met with a diving header from Pat Harding, scoring his 98th goal for the club.

Hill raced out of the blocks in the second-half when Lee Harding’s long ball was knocked down by at Harding to the feet of Jack Brivio, who wrong-footed the keeper to slot home.

It was the Hillians pace on the counter that proved to be most effective. Richardson-Brown was a menace all evening, testing keeper Shane Gore with multiple efforts from range.

Wingate got one back with twenty minutes to go when a free-kick from Spencer McCall split the Hillians defence and was turned into the net by Ahmet Rifat with a diving header.

It was a nervy end to the game for the Hillians. Wingate nearly found an equaliser when Claudio Vilcu’s thunderous effort from the edge of the box cannoned off the post- a shot which had James beaten.

Wingate finally found the goal they had been searching for when a long ball from goalkeeper Shane Gore was met by Walter Figueira to stroke the ball passed James. Wingate completed turned the game on its head when James Pattie’s shot was cleared away for a corner. The resulting corner was whipped in and headed home by Sean Cronin to seal the points for the visitors.

Manager Ian Chapman will be hoping to forget this result when his side is away to Canvey Island on Saturday, kick-off 3 pm.