Burgess Hill Town 6, Cadbury Heath 1: Hillians one game away from FA Cup first round after Harding hat-trick

Burgess Hill Town players before the FA Cup clash with Cadbury Heath. Picture by David Marriott

Burgess Hill Town players before the FA Cup clash with Cadbury Heath. Picture by David Marriott

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Burgess Hill are just one game away from the Emirates FA Cup 1st Round after a 6-1 victory over Cadbury Heath on Saturday.

Pat Harding grabbed a hat trick with Dan Thompson, Tyrell Richardson-Brown and captain Dan Pearse all finding the net.

Manager Ian Chapman made three changes from Tuesday’s 1-1 draw with Bognor, with Foyster, Smith and Thompson coming into the side.

The heavens had opened moments after kick-off and the torrential rain forced many fans to find shelter. Luckily the weather soon improved and the Green Elephants was engulfed in a beautiful rainbow.

The Hillians began the game as they meant to go on with a Pat Harding header after just four minutes.

Burgess Hill doubled their lead just before the half-hour mark when Dan Thompson was brought down in the box after getting the better of the Cadbury Heath defender. It was Thompson himself who stepped up to calmly stroke the ball to the goalkeeper’s left.

Cadbury Heath showed very little in the first half, with their only real opportunity coming from a cross, which Matt Huxley couldn’t quite get on the end of.

It did not take the Hillians long after the half-time break to find a third. Dan Pearse found Pat Harding who rifled the ball into the bottom left for his second of the afternoon.

Chris Smith had two good chances to put the Hillians out of sight but was denied by some good saves from Jamie Powell.

Cadbury Heath pulled one back when striker Simon Mcelroy’s powerful effort flew past the fingertips of Jack Foyster.

This was the only blip of the afternoon for Hill as five minutes later they restored their three-goal lead through a simple header in the six-yard box for Tyrell Richardson-Brown from a good Lee Harding run and cross.

Richardson-Brown turned the creator for Pat Harding to complete his hat-trick for the afternoon, who was then substituted to a big ovation from the crowd.

However, the Hillians were still not quite done with Dan Pearse saving the best goal until last. The captain picked up the ball on the edge of the box and curled his shot into the top right corner. It was a quality finish that capped off a perfect afternoon for the Hillians.

Hill are now in the hat for Monday’s 11am draw for the Fourth Qualifying Round, live on TalkSPORT. In the meantime, we are at home to Havant & Waterlooville in the Ryman Premier League on Tuesday, kick-off 7.30pm.

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