Hassocks 4, Hailsham Town 0: Robins get the job done with professional performance

Michael Death scored a brace.
Michael Death scored a brace.
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Hailsham Town arrived at the Beacon with just four points on the board so far this season and looking all but doomed to relegation to Division One.

This was a must win game then if Hassocks are to avoid following the Stringers out of the top flight and they got the job done with a professional 4-0 victory to put four points between themselves are the bottom three.

The importance of the three points became even more apparent afterwards when news filtered through to the Beacon that Arundel - one of the three clubs below Hassocks in the table at the start of the afternoon - had picked up a shock win at fourth place Pagham.

“A decent team performance with decent goals and a decent clean sheet,” was how Phil Wickwar described it afterwards which suggested he thought it was decent.

“It was a real team performance and I can’t praise the team enough for the way they dealt with what could’ve been a potential banana skin given our form since the turn of the year.”

Hassocks began the game firmly on the front foot with the Hailsham Town post proving to be busier than most of the players in the opening 10 minutes.

It was hit early doors by James Westlake, an industrious presence in the middle of the park, and then by young Jack Rowe-Hurst who on this performance looks to be quite the signing for the Robins.

In fact, it was Rowe-Hurst who opened the scoring five minutes after he had been denied by the upright and then just 10 minutes later Michael Death got in on the act by doubling the lead.

The more confident among the Hassocks faithful might have had visions of the 8-0 victory that their side inflicted on Hailsham back in the heady days of August but this version of the Stringers are nowhere near as brittle as they were at the start of the season.

That was evident in the fact that despite this poor start to the game, they never ended up at sixes and sevens as they did at the Beaconsfield that day and refused to fold like napkins throughout the afternoon.

The lesser confident of the Hassocks support were no doubt recalling the opposite scenario of a big win having seen the Robins throw away a 4-0 lead at half time last season to draw 4-4 with the same opposition.

They went into the break with that two goal lead intact and Death added his second and Hassocks’ third just before the hour mark.

That took his total for the campaign to 11 and while the Robins form since 2016 ended has been a real cause of concern, Death’s has not as that made it four goals in his four games.

The scoring was rounded off with 15 minutes to play by James Westlake while James Broadbent remained largely untroubled to claim his eighth clean sheet of the season.

Hassocks: Broadbent; Tighe, Barnes, Badger, Akehurst; Mills; J Westlake, L Westlake; Rowe-Hurst; Death, Benson.

Subs: Slaughter, Galbraith-Gibbons, Wilkins (used).