PICTURES: Third minute Phil Johnson strike enough for Hassocks

Hassocks v Arundel 18-04-15. Pic Steve Robards SUS-150420-125826001
Hassocks v Arundel 18-04-15. Pic Steve Robards SUS-150420-125826001

Phil Johnson’s third minute goal was enough to give Hassocks three points in a typically dour end of season affair at The Beacon.

All the usual clichés about this sort of fixture could be used – “nothing at stake accept pride”, “mid table match up” etc but this was pretty poor fare for a sizable Beacon crowd who at least saw the Robins win in their final home fixture of the season.

The only goal of the game came early as the persistence of Johnson, who was deservedly awarded the Hassocks Supporters Player of the Season after the game, beat two defenders before rounding keeper James Fernandes to slot home.

Fernandes was injured during the goal and with no substitute keeper, left back Ash Hunter took over between the posts for the Mullets.

However, he was rarely troubled by Hassocks who had lots of possession but lacked the creativity to create clear cut chances throughout the 90 minutes.

George Willett in the Hassocks goal was also very quiet as the central defensive partnership of Rowan Wallis and Ashley Marsh kept the prolific Scott Tipper very quiet.

Hassocks v Arundel 18-04-15. Pic Steve Robards SUS-150420-130059001

Hassocks v Arundel 18-04-15. Pic Steve Robards SUS-150420-130059001

In fact Marsh in a rare foray forward from a corner had a good chance to add to his four Hassocks career goals but his volley flew inches over.

If the first half goalmouth action was lacking, the second half was non-existent as both sides huffed and puffed with lots of honest endeavour but at both the end of the day both sides lacked that killer punch as defences dominated.

The only clear cut chance came on 86 minutes when youth team striker Jack Wilkins found space in the box minutes after replacing Johnson but his cross shot flew just wide of the far post.

And that was as good as it got. Hassocks have had a remarkable turnaround to escape relegation and can look forward to a 22nd successive season in the top flight of County League football.

Hassocks v Arundel 18-04-15. Pic Steve Robards SUS-150420-125752001

Hassocks v Arundel 18-04-15. Pic Steve Robards SUS-150420-125752001

Phil Wickwar said “We were delighted by the team performance. George didn’t have a save to make. All the lads have been fantastic to get ourselves out of the position we were in and we cannot praise them enough”.

Hassocks: Willett; Barnes, Marsh, Jacques, Wallis; Stokes, Pitcher, Collins, Booth; Miles, Johnson.

Subs: Bant (Miles 68), Benson (Collins 85), Wilkins (Johnson 86), P Wickwar (unused).

Starman: Phil Johnson worked tirelessly for the cause on scraps but it just goes to Ashley Marsh who had a dominant game to keep Scott Tipper quiet.

Hassocks v Arundel 18-04-15. Pic Steve Robards SUS-150420-125803001

Hassocks v Arundel 18-04-15. Pic Steve Robards SUS-150420-125803001

Hassocks v Arundel 18-04-15. Pic Steve Robards SUS-150420-125837001

Hassocks v Arundel 18-04-15. Pic Steve Robards SUS-150420-125837001

Hassocks v Arundel 18-04-15. Pic Steve Robards SUS-150420-125850001

Hassocks v Arundel 18-04-15. Pic Steve Robards SUS-150420-125850001