After seven consecutive defeats, Hassocks would’ve taken any sort of result from their trip to Worthing United in order to avoid what would have been an unwanted piece of club history as the first side in the clubs history to have lost eight games in a row.
What they ended up getting wasn’t just any old result either, but their biggest win of 2016 as the Mavericks were blown away with the Robins returning home with a 5-0 win and all three points.
Phil Wickwar felt this result has been coming for a while. “The only game in that run in which we were outclassed was Newhaven (a 5-0 away defeat) and we didn’t help ourselves by being absolutely terrible that day.”
“It’s great to stop the rot as it has been a frustrating time for everyone but we’ve never panicked about the results, we’ve stuck at it and got the rewards today.”
It was Ben Bacon who led the Robins charge, the striker netting his first ever senior hat-trick as his pace and directness put fear into the hearts of the United defence all afternoon.
There was little sign of what was to come in the opening 30 minutes. A morning deluge had left the Robert Albon Memorial Ground pitch a slick surface and Hassocks were forced into defending a deceptively strong wind in the first half.
They did this impressively to leave James Broadbent as a virtual spectator for much of the game bar a few crosses into the box which he dealt with well given the conditions.
Free flowing football up the left hand side of the pitch led to Bacon’s opener eight minutes before the break. Ashley Marsh, James Westlake and Michael Death all played a part in setting Bacon away and his run into the United back four ended with a delightful finish through the legs of home goalkeeper Fraser Trigwell.
With the hard work seemingly done in dealing with the challenging conditions, Hassocks would have fancied their chances of holding onto victory turning arounf at the interval but in fact what they did was healthily improve their goal difference as Bacon ran riot to complete his treble inside an hour.
His second arrived with nine minutes of the second half played, Tom Barnes’ long free kick being caught by the wind and knocked down in the area for Bacon to smash home.
Another fine footballing move five minutes later completed the hat trick, at which point his afternoons work was done with Liam Benson taking to the field in his place.
The fourth goal was pretty surreal all round, Death defying all the known laws of football to somehow contrive to miss from a yard out after which Miles hit the post, the ball rebounding to hit the fortuitous Westlake and bounce in.
The scoring was rounded off with 10 minutes left to play, Harry Mills steaming forward from right back to finish a Death cross for his first Hassocks goal which was celebrated with some acrobatics that it is fair to say aren’t going to see him earn a place as an Olympic gymnast any time soon while Hassocks handed a debut to Connor Bradley who has been in sparkling form for the under 21 side so far this season from the bench late on.
Hassocks: Broadbent; Mills, Barnes, Badger, Marsh; Hawkes; J Westlake, Bant; Bacon; Miles, Death.
Subs: Benson (Bacon), L Westlake (Bant), Bradley (Death), Price, P Wickwar (unused).
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