BOWMAN ON THE ROAD: Brilliant day for Hillians ruined by last few minutes

Wooden terracing - very unusual these days
Wooden terracing - very unusual these days

A brilliant day on the road was spoilt somewhat when the Hillians, who had played great all afternoon, some how fell asleep in the last few minutes.

Burgess Hill’s latest away day adventure to Hitchin was one that we had all been looking forward. And we started very early leaving Burgess Hill station at 9.18 bound for St Pancras. Sponge, Dan, Smirf, Steve, Dan, Jason and Geoff all in good spirits especially after a beer in the

John and  Stuart discuss a goal while players celebrate

John and Stuart discuss a goal while players celebrate

Betjeman Arms. Trust me if you are ever laid over at St Pancras this newly furbished station pub is a really nice place to spend an hour.

From there it’s just a half hour direct train into Hitchin all very easy travelling.

Hitchin itself definitely deserves further exploration if your ever up that way. It’s a classic market town dominated by the main square. If you are into architecture there is something for everyone. Tudor buildings stand neatly beside grand regency and Victorian structures. All set in some picturesque rolling countryside. At just a 30 min hop into London real-estate comes at a very hefty premium, more so that here in Mid Sussex !

We opted for the Cama rated pub the Half Moon for the main pre match session. Great hand pull beers, nice atmosphere and food including tapas would you believe. Thanks to the bar staff for looking after us. Its a great part of the day sharing a beer with your mates talking about matches past and predicting how afternoon will pan out. All to soon it was time to wander through the town centre and out to the ground.

Buck senior and junior with Phil

Buck senior and junior with Phil

Top Road is something quite unique as it has wonderful wooden terracing behind one of the goals. It must carry some kind of fire risk but the beams seem to have been around for many a long year. At the other end there is a large but uninspiring open concrete terracing. The main stand runs virtually the entire length of the pitch housing the offices, dug outs and probably seating for around 300 people. The other side has a covered piece of terracing. It really is a lovely old ground, but some might point to it needing to be updated a little here and there.

The game was played out in perfect autumn weather, bright skies, dry and unseasonably warm. There was probably 40 to 50 Hillian fans out of the 160 crowd. Hill neatly turned out in their popular blue jersey’s. The accompanying match report can accurately sum up an exciting game but for me the overriding feeling was one of utter disbelief that we couldn’t even force a replay. Hero of the day Chris Smith must of thought he had done enough to take the game. However as per the opening line BHTFC switched off for the final 10 and punishment was inflicted.

All I can say is congrats to Hitchin Town for not giving up and for looking after us. Good luck in the next round. As for the ‘Crazy Gang’ we made a last stop in Molly Malones Hitchin before heading to the station and a relatively easy trip back to Mid Sussex arriving around 9ish. Thanks to my travelling companions for a really great day on the road.

The club now the the luxury of a week on the training park to get ready for a huge league game at Grays Athletic on Saturday. Its an occasion for us to reflect how far the club have come and to see where we really fit into the Ryman Premier League.

Costs travel £14.50, admission £10, refreshments £40.

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