Bowman on the Road: Hang on to your Bostik Premier hats!

Great support from Mid Sussex
Great support from Mid Sussex

Our local Bostik Premier League team Burgess Hill Town FC, under the guidance of Ian Chapman and Stuart Tuck, looked to be heading towards safety after a stunning home draw against Dulwich.

However three crushing defeats in five days has left us all bemused and a little downhearted. With just two games to go it will be a case of strapping yourself in and getting ready for a rollercoaster ride. I will say it again going down will be a disaster!

General Manager John Rattle has a lot on his plate right now.

General Manager John Rattle has a lot on his plate right now.

On Saturday we were rewarded with a beautiful sunny start to accompany our long away trip to the Suffolk coast line and Leiston FC. Around 20 loyal fans were allowed access to the team coach leaving HQ at 9.30am. Super Pat Harding's quiz provided the entertainment as we glided around the M25 and up the A12.

Pav and I scored a reasonable score of 16 out of 20. After a quick stop just outside Colchester's new stadium the mood on the coach began to get excited for the challenge ahead. Whatever happens in the next two weeks one thing is for certain.

Teams like Lowestoft, Needham Market and Leiston will not be on the schedule. These guys will be operating in the new Midlands League next season. So these long league trips will be a thing of the past!

Leiston FC, at their compact Victory Road, have been a real triumph in the Bostik Prem. Supported by a very small population of 5,000 the club have thrived.

Tough to take for our youngest supporters George and Jack

Tough to take for our youngest supporters George and Jack

Indeed they could be in the play-offs come April 28 which would be a very special achievement.

One can only step back and admire. On the field and in truth they dominated the match and never once looked in trouble against a weary looking Hillain squad.

We must of been to bare bones as our assistant manager Stuart Tuck was handed a starting role as defensive midfield. The first half seemed to fly past as both teams wanted to play on a very decent surface. Whilst there was attacking intention a plenty there were no goals to cheer.

That style of play continued for the Hillians but Leiston must have had a half time kick up the backside. Right from the offset they were a yard quicker and perhaps 10 yards further up the pitch, our keeper James Shaw getting busy.

Indeed it was his intervention when we got a huge slice of luck. The hosts scored what looked to be a very good goal but after James said something to the ref/linesman it was chalked off. I still cant work out why but it was a very welcome rest bite for us travelling supporters.

However, the inevitable happened when Jack Ainsley tapped home on 69 mins. We huffed and puffed for the remainder of the game but apart from two delicious crosses from corners we never looked like scoring. A last kick penalty sealed a great day for Leiston and underwrote a thoroughly miserable experience for the Hillians. As one can imagine it was a quiet, long and tortuous ride back to Mid Sussex.

I might be in the minority here but I am still not having it that this club is going down. A sentiment shared by a very optimistic Ian Chapman who enthusiastically told me on the bus. 'Come on Col, we still have two games to go and you never know what might happen!'

What is for certain we go again on Saturday at the Green Elephants stadium against a talented Staines Town. Hopefully a huge crowd will turn out for the last home match. We then go to Harrow on the final day. If there is anything left to play for that afternoon @bowmanontheroad will be coming from Imber Court as I will be bringing news of our relegation rivals, Tooting.

Hang onto your Hats, its gonna get intense!

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