There has been the odd understandable blemish for Ian Chapman and his team to mull over but who can argue that 9th in the Ryman Premier league isn’t astounding!
Nineteen games in and the 2014/15 club spirit is flying high and fans are certainly having some fun following their team right now.
That has been very much in evidence over the last two away games which have garnered 4 welcome away points and produced some magical moments on the terracing.
On 21st October it was derby day as around 100 Hill fans made the short hop into East Sussex to face Lewes FC at the Dripping Pan. A good number met in the Lewes Arms as an excellent evening unfolded. After a couple the group strolled to the Brewers in the high street.
Whilst in Lewes why not sample the local ale so for me it was Harvey’s Best. At about 7.35 we then meandered to the ground, queued to get in and then took our place on the neat uncovered terrace away from the club house. With out doubt the Pan is the best non league ground here in both East and West Sussex.
Super main stand and wonderful Philcox covered terrace. Great food outlet in Chuck Wagon serving the best burgers in football.
The game was played out in great mid week weather, clear and dry. Buoyed on by a noisy away following Hill got out the blocs quickly with Chris Smith scoring a great goal. Perhaps then, it was a little surprising when Lewes grabbed a life line right on half time. Brown heading home a powerful goal. During the second half a lot of the travelling support moved to the Philcox stand and again made their presence felt. Once Lee Harding had scored the winner there was loads of good hearted banter between the two sets of fans. There was a big cheer and smiles all around once the final whistle went. Hillians marched on but for Lewes Fc they are struggling and we send then all the best for the remainder of the season.
On Tuesday evening we made the trip into North Kent to take on bottom of the league VCD Athletic. I left my office in Brighton at 4.30 and travelled up to London Bridge before making the 30 min transfer to Crawford.
There I met up with Sponge, Smirf and Geoff in a micro pub, they had been to the dogs during the afternoon. After a couple of pints of Resolution we strolled to the Oakwood Stadium to be met by a very small crowd indeed. At 101 it was probably one of the smallest league crowds we had seen for some while. The ground wasn’t bad to be honest, modern but very small grandstand, a couple of covered terraces and a great looking board room perched up high on a bank. Pretty good floodlights and a very smooth looking surface. The weather was unseasonably mild and dry.
In a frantic open salvo neither side managed to get a foothold with the ball seemly being booted long at every opportunity. Lone striker Chris Smith living on scraps for most of the 1st half. The melee was interrupted by a two sublime strikes. VCD’s left winger cut inside and fired a dreamy right foot shot into the top corner. Then on half time skipper Darren Budd pinged a wonder goal from 25 yards. Early in the 2nd half Smith won a penalty which Joe Keehan slammed home to great effect.
But in all honesty Hill never really stamped their quality on the game and unsurprisingly the hosts grabbed a point with a late penalty.
Neither team deserved three points but I am sure that Chappers would of been the most upset not to have seen the game out. As were us fans shuffling out of the ground. It really seemed like two points dropped rather than a point gained.
The club can now take a break from grinding out league points as they open their FA Trophy campaign away at Hitchin Fc on Saturday. Hill fans have been looking forward to the trip for weeks and will be leaving Burgess Hill station at 9.18am. Follow that here next week.
Costs travel £20, tickets £22, refreshments £30.
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