Bowman on the Road: Proud Bostik Premier status is secured, just!
All connections of our local Bostik Premier league team Burgess Hill Town were celebrating well into the Mid Sussex evening as yet another miracle Houdini had just played out in front ofÂ their very eyes.
In a losing performance at Harrow, which really did sum up our season, Ian Chapman and Stuart Tuck had staved off relegation back to Bostik South.
To us fans we didn't give a dam about losing 3-2 as news filtered in that Tooting had also lost at Met Police. For the next 10 hours all kinds of emotion, celebrations, singing and man hugs erupted in the Harrow club house, coach home and back at HQ. It was some party!
Just before getting into it I just wanted to say a few thank yous as this will be the last Hillians piece of the 2017/18 season.
As always Mid Sussex Sports editor Mark Dunford deserves a huge mention for his support to this column. It's been an honour working with him again.
BHTFC General Manager Mr John Rattle is one of my favourite guys in sport. He always gives the best of himself and demands the best from all of us. Since that man came on board at the club there has been only one direction, that's up.
Club secretary, Tim Spencer, just gets on with things and is the unsung hero within the back office. He deserves a medal this season owing to the number of re arranged games he had to organise, top bloke. Super Pat Harding, his diligence, effort and sense of pride to BHTFC can not be understated.
And of course to my fellow band of away supporters who have looked after me on many 'adventures' where possibly too many ales have been sunk.
I wouldn't be doing my job if this piece papered over what was terrible season in general. So, its not going to as shipping 102 league goals tells you all you need to know. Chapper's told Sussex Sport Radio that he is exhausted and has been grumpy for most of the season. Well I can reassure him that us fans have pretty much felt the same. For those of a delicate constitution look away now.
For most of season 2017/18 Burgess Hill Town have been on the back foot operating at the bottom of the table for large periods. For some reason the team collectively and individually haven't been able to bolt the door. Conceding, three's, four's and fives have been common place leaving a stream of mountains to climb. Plus I fear there has been some indiscipline at times. For me the low point was when travelling to Enfield Fc North London on Tuesday 13th Feb.
It was a horrible rush hour trek up on the train and by bus, which I missed incidentally, really foul weather cold and driving rain, plus I nearly got run over crossing the A10. Then getting to the ground all of us fans were there but most of the playing staff were not. By the time they arrived there was no warm up or preparation. One nil down in 30 seconds and two nil down after five, game over. Very disappointed fans on the two mile trek back to the station afterwards. In my book that's not doing the simple things right.
However, Burgess Hill Town FC are now very part of the Bostik Premier hierarchy even though there are many things to adjust and tweak there is an amazing story developing around the Green Elephants Stadium and for all you disparagers and moaners you had better get used to that. Please shut up or get on board. Season 2018/19 with eight local derbys to savour can't come quickly enough.
This column wouldn't be complete without a huge mention to Shaun Saunders and everyone at Haywards Heath Town FC. Three seasons ago I hinted that things were stirring at Hanbury Park. As season 2018/19 approaches the club will be operating in Bostik South which is fantastic for Mid Sussex football. Get ready for the Guernsey experience.
Local sports fans will have some amazing footballing watching opportunities right on their doorsteps. GET INVOLVED! Enjoy the Summer.