Burgess Hill draw at Corinthian Casuals

Pat Harding, Burgess Hill Town. Picture by Steve Robards SUS-140822-130042001
Pat Harding, Burgess Hill Town. Picture by Steve Robards SUS-140822-130042001

Burgess Hill drew 1-1 away at Corinthian Casuals tonight (Wednesday).

The Hillians travelled to mid-table Corinthian Casuals looking for vital points that would head them in the direction of the Ryman One South league title.

From the off Burgess Hill Town looked strong and were creating opportunities to go ahead against the home side.

Eight minutes into play, Hill were awarded a corner which resulted in a Will Miles cross being saved by Casuals keeper Danny Bracken right at the feet of Pat Harding who would have been in the perfect position to put the visitors ahead. Lee Harding thought he had managed to put Burgess Hill ahead after Joe Keehan’s cross enabled Lee to slot the ball home but this goal was disallowed as the linesman called offside.

Just three minutes later Callum Saunders put a great cross into the box where Lee Harding took another shot on goal but this attempt was punched back into play by the keeper where Pat Harding made no mistake with the follow up shot to give the Hillians their lead.

Corinthian Casuals had their first chance of the half on 36 minutes when Reece Placid’s shot hit the goal post after a small deflection. Play towards the end of the first half was fairly scrappy and the quick tempo was suiting the pace of Callum Saunders down the wing. A minute before half time, Callum came close to converting a Darren Budd cross however his effort went just wide of the post.

In the second half Corinthian Casuals looked to be more attacking than they had been in the first 45 minutes but Burgess Hill still were given chances to extend their lead. On 51 minutes the Hillians were awarded a free kick which was taken by Callum Saunders and was sent over to Joe Keehan at the far post who headed the ball just over the cross bar.

Rob O’Toole replaced goal scorer Pat Harding on 65 minutes and was almost able to get his name on the score sheet with his first effort.

From a corner Joe Keehan flicked the ball on towards Rob O’Toole who missed the header and allowed Danny Bracken to make the easy save.

In an attempt to get that much needed second goal, Ian Chapman chose to bring on Dan Perry in replacement of Callum Saunders. Unfortunately for Hill, the only goal that came after this substitution was from the opposition. On 77 minutes, Max Austin managed to get Corinthian Casuals their equalising goal after picking up the ball near the box and taking a shot at goal. His initial attempt was blocked by Josh James in the Burgess Hill goal but from the rebound Austin was able to pass the ball into the back of the net. Ian Chapman made his final substitution on 79 minutes when Scott Kirkwood came on for Darren Budd. In the closing minutes of the second half Dan Perry had a couple of great chances to recover Hill’s first half lead.

Perry’s first attempt saw the ball go narrowly past the post and the second shot was sent soaring over the bar.

This draw puts Burgess Hill Town one point closer to their goal of the League Title but this draw still felt disappointing after having many chances to extend their lead that were denied or not completed.

Burgess Hill Town: Josh James, Toby Pointing, Sam Fisk, Darren Budd (Scott Kirkwood 79), Andy Pearson, Will Miles, Dan Pearse, Joe Keehan, Pat Harding (Rob O’Toole 65), Lee Harding, Callum Saunders (Dan Perry 74)

Unused Subs: Graham Martin, Spencer Slaughter