Burgess Hill Town travelled to Hastings just two days after their home game on Saturday for this Monday evening Sussex Senior Cup game.
Ian Chapman made a number of changes from Saturday’s game for this fixture with starts for Matt Morrish, Callum Saunders, Graham Martin, Dan Pearse and Pat Harding.
Hill started the game with them seeing plenty of the ball but they couldn’t find a way to goal and the first effort on target fell to Hastings when Taser Hassan made a good run down the right and cut inside hitting a low shot towards goal but Matt Morrish saved well at the near post. The next twenty minutes saw both side cancel each other out with no efforts being created by either side until five minutes later when Toby Pointing miss read a ball over the top and Hassan again got on the ball and put in a dangerous cross that was powerfully cleared but the ball hit Will Miles in the chest knocking him to the ground and the referee stopped play for him to get treatment.
Hill’s first real chance of the game fell to Pat Harding when Lee Harding put in a deep cross to the far post that found Pat with space but his first time effort went agonisingly wide of the far post.
On the half hour mark Hastings again tested Morrish in goal when Evan Archibald found space on the edge of the box and his shot was comfortably saved. From this, Burgess Hill Town attacked down the right with Lee Harding - who was at right back for tonight’s game - overlapped and put in a teasing cross that Dan Perry was only inches away from heading home. Hastings thought they had taken the lead just before half time when the lively Taser Hassan fired the ball home but the linesman silenced the home fan’s when he raised his flag for offside.
The second half saw Burgess Hill start brightly and only four minutes in Dan Perry was presented a great chance to score when Sean Ray made a mistake at the back and Perry found himself one on one with the Hastings keeper John Sullivan but the keeper spread himself well to deny Perry his chance. Hill kept the pressure on and Callum Saunders was found by Perry but his goal bound shot was blocked and deflected out for a corner. Hastings had their first effort of the second half when Kenny Pogue raced onto a long ball over the top of the Hill defence on fifty five minutes but his sliced shot went wide.
Pat Harding had two chances in the within a few minutes of each other the first when he got on the end of a Will Miles free kick but his header was straight at the home keeper and the second when Greg Luer put in a dangerous cross and his shot just went past the far post. Ian Chapman made a change with Rob O’Toole replacing Dan Perry, he put Harding up front and O’Toole out wide and Rob’s positive runs at the home defence paid off when on seventy three minutes he beat two defenders and hit a low shot that hit the post and rebounded to Lee Harding inside the box and he made no mistake by smashing the ball home to give Burgess Hill the lead. Hastings made three changes to try to get back in the game and the only real effort they created after this fell to substitute Ade Olorunda but his headed effort went just wide, Hill had a penalty claim turned down just before the end when a Pat Harding cross seemed to strike a home defenders arm before going out for a corner and Harding had the final effort of the game in added time when he cut in from the left and hit a powerful shot that saw John Sullivan pull off a fine save. This win will see Hill face either Worthing or Steyning in the quarter finals.
Burgess Hill Town: Matt Morrish, Lee Harding, Sam Fisk, Dan Pearse, Toby Pointing, Will Miles, Callum Saunders, Graham Martin, Dan Perry (Rob O’Toole 65), Greg Luer, Pat Harding
Unused Subs: Andy Pearson, Darren Budd, Joe Keehan, Josh James