Two goals just past the hour mark saw Burgess Hill Town share the spoils of an uneventful 1-1 draw with second-from-bottom Brentwood Town at home on Saturday.
The visitors drew first blood through Bradley Nobbs before James Fraser levelled for the Hillians, merely five minutes after being substituted onto the field of play.
Fraser represented the only change made by Ian Chapman following an identical scoreline away at Metropolitan Police the week before, with the manager opting for Lee Harding instead.
The first half was particularly uninspiring, with very few chances created from both sides. Will Miles sent a long ball to Sam Gargan, whose downward header was met on the half-volley by Darren Budd, only to see his effort caught by Brentwood ‘keeper Ollie Bowles. The visitors worked an opening for themselves as well when Tom Richardson stole the ball off Andy Pearson before playing a through-ball to Mitch Hahn, who controlled the ball on his chest and chipped over the onrushing Josh James but couldn’t find the intended bottom corner.
The teams went into the break very evenly, by means of goals scored and opportunities produced.
The second period was much more lively, with Scott Kirkwood stinging the palms of Bowles from 30 yards early on. The Essex side responded well to the pressure, however, and soon found themselves 1-0 up when Robbie Rees worked his way through the Hillians’ defence before spreading the play out wide to Bradley Nobbs, who cut in from the right onto the opposite foot and placed the ball into a small gap at the near post, past the despairing James.
Just five minutes later, Burgess Hill won a corner after Josh Banton had cleared his lines. Lee Harding took the subsequent kick, and whipped the ball into a dangerous area, allowing Sam Gargan to head down and create a goal-mouth frenzy, during which substitute James Fraser stabbed home to equalise.
There were a few half-chances for each side to win the game, most notably when Mitch Hahn’s free-kick, following a trip from Dan Pearse, was hit with venom but saved well by the fists of Josh James. But in the end it finished as it started: nothing to separate the teams, who came away with a deserved point each. Next up for Burgess Hill is a trip to Kingstonian, a side five places above them in 10th.
Hillians: Josh James, Dan Pearse, Sam Fisk, Andy Pearson, Will Miles, Joe Keehan, Darren Budd, Scott Kirkwood (Pat Harding 64), Lee Harding, Sam Gargan (Jack Rowe-Hurst 75), Chris Smith (James Fraser 59).
Not used: Cam Wiltshire, Luc Doherty.
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