Burgess Hill Town were defeated 2-3 by Whitehawk in the Parafix Sussex Senior Cup on Tuesday.
Despite going 2-0 up, they could not hold onto their lead for 90 minutes and then went behind in extra time.
Manager Ian Chapman made four changes coming into this game with Redwood, Miles, Izuchukwu and Thompson returning to the side.
It was a quiet start to an eventful game. It took 17 minutes for the Hillians to create the first chance of the match. Dan Pearse weaved through the Whitehawk midfield laying the ball off to Dan Thompson who’s cross was met by Dean Cox to blast over the bar from close range.
Dean Cox had further chances in the first-half to find the back of the net. A curling shot was met low by keeper Flitney. Moments later Cox dragged a shot wide from a Lee Harding cross.
Cox showed his real worth on 32 minutes when he whipped in a free-kick which was met well by the head of Tyrell Richardson-Brown to put the Hillians in the lead.
Cox turned creator once again just after the hour mark with a good one-two with Leon Redwood, allowing the latter to drive his shot into the bottom left.
This goal spurred Whitehawk into life who began to show their quality. Alex Osbourne was brought down in the box, but referee Michael Ryan said no penalty. Seconds later a cross into the box allowed Sergio Torres to stab home from close range.
Lee Harding had the chance to put the Hillians out of sight, but couldn’t get make a connection on the end of a good Dean Cox free-kick.
Burgess Hill showed their character to fend off the Hawks attacks and create chances of their own. Dan Pearse and Lee Harding both had their efforts to find a third in the dying minutes, but could not find a finish.
Whitehawk completed their comeback when Alex Osbourne connected on the end of a cross in the 90th minute- leaving the Hill players wishing they were more clinical. Danny Mills had a chance to win the game for Whitehawk but saw his shot cannon back off the Hillians goalpost.
Extra time loomed and Ian Chapman gathered his team in a circle to give them some words of advice before play began.
Richardson-Brown was played in over the top, early on, but dribbled straight into goalie Ross Flitney’s path. Just before half-time, Lucas Rodrigues turned the Hillians defence to find the back of the net and put Whitehawk in the lead for the first time in the game.
Minutes from the end Ashley Nzala crossed the ball to Tyrell Richardson-Brown who couldn’t make a clean connection on the ball to send the game to penalties.
Despite being the better side for 75 minutes, the Hillians came away from this game with a defeat. Ian Chapman will be hoping his side can repeat some of the character shown when they face Billericay Town at home on Saturday, kick-off 3pm.
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