Burgess Hill Town 3, Havant & Waterlooville 3: Harding stars in six-goal thriller

Pat Harding
Pat Harding

Burgess Hill rescued a point at home with a last-minute equaliser to draw 3-3 against Havant & Waterlooville in a sensational Tuesday night affair.

Ian Chapman made two changes from Saturday’s impressive 6-1 victory over Cadbury Heath, with Max Huxter and Jack Brivio coming into the side.

It was Havant & Waterlooville who took the lead when a Theo Lewis header slipped through the fingers of keeper Max Huxter after just seven minutes.

Burgess Hill did not let this knock their confidence when Cheick Toure nearly found an equaliser, but his flick from a corner was palmed away by keeper Ryan Young.

It was another good day for captain Dan Pearse who scored his second wonder goal in as many games. His left-footed volley flew into the bottom right corner to level the scores.

The Hillians kept pushing and soon managed to take the lead. A long delivery from a Leon Redwood free-kick fell to the feet of Pat Harding who stroked the ball home into the bottom right that left Ryan Young motionless.

The evening could have got even better for Hill when Chris Smith rounded Young and tried to square the ball to Lee Harding to finish off the move but misplaced his pass. A chance that should have been converted.

In the second half, the Hillians suffered a setback when centre-half Cheick Toure was forced off with an injury he had sustained early in the game. James Richmond came on to take his place and did well to help hold out the Havant & Waterlooville attack, deploying a strong pressing game.

Burgess Hill’s resistance eventually was broken down when a long free-kick was knocked down by Jason Prior onto the foot of Matt Patterson who stabbed it home to make it 2-2.

In the 87th minute, Havant found what they thought was the winner when a cross into the box was met by Theo Lewis and his looping header sailed over the head of Huxter. Many Hillians fans thought it was all over and left the ground in dismay.

However, Burgess Hill did not give up and found an equaliser with their never say die attitude in the dying seconds of the game. Havant’s defence could not cope with the pressure the Hillians were putting them under and Pat Harding managed to find a finish from close range to make the score 3-3- his fifth goal in four days.

This impressive result against a side who were second in the league marks the tenth game in which the Hillians have gone unbeaten. Ian Chapman and his players will be hoping they can continue this fantastic run of form when they go up against Jimmy Bullard’s Leatherhead on Saturday, kick-off 3pm.

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