Burgess Hill Town boss: Why football lockdown has come at bad time

Burgess Hill manager Jay Lovett praised his team for two improved performances – and said the enforced break now ahead of them had come at the wrong time.

Thursday, 5th November 2020, 7:45 am
Harry Pollard pounces to level the Sussex Senior Cup at Bognor at 1-1 - but the Rocks went on to win / Picture: Lyn Phillips

The Hillians beat Harrow Borough 4-1 in the FA Trophy, and were unlucky to lose 2-1 at Bognor in the Sussex Senior Cup on Tuesday.

That was a big upturn after back-to-back league defeats to Ramsgate and Whyteleafe but now, like all teams, Hillians face at least a month out of action in the new national lockdown.

He was happy his side made Bognor work for their county cup victory, saying: “I was pleased in the second half especially we turned up and put a bit more pressure on.

"Obviously Bognor are a very good side who move the ball round really well and in the first 10 or 15 minutes they caught us off guard with their movement. It took us a while to get used to the patterns they were playing and when we did we sat of a little and tried to hit them on the counter. And I thought we did that well.

“At 1-1 I thought we were good value for that. the last substitution I made was in mind of us getting a penalty shootout and as it happened we had a couple of good chances and might even have nicked the lead. But overall it could have finished 1-1 and gone to penalties and it would have been pot luck from there.

“I feel we’ve turned a corner, without a doubt. The team we have, I always knew could perform higher than they had been.

“In the past two games we’ve played opposition in higher leagues than us and we’ve turned up, played really well and competed. Anyone who’s watched would say we’re playing at similar levels.

“It’s a good confidence boost for us, it shows what squad we have got and we’ve started showing a few people we are there to compete and are not just there to make up numbers. We will still improve – we’re not the finished product, not by a long way.”

Lovett said the new break from football - enforced from today in new government restrictions - had come at a bad time for the Hillians.

“It’s painful that it has come, but I understand why it has. From a selfish point of view, football is outdoors and we’ve been playing it for this long. There hasn’t been a problem and the test runs have proven quite successful. We’ve got momentum and I don’t want the season to come to a bit of a halt.

“Fingers crossed it will only be a month. After the first few weeks I think we’ll be playing it by ear to see where we go next.

“The hard bit is that we can’t even train now. I don’t know if the league will give us a couple of weeks to train and get back in the swing of it or whether we go straight back into matches.

“Obviously we’re still in the FA Trophy as well so we’ll have to prioritise things. It’s a shame it’s happened now because players were just getting their full match fitness and we have a bond with the team.

“I suppose it is good that we’re not going into the break after those couple of defeats, though.”