Can Burgess Hill Town beat the drop again? - Colin Bowman

Simon Wormull and John Rattle
Simon Wormull and John Rattle

In the seven seasons that I have personally been involved with Burgess Hill Town FC the club have provided rich entertainment and a real rollercoaster of emotions and feelings.

Season 2013/14 saw the club agonisingly fall short of a play off place on the last day of the season.

Season 2014/15 turned into a golden time for Ian Chapman and his squad as they brushed all aside to win the Ryman South division and enjoy longs cup runs.

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In August 2015 we opened our Bostik Premier (then Ryman Premier) account with back to back victories against Needham Market away and VCD at home.

However, that proved to be a false dawn as during seasons 2015/16,2016/17 and 2017/18 we have really struggled to find any real rhythm at this level.

The last three springs have been anxious but ultimately successful affairs as Ian managed to stave off relegation. Who can forget late April 2017 when club stalwart Sam Fisk headed home a 98th min winner to stay up. The GES in raptures!

Many, myself included were hoping that we could put that all behind us during the current season and start to look up. After cutting your teeth for three seasons you felt that experience would count for everything and a road to mid table was looking a realistic target.

Unfortunately, a 1-0 home loss against new boys Potters Bar, then a six one home reverse against Enfield quickly threw a spanner in that thinking.

Since the Autumn Ian and Stuart Tuck both left and new Head Coach Simon Wormull along with assistant John Rattle have been in charge.

To be fair Simon took over a team in deep trouble and it was always going to be a tough ask getting us to a comfortable place in the league. However, Simon’s early results were promising and three festive wins on the spin had the club purring and looking forward to the deep winter months. However, its all gone pear shaped since our famous New Year’s victory at Lewes picking up just two points from 27.

A 4-0 reverse against Tonbridge Angles and hitting Bostik Premier rock bottom yesterday has done nothing to lift the gloom around the GES.

This column has always maintained that falling through the trap door would be a huge back ward step. Not only for the club but for Mid Sussex football in general.

It would be a waste of seven seasons hard labour for staff, officials, volunteers and the army of fans who have travelled the length and breadth of South East England following the team. For two people in particular, Chairman Kevin Newell and General Manger John Rattle you have my utmost respect for the work and diligence you show week in week out for the club.

So, 12 league games left with perhaps five wins needed for safety come April 27. Plus protect our proud status as a member of the Bostik Premier League family. Let’s get positive.

First of all, we have survival experience on our side and as a club we know what to do in these positions.

We will need to call on all that and more over the coming weeks. Second, at this level you never know what is around the corner in terms of clubs folding or mysteriously going out of the league.

We could easily find that the third to bottom club might be safe. Thirdly we have a string of winnable games coming up. The club travel to the Enclosed Ground Whitehawk on Tuesday for a six-pointer before heading off to strugglers Potters Bar on Saturday. Win these games and survival mode will be up and running.

I for one will take a another 98th min last kick of the season Houdini act!