Burgess Hill were not given the traditional local derby for this Boxing day fixture and had to travel to Farnborough, Farnborough have a fantastic ground due to playing at a much higher level in the past but unfortunately the pitch didn’t match the rest of the facilities.
It was clear to see from the start that the poor pitch condition was not going to help both teams play good football and players were struggling to stay on their feet. The first chance of the match fell to Sam Gargan when he headed just over from a Lee Harding corner and this was shortly followed by pat Harding firing his shot straight at home keeper Aaron Bufton from the edge of the box.
Farnborough came close to taking the lead on twenty six minutes when a good run down the right by Jamie White led to him putting in a teasing cross that home striker Bogdan Vastsuk just couldn’t get on the end of however Vastsuk managed to get on the score sheet on thirty eight minutes when a long ball somehow managed to loop over Toby Pointing’s head and he smashed the ball into the top corner.
The second half saw Ian Chapman make a change early on when Darren Budd replaced Pat Harding in midfield and this did seem to bring some life into Hill’s game and just two minutes after Budd came on Gargan saw his shot go just inches over the bar from the edge of the box, Farnborough should of added to their lead on sixty two minutes when Jamie White raced clear but Josh James pulled off a smart save low to his left from this moment on Hill started to look a little better and chances started to come Chris Smith managed to turn sharply in the box but his shot went just wide then Sam Fisk found Lee Harding inside the box but his first time shot was straight at Bufton. Chapman made another change on seventy five minutes and it saw the return of Dan Perry from his loan spell at Peacehaven and he replaced Lee Harding, Perry looked lively from the start and was causing the home defence problems with his energy.
Hill were trying hard to get back into the game but nothing seemed to going their way with the second ball always falling to the home team and this was the case on eighty two minutes when Chris Smith had a shot blocked by Darryl Siaw and the ball fell kindly to home keeper Bufton another change was made on eighty nine minutes with Elliott Levy replacing Joe Keehan. The best chance of the game for Hill came with the last kick of the game when Ollie Rowland put in a corner that fell to Smith just five yards from goal but somehow he put his shot over the bar. This was a disappointing result for Hill after the recent performances they have put in but finishing the year in 10th place has to be regarded as a successful start to their Ryman premier league debut.
Hillians: Josh James, Toby Pointing, Sam Fisk, Ollie Rowland, Andy Pearson, Joe Keehan (Elliot Levy 89), Dan Pearse, Pat Harding (Darren Budd 52), Lee Harding (Dan Perry 74), Chris Smith, Sam Gargan.
Not used: Scott Kirkwood and Cam Wiltshire.
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