Harding and Kirkwood secure first home win for Burgess Hill Town

Lee Harding, Burgess Hill Town FC. Picture by Steve Robards SUS-150113-082228001
Lee Harding, Burgess Hill Town FC. Picture by Steve Robards SUS-150113-082228001

The Hillians secured their first home win of the season as they beat VCD Athletic 2-0 with goals from Lee Harding and Scott Kirkwood at the Green Elephants Stadium.

Hillians couldn’t have asked for more, six points in their opening two games in the Ryman Premier Division. Burgess Hill manager Ian Chapman lined up with the same starting XI beat Needham Market 2-1 on Saturday.

It was an evenly balanced entertaining first half with both teams creating plenty of chances. VCD had the best of the bunch in the opening 30 minutes, Jack Stevenson coming the closest to breaking the deadlock but was unable to convert one on one with keeper Josh James striking off target. Tommy Fraser had an excellent chance to put Hillians in the lead after 33 minutes but his volleyed effort from close-range flew wide of the post.

Two minutes before the interval Burgess Hill’s Lee Harding opened the scoring. Pat Harding began the move finding Darren Budd in space inside 18-yard box, who unselfishly squared the ball to L.Harding who calmly slotted home.

The last kick of the half saw Hill’s Pat Harding strike the post with a drilled effort from the edge of the area.

After the break the shot tally continued to rise for both teams. After 53 minutes Hillians pushed on creating openings for Kirkwood on the edge of the 18-yard box but the VCD keeper Rob Budd was able to parry the ball wide. Joe Keehan came close to doubling the lead with a headed effort from a corner in the 57th minute.

It was a nervy final 10 minutes for The Hillians as VCD pushed hard for an equaliser, but the Burgess Hill back four of Toby Pointing, Andy Pearson, Joe Keehan and Sam Fisk stood strong. Bugress Hill collectively as a team worked hard to keep out the opposition in unison.

Scott Kirkwood’s injury time goal secured the victory for The Hillians, hammering the ball into the back of the net from 12 yards, after substitute Callum Saunders near post strike forced a corner that created the chance.

The energy and desire in the dying embers of the game was admirable as every player worked tirelessly to seal the first home win in the Ryman Premier Division.

MOM: Sam Fisk – Was solid at full-back, dominated in the air and showed purpose when on the attack.

Burgess Hill Town: James; Pointing, Pearson, Keehan, Fisk, (Saunders 88) L.Harding, (Pearse 82) Budd, Kirkwood, (Smith 74) Jones, P.Harding.

Unused subs: Johnson, Branford

VCD Athletic: Budd; Bakare, Probets, Fitzgerald, Tozer, Joesph, (Palmer 60)Wickham, Fisher, (Ayoola 60) Teniola, Stevenson, Graham

Unused subs: King, Ramadan, Muir

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