A Lee Harding double saw Burgess Hill beat Ramsgate 2-1 at the Green Elephants Stadium - leaving the Hillians needing just one point from their final five games to claim the Ryman South title.
Burgess Hill Town attracted a crowd of 414 for their third to last home game of the season and Toby Pointing made his one hundred appearance for the Hill.
Burgess Hill stamped their authority on this game early on and it only took six minutes to create the first of many first half chances when Callum Saunders headed a Joe Keehan cross straight at Ramsgate keeper Adam Highstead and soon after Saunders became provider when he went down the left and put in a teasing cross that Lee Harding just missed at the far post.
On fourteen minutes Hill thought they should of had a penalty when Saunders appeared to be fouled in the box but the referee waved play on and only two minutes later Lee Harding put in a deep cross that Rob O’Toole met at the far post and his well struck shot was well saved by Highstead, O’Toole had a shot deflected wide on twenty three minutes for a corner and from this Keehan’s header was cleared off the line. Hill kept applying the pressure and on twenty five minutes Keehan found Saunders with a neat pass and his shot was again well saved by Highstead in the visitors goal, Lee Harding had a great chance to give Hill the lead a minute later when he went through one on one with Highstead but the keeper got a hand to his shot before it was cleared from danger.
The last chance of the half fell to Will Miles but his header was cleared off the line. The second half started with Hill again showing their dominance of this game and Ramsgate were finding it Hard to keep the ball for any length of time Keehan came close on forty eight minutes when Rob O’Toole put in another teasing cross but he just couldn’t get his head to it. Ramsgate’s Aaron Quain should have done better when he got the wrong side of the Hill defence but his poor control gave Will Miles the chance to clear the ball from danger.
Ian Chapman made a change and Dan Perry came on for Rob O’Toole and Perry made an instant impact and he forced Highstead into a smart save when he shot from inside the six yard box that went for a corner and from this Hill took a deserved lead when Keehan headed the corner back across the box and Lee Harding smashed the ball into the net from close range.
Dan Pearse saw his thirty yard drive well saved by the busy Highstead but he couldn’t stop Hill getting their second of the game on sixty two minutes when Lee Harding headed home a Saunders cross.
Ramsgate had a rare chance on seventy minutes when Tom Hickman volleyed the ball over Josh James goal Hill saw more chances fall to Dan Pearse Dan Perry before Hill made another two changes that saw Pat Harding replace Scott Kirkwood and Spencer Slaughter replace Callum Saunders.
Ramsgate had the last say in the half when they pulled a goal back on ninety three minutes when Luke Wheatley scored from inside the Hill box however time was called just a minute later and Hill took the well deserved win. Hill now travel to Carshalton on Saturday needing just one point to win the league. Match sponsors Mansell Mctaggart presented a bottle of champagne to man of the match to Lee Harding.
Burgess Hill Town: Josh James, Toby Pointing, Sam Fisk, Dan Pearse, Andy Pearson, Will Miles, Scott Kirkwood (Pat Harding 82), Joe Keehan, Callum Saunders (Spencer Slaughter 87) , Lee Harding, Rob O’Toole (Dan Perry 58)
Unused Subs: Graham Martin, Darren Budd