Hassocks 3, AFC Uckfield 0: Gault brace helps Robins beat Uckfield

Phil Gault scores against AFC Uckfield. Picture by PW Sporting Photography
Phil Gault scores against AFC Uckfield. Picture by PW Sporting Photography

A Phil Gault brace helped Hassocks get off to the perfect start to the New Year with a 3-0 win over AFC Uckfield on Tuesday.

Uckfield were outplayed by an impressive Hassocks who ended a six match winless run, with Michael Death netting in the second half to ensure the Reds outscored their goal tally for December.

James Westlake in action against AFC Uckfield. Picture by PW Sporting Photography

James Westlake in action against AFC Uckfield. Picture by PW Sporting Photography

The away side started strongly with a series of dangerous corners from Anthony Storey testing the Robins’ defence. Goalkeeper James Broadbent was forced to make two sharp saves from the physically imposing Uckfield strikers either side of the ten minute mark.

Hassocks started to find their feet though and were denied only by a goal line clearance in the fourteenth minute when Bradley Bant nearly took advantage of a slip by the Uckfield keeper. Gault also had a chance to open the scoring when he beat a defender with a smart dummy but his scuffed shot was easily saved.

Gault eventually beat the Uckfield stopper on 22 minutes when a long ball from the back found Bradley Tighe, whose cross was clinically finished by the Robins’ top scorer.

After taking the lead, the home team’s confidence grew and they displayed some neat passing with Tighe and Bant continuing to exploit the space in behind the attacking Uckfield wing backs.

Gault doubled the lead on 36 minutes after the away side were unable to clear the loose ball and Bant’s cross found the striker for another tidy finish from six yards out.

The away side started strongly again in the second half, but a brilliant counter attacking move started by Gault made it 3-0 after 50 minutes. Tighe got his second assist with a low cross from the right which was tucked just inside the post by Death.

Uckfield’s main second half threat came from crosses and set pieces that were well dealt with by Broadbent, and the keeper made a sharp reaction save after defender Luke Akehurst nearly put a cross from the right into his own net in the 70th minute.

The Mid-Sussex side could have made the win even more convincing with Gault putting two chances to complete his hatrick over the bar and a header from centre-back Jordan Badger going just wide in the dying minutes.

Hassocks co-manager Phil Wickwar said after the game, “Well happy with the performance , especially as we have been in a bit of a rut so very important three points and very pleased”.

“Three goals was good as we’ve had a bit of a barren spell with only two goals in December. We run a sponsor a goal scheme and that has not gone very well in December but the coffers will be happy with three goals today, that’s for sure.”

Asked about the upcoming visit of Shoreham, Wickwar said, “That will be a tough game, they’re a decent side who have got some good experienced players, but it’s a free game so we can give it a whirl and see if we can get something out of it. It was important to get a win today so that we can carry something on into that with a bit of confidence.”