Hassocks go into 2016 in good heart after a run of three wins in five games in December saw them pull clear of the relegation zone although they were frustrated not to be able to continue that run of form after Saturday’s game with high flying Newhaven fell to the weather.
The Beacon pitch has received substantial investment in recent years and the hard work of the ground staff looked to have paid off as it was passed playable in an initial inspection at 11am only for the deluge that followed over the course of lunch to leave referee Andrew Senior with no choice but to postpone when he took a look at 1pm.
Joint boss Phil Wickwar agreed with the decision but that didn’t stop him voicing his frustration, saying, “We were hoping to keep our momentum going, especially as the squad is nearly back to full strength after being without seven or eight over the festive period with only Josh Hawkes and Nick Pitcher now a couple of weeks away after injuries.”
Those victories over Wick & Barnham United, Shoreham and St Francis Rangers have pushed the Robins up to 14th spot, 12 points clear of the final relegation position occupied by Hailsham Town.
Given the form of the bottom four who are already starting to be cut adrift by the rest of the division, it is difficult to see Hassocks getting dragged back into the mire unlike last season when it took until a couple of games of the campaign for safety to be secured.
Wickwar doesn’t subscribe to that view however. “It’s a tough league and we need to remain realistic in approach. There is a lot of hard work ahead to keep us away from relegation trouble.”
Hassocks’ recent renaissance has been built on a much improved showing from central midfield where Spencer Slaughter has been joined by James Westlake whose return to the club from Haywards Heath Town helped launch the improved results and it was Slaughter who was named as Hassocks Player of the Month for December as chosen by supporters on the clubs Twitter account.
Westlake himself was a close second with Rowan Wallis third and Bradley Bant fourth.
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