Hassocks have a lot to learn - loss to Horsham YMCA proves it
Proof if it were needed that Hassocks' young side still have much to learn came at the Beacon as a below-par showing resulted in a 2-1 defeat to fellow strugglers Horsham YMCA.
Hassocks took an hour to register their first meaningful shot on target and without several excellent stops from Charlie Pugh, YM would have been out of sight long before they did eventually hit their 80th minute winner.
Charlie Tuck returned at the expense of Jack Gardner who dropped to the bench.
Pugh set the stall out for his afternoon by producing a fine full stretch tip over from former Dorking goal machine Tom Tolfrey after only two minutes.
YM took the lead with their next opportunity three minutes later. A long throw into the box was not properly dealt with, leaving the experienced Mark Pritchard-Cave in acres of space to fire home.
Joe Bull led a trademark counter attack and his low centre into the box was inches away from being turned home by Alfie Loversidge.
From a Hassocks a free kick on the edge of the YM box, James Westlake’s effort lacked the power to trouble Aaron Jeal. Another set piece came Hassocks’ way, this time 30 yards out. Bradley Bant’s shot was clipped over the bar.
For YM Dan Evans rattled a post before Hassocks gifted them more chances in the final 15 minutes of the first half.
Ten minutes into the second half, Brad Sweetman removed Connor Bradley for the evergreen Phil Gault.
Gault’s scheming against one of his former clubs brought some improvement and within five minutes, Jeal was forced into his first real piece of work when tipping a Bull effort over.
A Gault free-kick shanked into the wall and came to nothing.
Eventually, fine work from Bull led to him being felled and referee Robert King pointing to the spot, from where Gault beat Jeal.
Against the run of play YM found the decider as the game entered the final 10 minutes, Tolfrey getting the goal his performance probably did deserve via a deflected shot which beat a despairing Pugh.
* Hassocks lost 2-0 when they hosted Crawley Down Gatwick in the first round of the Sussex Senior Cup on Tuesday.