Hassocks impress again in draw with Peacehaven

Hosting a Peacehaven & Telscombe outfit who had plundered 30 goals in six November fixtures prior to their arrival at the Beacon looked another stern test of how much Hassocks have improved over recent weeks.

Wednesday, 1st December 2021, 9:10 am
Updated Wednesday, 1st December 2021, 9:10 am
Lewis Westlake netted a magnificent goal for Hassocks in their draw with Peacehaven. Picture by Derek Martin Photography and Art

It was an examination that the Robins did well in as they put another point on the board to go with the previous week’s impressive 0-0 draw away at fifth placed Broadbridge Heath.

Needless to say with free scoring Peacehaven involved, there were goals this time as an entertaining encounter finished 2-2.

The Tye led twice thanks to a couple of mishaps from Hassocks, who battled back each time to earn the point which was the least they deserved for their efforts on a freezing cold Mid Sussex afternoon.

Brad Sweetman’s side might have even won it after finishing the game on top, hitting the bar and the post in the final 15 minutes and having a strong penalty appeal waved away by referee Ian Lane.

The tone was set for an exhilarating encounter inside of the first four minutes when both sides could have taken the lead.

Josh Short had the Hassocks opportunity, denied by a brilliant last ditch challenge from former Robins captain Alex Spinks.

From Spinks’ intervention, Peacehaven worked the ball to the lively Charlie Morley who drove through the middle to tee up Josh Marshall.

His well struck effort flew just wide of the upright of Alex Harris, suitably recovered from the blow to the head he received against Heath last week which led to Hassocks’ 47-year-old physio Phil Wickwar playing the final half hour in goal.

Peacehaven took the lead on 21 minutes and it was a gift from a Hassocks point of view.

Home striker Lewis Beebee surrendered possession far too easily to Spinks just inside the Tye half, who found Morley out wide.

A beautiful first touch on the half turn took Morley into a wide open space, giving him the time he needed to deliver a delightful far post cross for Tyler Scrafton to volley home.

Peacehaven have racked up such big score lines in recent weeks by quickly turning one goal into two.

Hassocks knew they needed a quick response before the Tye had the opportunity to take the game away from them and they duly got it, levelling things up only eight minutes after Scrafton's opener.

Peacehaven had already looked questionable dealing with crosses into the box, failing to clear Lewis Westlake's dangerous free kick which was only just missed by the arriving Jack Baden and Arthur Rawlingson.

It was from a cross-shot that the Robins equaliser arrived. The Tye were struggling to track the movement of Short as he operated in a free role behind Beebee.

Popping up on the right this time, Short advanced with purpose before swinging over an aerial ball which visiting goalkeeper Lawrence Sanded completely misjudged as it flew over his head and dropped in at the back post.

Peacehaven retook the lead on 35 and again, Hassocks were their own worst enemy.

Eman Osei-Asomah clipped a pass forward which Dan Turner and Luke Marshall got in a bit of a state from when challenged by Morley.

With the two Hassocks defenders floundering, Morley gleefully picked up the pieces and crossed for Scrafton to apply a low, hard finish which gave Harris no chance.

Beebee was replaced by Joe Bull on 40 minutes and Marshall made way for Jude Wallis at half time as

Sweetman took two bold decisions to try and get his side back into it.

The changes paid off as Hassocks were the better team in the second half once they had negotiated the first 10 minutes.

In that opening spell, Peacehaven flashed a couple of dangerous balls across the six yard box which nobody could get on the end off and Marshall cut in from the left to fire one just over the bar.

Hassocks’ second equaliser of the afternoon arrived on 70 minutes through a magnificent goal from Lewis Westlake on his return from a broken nose.

Everybody expected Westlake to deliver a ball into the area when the Robins won a free kick 30 yards, but he instead hit a belter to catch out the surprised Sanded for a third goal in four appearances since re-joining the Robins from Steyning Town last month.

Conceding again seemed to shock Peacehaven and it was pretty much all Hassocks from that point on.

Short appeared on the left to crack an effort just wide from 25 yards and James Westlake put his industry to good use to rob a Tye midfielder and play in Bull, who became the first Hassocks man to hit the woodwork with an effort placed against the post.

Bull was also the player manhandled in the box which Mr Lane did not deem a penalty. Having been saved by the upright and the referee, Peacehaven were then grateful to the bar right at the death as it kept out Alfie Loversidge's effort from a delightful Wallis corner.

Hassocks travel to AFC Uckfield Town this Saturday.