Hassocks lose for first time at Dorking Wanderers

Trips to Dorking Wanderers have provided Hassocks with rich pickings in the past but there was to be no such result this time around as they crashed to a 3-0 defeat against their title challenging hosts.

The Robins had never lost at Westhumble Playing Fields in their four previous visits and could quite feasibly have taken something from this trip as well had it not have been for the performance of the officials.

They had two cast iron penalty appeals turned away in either half after Phil Johnson was scythed down, saw a Jamie Hillwood effort chalked off for a questionable foul on the goalkeeper and were wayward in their finishing at times to say the least.

That the game was even on was a surprise in itself, the goal at the bottom end of the ground doing a passable impression of a marshland with Hassocks never really looking comfortable defending it in the first half.

The conditions played their part Wanderers opening, George Willett losing his footing when attempting to keep out Charlie Pitcher’s effort on 14 minutes after possession had been wastefully surrendered.

And it was a similar story as the advantage was doubled on the stroke of half time, Hassocks losing the ball as Dorking ruthlessly took advantage with Luke Pidgeon netting.

Hassocks had chances of their own in the first 45, Jamie Hillwood missing a gilt edged opportunity to put them 1-0 ahead when he squandered a sitter at the far post and then there was the first of those penalty appeals, referee Carl Smith admitting that he didn’t see Johnson being snapped in half.

Any hopes that the Robins had of getting back into the game were extinguished eight minutes after the restart when Division One’s top scorer Tom Tolfrey made it 3-0 with his 21st of the campaign.

After that came Hassocks’ second penalty appeal when Johnson was again bundled over and Nathan Miles should have pulled one back but he dragged his effort well wide of the post.

The Robins did get the ball in the back of the net when Hillwood fired home after Tom Barnes had nipped in front of the goalkeeper to flick a free kick on but Mr Smith deemed it to be a foul on the Wanderers number one and awarded the free kick much to the visitors frustration.

Hassocks: Willett; Jacques, Barnes, Wallis, Marsh; Collins, Bant, Pitcher, Hillwood; Miles, Johnson.

Subs: Stokes (Miles), Common (Collins), Davess (Bant), Tighe, P Wickwar (unused).