Hassocks ready for tough start to the season

Hassocks kick off their 2021-22 Southern Combination League Premier Division campaign this Saturday against Broadbridge Heath at the Beacon, part of an incredibly tough start to the season for the Robins.

Friday, 30th July 2021, 2:18 pm

Six of their first eight fixtures come against opponents who were in the top 10 before the 2020-21 season was curtailed.

After taking on the Bears, Hassocks face Saltdean United, Eastbourne Town, AFC Uckfield Town, Peacehaven & Telscombe, Steyning Town, Lingfield and Newhaven before the start of September.

The FA Cup has not been much kinder, either. Spelthorne Sports will expect to be challenging for the Combined Counties Premier Division North title come the end of the season, making them extremely tough opponents for the Robins to host next Saturday.

Jack Troak starred for Hassocks in the SCFL Premier Division Supplementary Shield, and he will be hoping to repeat his excellent performances in the upcoming league campaign. Picture by Chris Neal

Hassocks have endured somewhat of a disjointed pre-season friendly schedule. The Beacon pitch required remedial work to its new drainage system following the Ann John Trophy game with Burgess Hill Town at the beginning of July.

That wiped out scheduled fixtures against Oakwood, Rustington and Shoreham. As a result, the Robins had only faced sides from the Isthmian League ahead of Tuesday night’s rearranged game against Oakwood.

Those three fixtures versus higher division opponents all ended in 6-0 defeats, Haywards Heath Town and Sutton Common Rovers joining the Hillians in putting a half-dozen past Hassocks.

How the Robins do once the real action gets underway will hinge on whether they can replace the goals of Charlie Pitcher.

The striker, who scored 16 times from 20 appearances, has departed for Crawley Down Gatwick along with midfielder Harvey Enticknap.

Hassocks have otherwise managed to keep most of last season’s squad at the club at the same time as bringing in some promising young players who they will be hoping can make the step up to senior football.

Admission prices for both this Saturday’s league opener with Broadbridge Heath and the FA Cup extra preliminary round meeting with Spelthorne a week later are £6 adults, £3 concessions and under-16s go free.