Burgess Hill Town started the season with a well-earned point at Needham Market.
There were two enforced changes from the last pre-season victory against Lewes last weekend but the return of the reliable Sam Fisk bolstered the defence.
The away side started the brighter of the two teams and engineered an opening after eight minutes for Pat Harding in the box only for his shot sailed over the bar.
The home team were playing the more direct football with Brothers causing Miles and Fisk problems with his physical style. Against the run of play, the home side took the lead after only ten minutes with a well-taken goal by recent loan signing from Colchester United Jack Curtis. The Hillians nearly equalised before half time when a Scott Kirkwood header hit the post and Will Miles followed up only to see his powerful shot hit the upright!
The second half saw the home side have more possession than they enjoyed in the previous 45 mins without really threatening Josh James in goal. The Hillians were struggling to find the passing and movement they had shown earlier in the game. The introduction of Richardson-Brown had an immediate effect when his speed got beyond the Needham defence, only for his cross to be just behind Lee Harding in the box and he couldn’t ‘dig it out’ of his feet from six yards out.
With both sides making changes the game became more open, and it needed a good save from James to keep the deficit to one. Gayler and Bolton were introduced for the debutant Taylor and the hard working Pearse.
With six minutes to go Richardson-Brown got away from his marker on the right and finished with authority leaving the Needham keeper with no chance.
A couple of half chances were created by the home team’s direct style but Will Miles and Sam Fisk were equal to the task.
Hillians MOTM: Will Miles for a solid all-round defensive display
Manager Ian Chapman: “A point away from home is a good start… Tyrell showed good pace and composure for his goal and all the players today did OK. Games come thick and fast so when we get the time with players on the training ground, as we have this week, we work hard and make sure we get better in all areas.”
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