No points for Hillians after long trip to Suffolk

Lucas Rodriguez was back for his third 'debut'
Lucas Rodriguez was back for his third 'debut'

The Hillians made the long journey up to Suffolk, to face Needham Market, with manager Ian Chapman making six changes to the side who were defeated by Thurrock - including a 3rd debut for on loan youngster, Lucas Rodrigues.

The Hillians settled the better and striker Ibrahim Forfana headed across goal and narrowly wide on 11 minutes.

At the other end, Needham’s first chance fell to John Sands, although the front-man dragged his shot well wide from a good position.

Just before the half-hour mark, home defender Dan Morphew was booked for ploughing into Rodriguez, 25 yards from goal.

And the visitors came close to scoring from the ensuing set piece, as left-back Joe Taylor’s well-struck free-kick was superbly tipped away by keeper Gay.

It was in fact the home side who broke the deadlock in the 35th minute, as skipper Gareth Heath fired home, following Sands’ blocked effort.

Burgess Hill forced the pace at the start of the second half, peppering the target on the 55-minute mark. Pat Harding had a shot blocked and Taylor then ballooned an effort narrowly over the bar. Gay was forced into another fine save on 65 minutes, keeping out a goal-bound effort by Rodriguez as the West Sussex side sensed a way back into this game.

And the busy Gay was in the action again just six minutes later, blocking Jack Brivio’s 25-yard thunderbolt with strong hands.

However, the Marketmen weathered the storm and, against the run of play, they doubled their lead in the 77th minute via Nunn’s finish from Heath’s corner.

Five minutes later and fellow substitute Ocran netted the third with the best goal of the game, firing home from an acute angle.

Rodriguez tucked home a consolation on 85 minutes.

The Hillians remain three points adrift of nearest rivals, Harlow Town, with two games in hand remaining on the ‘Hawks’.

Next up, Burgess Hill welcome Sammy Moore’s Leatherhead to the Green Elephants Stadium, on Saturday 10th March.

Thank you to all Hillians fans who made the long journey to support the club, we cannot emphasise enough how grateful we are for your continued support. Keep believing, we will keep battling!