Playing resurgent Peacehaven & Telscombe when they were one of the Southern Combination League Premier Division’s form teams was always likely to be a tough task for a full strength Hassocks.
Here they were ravaged by injury, suspension and the traditional pre-Christmas unavailability which ultimately saw them slip to a 1-0 defeat thanks to Josh Marshall’s 78th minute goal.
Among the missing where Phil Gault, Jordan Badger, Tom Barnes and Bradley Bant while the Robins were also missing the suspended duo of Ashley Marsh and Michael Death.
And speaking of suspensions, they will now be without Luke Akehurst for one game over the Christmas period after he saw red early on in the second half for two questionable bookings.
Hassocks manager Phil Wickwar seemed utterly miffed by the circumstances surrounding Akehurst’s early bath, saying afterwards, “How Akes has been sent off I will find extremely troubling for the next few days.”
“It didn’t help our cause and things didn’t go our way today. Again it was a much changed side and we can’t expect to pick up results with so much chopping and changing.”
In truth, Hassocks were under par all afternoon which is the last thing you need when coming up against opponents who, after a difficult start to the campaign, had registered five victories from their last six league outings.
In a game that was pretty devoid of entertainment, Hassocks fashioned a number of chances in the first half which, had they have taken, may have left the contest with a very different ending.
Ben Bacon went close and Nick Pitcher failed to trouble Jordan Hawkins in the Peacehaven goal with a crashing header.
James Westlake blazed over when well placed but the Robins task became that much harder five minutes after the restart when Akehurst received the aforementioned red card.
A tactical reshuffle followed but it made little difference with the excellence of James Broadbent once again coming to Hassocks’ aid he denied the quick footed Curtis Ford on three occasions.
But in spite of the best efforts of Hassocks’ number one, Peacehaven eventually managed to take advantage of their extra man as Marshall netted what would prove to be the winner.
Hassocks poured forward after that in such of repeating their trick of last weekend when they scored in the 89th minute to take a point off Broadbridge Heath but it wasn’t to be this time, although a fantastic cross from substitute Liam Benson did find Jamie Hillwood at the back post but his effort came off the wrong side of the upright.
Hassocks: Broadbent; Tighe, Pitcher, Mills, Akehurst; Hawkes; J Westlake, L Westlake; Hillwood; Bacon, Miles.
Subs: Avram (Miles), Benson (Bacon), Price, P Wickwar, John (unused).
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