Robins deserve better

Littlehampton Town 1

Thursday, 16th January 2014, 12:00 pm

Hassocks 0

by Chris Francis

Despite it being their first game for almost a month and still having to do without several first-choice players, Hassocks gave a decent account of themselves on Saturday and in the end were a little unlucky to go away emptyhanded from the Sportsfield.

Second-placed Marigolds claimed all three points courtesy of a well taken finish by Dan Simmonds after 26 minutes but throughout the game chances came at both ends and in the second half the visitors clearly gave as good as they got.

In the opening half hour Alex Kew was a particular threat for the hosts but it was Robins who created the first two chances, with Anthony Hibbert pulling his shot wide and then young Aaron Czech seeing his effort blocked after twisting and turning in a bid to create an opening.

Phil Johnson then finished weakly after a good move before his young keeper Alex Harris was then forced to make timely interventions on several occasions, all with his legs from one-on-ones.

Kew was the main sufferer and in between those efforts, Harris again used his legs well to thwart Sam Blundell. On this occasion, however, the ball broke to Simmonds 25 yards out, he produced an unerring low finish into the corner past a host of players.

Vastly experienced home defender Julian Curnow nodded a goalbound effort over the bar when Hibbert beat keeper John Hendrick in the air but the last clear chance of the first half fell to Blundell, who was profligate after Harris badly misjudged his move to cut out a cross.

Probably the only surprise about the second half was that neither side managed to score after creating plenty of chances.

A rather subdued Phil Gault had one of Hassocks’ best but saw his close range effort from a corner beaten out by Hendrick. Gault dropped deeper after the break but despite being more involved, he was not at his best.

At the other end Harris saved well, this time with his hands, from Scott Packer, while sub Ben Gray was only inches away wityh a couple of crisp drives from distance.

Simmonds should have done better when played in by Kew’s left-wing cross but Hassocks will point to Hendrick turning over a Gault header early in the second half and Rob South, having to play in an unfamiliar midfield role, flicking the ball just over from a cross by Tom Davees.

Young Alex Gathern showed his potential with a start at right back and it was really only the result that would have disappointed Mark Dalgliesh and Roy Staughton, who remain in charge with the continued absence through ill health of Mickey Jewell.

Hassocks: Harris; Gathern, Marsh, Pitcher, Davees; South, Hibbert, Ingham (Dove, 82), Czech (Brown, 62); Gault, Johnson (Common, 82).

Littlehampton: Hendrick; Wiggins, M Hand, Curnow, McKay, Williamson, Humphries, Kew, Blundell (Gray, 62), Simmonds, Packer (D Hand, 70).