Burgess Hill Town manager Simon Wormull praised his side’s ‘ruthless’ edge after they came from behind to beat Whitstable Town 3-2 on Saturday.
Josh Spencer swept the visitors in front before Erivaldo Felix turned in a cross to bring the Hillians level before half-time.
Charlie Bennett and Warren Mfula added further goals for the home side after the break but a late fightback from the Oystermen earned some reward when Liam Gillies finished well from outside the penalty area. However, Burgess Hill managed to hold on, taking their first league win since the opening day of the season.
Ending a four-game losing run in the league, manager Wormull was delighted with his side’s performance. Speaking to Hillians TV, he said: “Hopefully now that gives them a bit of belief in the changing room. There’s been games previous where we’ve gone one down, changed things and asked them to go more direct but we believed in them and said ‘express yourself and get on the ball’.
“All season we’ve created chances but today we showed just how ruthless we can be.”
In the two sides’ first meeting since 2015, Aaron Smith-Joseph gave the visitors an early scare, curling a shot wide, but it was Whitstable who took the lead in the seventh minute when John Ufuah dribbled past three defenders before his blocked shot rebounded to Aaron Millbank who played it across goal where Spencer fired in from six yards out.
Spencer almost doubled the away side’s lead when his soaring header cannoned off the upright but the hosts equalised just before the break when Felix turned in Smith-Joseph’s low cross into the box, sliding in between two defenders at close range.
Burgess Hill began the second-half on the front foot, and their pressure eventually paid off when they moved in front on the hour-mark. A cleared corner was steered back into the mixer by Junior Baker, finding an unmarked Bennett, who powered a header past Dan Eason.
The Hillians extended their advantage soon after, when Whitstable allowed a corner to bounce across their box before being forced over by Mfula.
Another quick break saw Mfula shoot wide before Michael Wilson’s lob sailed over the bar but Whistable pegged back in the 89th minute with Gillies finding the net after an attempted clearing header was collected by the midfielder who slotted his effort home.
Wormull was ecstatic to break a poor run of form. He said: “I know the group of players, I know the talent we have. It’s been frustrating but we’re five games in and sometimes teams take a little bit of time to gel so we’re only going to get stronger.”
After Tuesday night’s Velocity Trophy match, Burgess Hill are not set to play until the 5th October where they take on Phoenix Sports.
Burgess Hill Town: Bromage, Bennett, Robinson (Vendrells 61’), Baker, Matthews, Wilson, Palmer, Harding (Briggs 71’), Felix (Short 83’), Mfula, Smith-Joseph. Unused: Alcock, Webster.