Burgess Hill Town boss Ian Chapman has a real affinity with the FA Cup and has brought a lot of magical moments around the Green Elephants stadium.
The club take the competition very seriously with the eventual aim of bringing 1st round proper action to the town. After a win against Folkestone in the last round we were all thinking it might be our year.
Unfortunately, those pesky FA Cup draw balls threw up something very tricky indeed, a trip to Conference South Hampton and Richmond.
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Gloomy weather didn’t faze the 30 odd Hillians fans who made the short hop over the River Thames today.
The old 206 was, yet again, commandeered into action. Up the M23, around the car park (M25) and up the M3. By 2.15 pm Steve, Dan Peter and I were parked up and going through the Beveree turnstiles. Heavy rain accompanied kick off as Hill, decked in all white kicked away from the club house end.
During a very close 40 mins both teams seem to be enjoying the slick surface as the ball zipped around. It was no surprise that the hosts had more possession. Hill looked very comfortable for much of the first half until Chris Dickinson headed home an excellent cross.
In the second half Hampton stepped up the pace and Hill started to give the ball away cheaply. At one nil Ben Pope got on the end of a great move but the hosts keeper made a world class save. That was as good as it got as Hampton went on to win 3-0.
As us fans came to terms with cup misery, Ian Chapman was typically honest in his assessment. He told me ‘we got into some great areas and there is a lot of positives to work on. At one nil their keeper has made a great from Ben.
That goal on 40 mins was a killer and we gave the ball away to cheaply in the 2nd half. Hampton are decent team and deserve their victory’
On the way home in the car thoughts and discussion turned back to the grind of picking up Bostik Premier League points.
There is a sudden and pressing realisation that we need to starting turning promising performances into wins, and quickly. Perhaps a sentiment shared by the gaffer, his staff and players.
We go again!