Thursday 01st September 2005

Burgess Hill's winning Trophy debut
Burgess Hill Town 2-0 Sittingbourne
FA Trophy First Round
Saturday 1 November 2003
by Peter Pitts  www.sittingbournefc.co.uk

Sittingbourne were knocked out of this years FA Trophy after a lack lustre display against a Burgess Hill side hosting their first game in the competition.

Lee Browning who had just got over the flu came back into the side and Mark Beeney kept faith with the rest of the line up that had done so well against Eastleigh, Fisher and Newport, meaning that Ben Taylor was on the substitutes bench. Tom Berry is a Flu victim, whilst James Campbell played but is still getting over Flu. Kevin Fewell past a fitness inspection just before the game.

Sittingbourne started well and for twenty minutes just shaded the contest. On 17 minutes a Jon Neal shot was turned round the post by Burgess Hill’s keeper Paul Stark for a corner; a minute later Burgess Hill’s Nicky Sullivan found Julian Curnow but Fewell got down well to save.

Two minutes later a far post ball by Matt Geard found Harper lurking and he made no mistake as he headed past Fewell to put Burgess Hill into the lead.

This did not unduly bother the Brickies faithful as the Brickies had come back from a goal down last week at Newport and also in the last Trophy game at Tooting. However this time the Brickies seemed to lose heart and it was Burgess Hill who took control.

On 24 minutes Nicky Sullivan shot straight at Fewell, however on 24 minutes a good move between Paul Davies and Jon Neal ended with Neal just failing to get in his shot, then Bradley Spice was fouled just outside the area and Danny Lye’s free kick sailed narrowly over the bar.

At the other end Matt Simpson found Steve Harper inside the Brickies area but he dallied too long and the ball was whisked off his feet.

Burgess Hill had the last shout of the half when a far post corner found Ben Andrews whose header was well held by Fewell.

The second half was just 4 minutes old when the ball broke to Sullivan who crossed to an unmarked Harper. Harper then produced a marvellous shot that looped over Kevin Fewell’s head for his and Burgess Hill’s second.

Jon Neal then had a cracking shot almost straight from the restart but Stark tipped the ball over the bar. From the resulting corner Burgess Hill broke away and Sullivan sent in a shot from a tight angle that whistled across the Brickies goal.

The Brickies were now finding it hard to make an impression but on 53 minutes from a free kick Jon Neal passed inside to Paul Davies whose shot rebounded for a corner. At the other end Harper had a shot go just wide.

Sittingbourne then fell away badly and just couldn’t make headway against a strong midfield and defence. Their long balls out of defence weren’t finding players and  with Burgess Hill usually being quicker to the ball the Brickies defence was now under constant pressure.

Sittingbourne approached the last quarter of the game still not making much headway until with a minute to go Jon Neal unleashed a great  shot which was well saved by Stark but then referee Mr Biddulph blew for time and now its just the league left for the Brickies to concentrate on.

Sittingbourne: Fewell, Browning (Taylor 75 mins), Dowley, Yorath, Campbell, Ainsworth, Spice (L Smith 87mins),  D Smith, Neal, Lye (Marshall 61 mins), P Davies, Subs not used: Nicholl, Beeney