Burgess Hill Town Match Report

Tuesday 23 August 2011. Ryman League, Division One South.

Walton & Hersham 1 Burgess Hill Town 0.

Swans picked up their first points of the season with a win over a Burgess Hill Town side much-changed from last season, although the margin of victory should have been greater as they dominated the play, but only accepted one of several goal-scoring opportunities. By contrast the visitors hardly created an opening all evening, and the only time Gareth Williams in Swans’ goal was troubled was when making a fine block after half an hour when a Burgess Hill player got clear. James Nicholls, Sean Bradley, Reis Stanislaus and Josh Webb all came in for their first starts of the season, Ashlee Quashie, Graeme Purdy, Phil Williams and the unavailable Tommy Williams dropping out after the opening game defeat at Folkestone Invicta. The visitors were not averse to putting in some fairly vigorous challenges, and both Shaun Elliott and James Nicholls, with a knee injury, had already retired injured with an hour played. Swans should have gone ahead after just seven minutes when Bradley made a good run on the right to get in a cross and set up a great chance for Stanislaus in front of goal, but his glancing header went well wide.

What was to prove the decisive goal came after a quarter of an hour when Webb struck a free-kick from wide on the left, and the ball sailed over visiting keeper Joel Harding and into the far, top-corner. Chamal Fenelon had a good chance to make it 2-0, but after being found inside the left of the box he drove a half-volley over. The first hint of danger from the Hillians came after 25 minutes when Ollie Lockyear sent in a free-kick from the left and the ball had to be headed behind for a corner. Three minutes later Peter Martin broke through on the right, but Gareth Williams was swiftly out of Swans’ goal to make a terrific block. With a minute left to the break Nicholls went down under a hefty challenge and could not continue, Jason Pinnock coming on. Soon after the resumption the lively Bradley drove in a cross from the right, and the ball just passed over the far, top-corner of the visitors’ goal. A rare attack by Burgess Hill saw Jeff Okirie get past Richard Taylor on the right, but he could only find the side-netting.

Midway through the half Bradley cut inside from the right to drive in a low shot to the near-post that Hillians’ keeper Harding dealt with well. Swans’ lead was slender, but the visitors never looked like posing a real threat, although with a quarter of an hour left Martin got clear on the right to drive the ball in low, but Williams’ handling was superb as he dived to cut out the cross. That was a rare piece of action for the Swans’ keeper as his side continued to dominate the second-half, but their best two chances to double the lead came in the final five minutes. Jon Munday seemed to choose the wrong option by trying to bring the ball down instead of getting in a header from close range from Webb’s left-side corner. Fenelon then cut inside from the left to hit a stinging low shot that Harding just managed to deflect onto his far-post with an outstretched leg.

Swans’ Team: Gareth Williams, Steve Betancourt, Shaun Elliott (Louis-Rae Beadle 61’), Jon Munday, James Nicholls (Jason Pinnock 44’), Richard Taylor, Sean Bradley, Victor Kiri, Chamal Fenelon, Reis Stanislaus (Phil Williams 66’), Josh Webb. Subs. not used: Graeme Purdy, Sheikh Ceesay. Scorer: Webb (15’). Cautions: Webb, Beadle.

Burgess Hill Team: Harding, Watts, Melia (Rhodes 70’), Tregear, Olafunmishe, Eldridge, Martin, Bankhole (Owusu 65’), Okirie, Lockyear (Death 80’), Holland. Subs. not used: Saunders, McInery. Cautions: Olafunmishe, Bankhole, Owusu.