Burgess Hill Town 1-2 Whitehawk
Tuesday 3 March 2015
Sussex FA Parafix Senior Cup Semi Final
Whitehawk will face Lewes in the final of the Sussex FA Parafix Senior Cup after coming from behind to beat Burgess Hill Town at Culver Road.
Lee Harding put the Hillians, who sit top of the table in the Ryman South with an unbeaten record, ahead after sixteen minutes.
However, Danny Mills drew Steve King’s Whitehawk level before half time, before Jake Robinson fired in what proved to be the winner eight minutes from time to book the Hawks’ place in the final on May 16.
Steve King said after the win: “After getting off to the worst possible start, I thought we largely controlled the game. You could see that Burgess Hill are a side who are willing to do everything to win, and then have a fantastic coach who has got them in really good shape.
“I didn’t feel too threatened by them in the second half, obviously Craig (Ross) made that great save in the first half, but apart from the end when they threw everything forward, I felt we were in control.
“It is one step at a time, and it is nice to get to a final where the pitch will suit us and we can play our style of football. I felt we did more than enough to win the game, but massive credit to them who are a fantastic side and I feel they have won their league already.”
In an even opening to the contest, Joe Keehan headed straight at Craig Ross for the Hillians with the game’s first effort on goal, before Osei Sankofa headed over from a Whitehawk corner.
However, it was the Hillians who broke the deadlock after a defensive error by the Hawks. Tom Cadmore failed in his attempts to shield a ball back to Ross, who had called for the ball, and Lee Harding nipped in to take the ball around the helpless keeper and put the ball into the unguarded net sixteen minutes in.
Ian Chapman’s side continued to threaten when they broke forward, with Ross producing an excellent save to turn Keehan’s bullet header over the bar from twelve yards.
Jake Robinson saw a deflected volley fizz over the bar as the Hawks looked for a response. Nick Arnold forced Josh James to turn the ball over, with Cadmore going close with a low header from the resulting corner.
The Hawks’ threat going forward eventually paid dividends when Lee Hills fired a low ball into the area which found Danny Mills, who fired a good low effort that gave James no chance to find the far corner.
Steve King’s men then went searching for a second, with Mills seeing his header from a corner deflected narrowly wide before the break.
David Ijaha fired just past the post when the ball fell to him inside the area as Whitehawk started the second half on the front foot.
In the second period it was Burgess Hill who came close after 73 minutes when Keehan rose well at the far post to head a corner back across goal to O’Toole, but he could only head over from point blank range.
Mills continued to be a threat in the Burgess Hill area, with a slight deflection on his glancing header taking the ball wide of the far post as he met Sam Deering’s inswinging cross with less than fifteen minutes remaining.
Ross then denied Pat Harding with a smart save at his near post as both sides looked to attack, before Whitehawk went in front with just eight minutes to go. Jake Robinson got the ball into his feet, and from a tight angle, spun away from his marker and fired a low shot past James at his near post.
The Conference South side didn’t sit back however, and continued to push forward as Robinson fired just wide of the post on the edge of the area before the full-time whistle.
Hillians: James, Slaughter, Fisk, Budd © (Pearse 73), Pearson, Miles, Kirkwood, Keehan, P. Harding (Saunders 81), L. Harding, O’Toole. Subs: Martin, Tuck, Bold.
Hawks: Ross, Arnold, Hills, Ijaha, Sankofa ©, Cadmore, Kissock, Torres, Robinson, Mills (Gargan 80), Neilson (Deering 66). Subs: Guyonnet, Abdulla, Kujabi.
Shots: BHT 6-9 WHK; On Target: BHT 4-4 WHK; Corners: BHT 3-7 WHK; Fouls Committed: BHT 12-7 WHK; Offside: BHT 3-2 WHK.
Whitehawk will now face Lewes in the Senior Cup Final on May 16 at the AMEX Stadium.
Match Report by Anthony Scott