Whitehawk 4-1 Burgess Hill Town
Bostik Premier League: Game 31

Whitehawk’s quest for safety took another giant leap on Tuesday night, as goals from Pinney, Muggeridge and Rodrigues saw them dispatch fellow relegation rivals Burgess Hill 4-1 at the TerraPura Ground. The Hawks, off the back of a valuable win against Potter’s Bar Town 3 days earlier, knew that another win would see them climb to just one point from safety. The Hillians on the other hand were looking to bring an end to an eight game winless streak which saw them drop to last place in the table.

The Hawks got off to the perfect start after 12 minutes, as defender Yannis Ambroisine was brought down in the area following a set piece, and referee Andy Bennett was left with the easy decision to point to the spot. Nat Pinney made no mistake, giving the Hawks the advantage in the early stages. Burgess Hill didn’t look to threaten the Hawks defence in the first half, and their lack of offensive threat was made to pay, as a ball in from John Paul Kissock was met by Pinney for his and the Hawks’ second of the game after 24 minutes. The Hawks first half onslaught continued with their third goal coming after 33 minutes, after excellent wing play from Lucas Rodrigues resulted in the ball finding captain Henry Muggeridge in the box, who finished low past keeper Josh James.

The Hawks began the second half with the wind in their sails, and further added to their tally after 51 minutes. This time it was Muggeridge who turned provider for Rodrigues, who fired past the keeper after being played through one-on-one. Burgess Hill had a consolation two minutes later, when Hawks keeper Melvin Minter was unable to keep out Aaron Smith-Joseph’s low strike. Whitehawk came within inches of a fifth goal, when Hawks youth product Rob Deda saw his free-kick crash against the crossbar. The Hillians, to their credit, continued to look for a fight back, but the solid Hawks defence were able to maintain their three goal advantage.

4-1 the fina

l score, with Hawks players and fans clearly ecstatic the gain another valuable three points. Next up they head to Harlow Town in yet another potentially fate deciding six-pointer.

Report by Finn Honeywood

Hawks: Minter, Walsh, Goode, Ovenden, Ambroisine, Christie, Rodrigues, Kissock, Pinney (Williams 79′), Muggeridge (c) (Ebuzoeme 85′), Tighe (Deda 66′)
Subs not used: Watson, Marsh-Brown

Hillians: James, Choules, Jonah, Wilson, Tuck, Richmond, Harding, Enver, Malleret (Rance 46′), Beck, Smith-Joseph (Correia 76′)

Goals: Pinney 13′ (pen), 24′, Muggeridge 33′, Rodrigues 51′ (Hawks); Beck 53′ (Hillians)

Yellow Cards: Minter, Williams (Hawks), Wilson, Choules, Richmond (Hillians)

Attendance: 301

Man of the match: Nat Pinney

Photo by JJ Waller