Frustrated Hawks denied as Burgess Hill net late equaliser

THE HAWKS saw victory snatched away as they conceded in injury time to draw 3-3 at Burgess Hill Town in the Ryman League premier division.

Tuesday, 4th October 2016, 11:22 pm
Updated Wednesday, 5th October 2016, 4:43 pm
Theo Lewis opened the scoring. Picture: Ian Hargreaves

Theo Lewis gave the visitors an early lead before the Sussex side hit back to lead 2-1 at the break.

Substitute Matt Paterson levelled the scores and Lewis looked to have won it with his second goal three minutes from time.

Burgess Hill, however, scrambled home an equaliser two minutes into stoppage-time.

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Hawks boss Lee Bradbury admitted the late blow was a hard one to take.

He said: ‘It was disappointing to get our noses in front late on and not come away with the win.

‘To concede so late in the game is very frustrating.

‘However, the draw means we stretch our unbeaten run in the league to nine games.

‘We are scoring goals but need to go back to keeping clean sheets.

‘The goals we conceded came from long balls into our box.

‘Though we cleared the initial threat we didn’t pick up enough second balls which they scored from.’

The Hawks got just the confidence boost they needed after their 7-0 FA Cup defeat to Ebbsfleet by taking a seventh-minute lead.

Rory Williams delivered the cross and Lewis rose in a crowded penalty area to get in a header which slipped through the fingers of the home goalkeeper.

The home side equalised on 19 minutes.

A deep cross and was headed back to the edge of the area where Dan Pearse sent a first-time left-footed volley into the bottom corner of the net.

The Hawks fell behind 10 minutes before the break.

Leon Redwood hoisted in a long free-kick and the ball fell to Pat Harding who stroked the ball into the net.

Matt Paterson was sent on at the start of the second half in place of Andreas Robinson as the Hawks reverted to two up front.

The striker looked dangerous and it was no surprise when he came up with an equaliser

On 70 minutes Prior knocked the ball down and Paterson was on hand to stab the ball home.

Three minutes from time Lewis grabbed his second goal as he sent a looping header into the net.

In a dramatic finish the Hawks conceded an equaliser two minutes into stoppage time with Harding scrambling the ball in.

Despite the blow Bradbury was pleased with the response from his players and praised Paterson.

He added: ‘The players showed a lot of character after their heavy FA Cup loss.

‘I couldn’t fault the work-rate and energy of my players.

‘In the second half I sent Matt Paterson on up front and that changed the game.’