Hailsham men record a sixth victory from six games

Flo Pietzsch, Hailsham mens 1st XI
Flo Pietzsch, Hailsham mens 1st XI

Sussex Open League Division 1: Hailsham 1st XI 9, Brighton & Hove 3rd XI 1 - Hailsham continued their winning streak with a 9-1 goal-fest victory at home against Brighton and Hove 3s.

Both teams started eagerly, testing each other’s defences with some strong attacks, but stalemate set in as attacks were repulsed.

Goerge Cyster, Hailsham mens 1st XI

Goerge Cyster, Hailsham mens 1st XI

The first of three first-half goals went in on twenty minutes as George Cyster sliced the ball into the net from a penalty corner rebound. Brighton seemed fired up by the goal and struck the ball around the pitch searching for the equalizer, but an interception by Flo Pietzsch saw the Brighton defence caught short as the ball was passed to Alex Smith who was lingering on the 23 metre line.

With the ball, Smith ran at the keeper who ran out to meet him and cut out the attack but Smith feinted left and then ran to the right and slotted the ball into goal.

The final goal of the half started with Dan Channing running down left of the pitch before striking the ball into the D to a waiting Cyster whose shot bounced off the left post and to the stick of Tristan Pengilley who made an easy sweep into goal.

Brighton started the second half eager to get back in the game, and they started well, the ball struck under Hailsham keeper Will Parsons to get themselves on the scoresheet.

Alex Smith, Hailsham mens 1st XI

Alex Smith, Hailsham mens 1st XI

The resurgence was short lived as Smith connected with a ball at the top of the Brighton D, his shot on goal seemingly hit through the keeper to put Hailsham 4-1 ahead.

The Hailsham defence of Lee Humber, Mark Lambert and Josh Headey were kept busy by Brighton throughout the game, but on occasion Headey and Humber pushed up the pitch, with the home team’s fifth goal the result of Headey sweeping the ball up left of pitch and into the D to Cyster who, after two deflections off the keeper, pushed the ball over the goal line.

A well-practiced penalty corner routine then saw Humber sweep the ball to Pengilley whose deflection hit the top of the net for Hailsham’s sixth.

Cyster soon netted his third goal of the game as he drag-flicked a penalty corner into the roof of the net. Within two minutes, Hailsham added another goal, this time an aerial clearance from Dan Ivemy taken down expertly by Smith on the half-way line who dribbled the ball to the top of the D; the Brighton keeper moved out and committed to Smith, but Smith passed the ball left to Ant Hathaway, who shot the ball into the goal.

A goal for Hailsham mens 1st XI

A goal for Hailsham mens 1st XI

The final goal of the game ranks as one of Smith’s best goals of the season as he dribbled the ball around the D, teasing out the defenders who seemed powerless to stop his run, before he moved to within two metres of the baseline and striking the ball at an impossible angle into the roof of the Brighton net.

A fine victory to set the team up for next week’s top-of-table clash against South Saxons.

Sussex Boys Development League

Horsham 0, Hailsham Millers 9

Hailsham Boys’ development team continued their fine form with a 6-0 away victory at Horsham.

Despite vigorous and sustained attacks by the home team, the Hailsham defence led by Paddy Smith, held firm.

Charlie Cable proved worthy of the step-up to the team, scoring on his debut. Scorers: Ben Barden (2); Dan Ruthvan (2); Kieran Gurr (1; Charlie Cable.

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