Bowman on the Road: Luck deserts Hillians at Staines Town

Many highly-rated football pundits have often observed that luck seems to be in short supply to those who need it most.

Part of the Hillian massive glued to the action
Part of the Hillian massive glued to the action

During what was a pulsating and on occasion exhilarating second half at the Wheatsheaf (Staines Town) those thoughts held sway for Ian Chapman and his upbeat team.

A trip to Staines Town is starting to become a real favourite amongst Hillians' connections.

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Over the past two seasons we have enjoyed two stunning games of football in superb surroundings. In the 2015/16 season Hill snatched a two draw in the last min and in 2016/17 Lee Harding produced a world class goal to seal victory.

Very impressive grandstand at the Wheatsheaf

The latest game didn't disappoint. Even from the warm up session all Hillian players seem to be enjoying what looked a carpet of a pitch and appeared to be in the mood.

Decked out in red they started very brightly with Pat Harding, Tony Garrod and Lee Harding all linking well up top. However it was, a now familiar pattern, of the opposition scoring a soft goal putting Ian on the back foot. On 16 minutes James Richmond made a customary robust challenge in the box.

Unfortunately instead of the ball flying to safety it rolled neatly to Buchanan who made no mistake from four yards. On 25 mins Staines made it two nil when Bettamer tapped in a right wing cross. At that point the Hillians massive were fearing the worst.

The second half was all Red as Hill battered Staines with wave after wave of attack.

Match action James Richmond gets stuck in with big Al looking on

Debutant Connor Tighe had a full bloodied drive cannon off the bar on 51 mins.

On 53 mins, in one of the most intense goal mouth scrambles I have ever seen, Staines blocked on the line no less than three times. Then Staines hit their own cross bar with a volleyed clearance. On 60 mins man of the match Tony Garood came the closest to scoring when his fierce cross shot was saved by the studs of the out stretched keeper. Then on 65 mins Staines again had men on the line when two Hill headers looked goal bound. During a 30 min spell Hillians could and perhaps should have brought the game back to parity.

However it all came to nothing on 80 mins when on a rare break down the other end Joey Taylor had no luck when a clearance rebounded into his own net three nil. Tighe did mark his debut with a goal very late on but for the dozen Sussex fans, Ian and his team we were left scratching heads and wondering 'what if'?

A spell binding afternoon at the Wheatsheaf where both teams produced a fantastic advert for the Bostik Premier League. For £10 entrance entertainment values were off the scale for home, away and neutrals amongst the 225 strong crowd. As if chairman Kevin and manager Ian need any encouragement the Hillians have got to be operating at this level come August 2018. Anything less would be a disaster!

We are now four points adrift but have the comfort of four home games on the spin. Lady luck will probably desert us again over the coming games so the team will have to win on their own merit. We start with Dorking Wanderers on Tuesday evening. Perhaps a must win you feel.