Hollington beat Willingdon by odd goal in five

Hollington United kick-started their Mid Sussex League premier division season at the second time of asking, collecting a deserved three points at home to Willingdon Athletic.

Jordan Harley
Jordan Harley

With the management team back in the dugout where they belong It was the hosts who drew first blood with a helping hand from the Willingdon keeper. Jordan Harley’s speculative cross/shot evaded his grasp and rather comically finding its way into the back of the net.

Their joy however was shortlived as Willingdon equalised courtesy of a pearler of a free kick from 25 yards. The Lions squandered some promising opportunities on the break but the lead was restored on the stroke of half-time. After some tenacious work down the left flank the ball was squared to Harley at the back post, who set himself and ruthlessly hammered it home for his second of the afternoon.

Schoolboy defending from a Willingdon corner early in the second half saw Hollington pegged back again, a free header at the back post was met unopposed by the Willingdon No7 to gleefully stroke home.

Hollington responded well creating several chances and with talisman Dan Tewkebury growing into the game it was his spectacular effort that proved to be the winner. Receiving the ball just inside the opposition half Tewks drove towards the box beating a defender before unleashing a rasping 20-yard drive that flew into the top left corner, made even more aesthetically pleasing after kissing the post.

Manager Asher Grindle said: "It feels like a weight has been lifted from our shoulders and we have a platform to build upon. We produced a very measured and disciplined performance and welcoming back quality players in Dan Tewkesbury and Andy Corrigan, who was different class, made the difference.

"We were deserving of the three points and are disappointed to concede two soft goals, the foul leading to the free kick was senseless and it’s those kinds of mistakes that we need to cut out. With some fine tuning we will be a problem for any side in this league and I'm excited for the season ahead with a tremendous group of lads."