Hassocks Match Report

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And now for the match report…………

Hassocks FC 2 Steyning Town 3

After 45 minutes of sluggishly working off the excesses of Christmas day, the Barrowmen finally came good with a thrilling second-half comeback against Hassocks on boxing day.

Steyning had endured a torrid first half in which they could not get a foothold in the game, and did not register a single shot either on target or off target. In fact Southam in the Hassocks goal was pretty much a spectator.

Sloppy defending had led to Hassocks racing into a two-goal lead before the break. The first goal was after a square ball across the back four was intercepted and Benson latched on and made no mistake with a good finish later in the half town again, conceded to possession to allow Blake to double the lead, it was the least the hosts had deserved after a half where they had fought and scrapped and pressured and harried, and just looked all round hungrier to win this game. They had a solid shape and could have even scored more. To make matters worse for Town Clark lumped off after taking a knock. In a positive move he was replaced by Langford retuning after a month out with injury. Little did we know at this point what was to follow but it was certainly going to take something special for the Barrowmen to get back into this one.

No doubt there were some harsh words in the town dressing room at half-time. The coaching team made two changes, something they’ve not been afraid to do all season when needed, bringing on youth product 18-year-old Johnny Ruiz at centre back and putting a ‘returning from Uni’ Callum Chalmers up front alongside Johnson l-Fisher and Langford to make three up top as we reverted to a 433 formation, however, no one could have predicted such a stunning turnaround was about to happen. On 54 minutes, Chalmers started the comeback, pouncing on some very poor defending to finish well, suddenly, it was all Steyning as they roared forward at every opportunity. The solid looking Hassocks, side of the first half, looked shellshocked and seemed to have run out of steam. The second goal duly came as Langford cutting from the right finished well with a low shot into the bottom right hand corner from just outside the box. Southam in the Hassocks goal has taken a few knocks and needed to be replaced by outfield player Broomfield. After this it seems like only one team were going to win it. Johnson-Fisher was causing havoc down the left, as was Langford down the right. The midfield and defence were mopping up any sniffs as the blue army (away kit) attacked again and again. Dom J-F was thwarted twice, once by a very good save, and then again by a last-ditch block.

The third and winning goal ultimately came after an in swinging corner from the left by the once again impressive, Jack Barnes somehow find itself into the net of the foot of a Hassocks defender. This was justifiable reward for a quite incredible second-half display by Town The main difference appear to be more desire and hunger to win the first and second balls and Plan B seem to be going much more direct to the front three in the second half. This seemed to do the trick as the trio up top had a field day in the second half. There was still time for the hosts to have a couple of corners near the end, but Lucas in the town go after a busy first half remained almost untroubled in the second half. Barnes also went close to adding a fourth for town as he hit the bar from outside the box and Johnson-Fisher had a rasping drive tipped over the bar by the Hassocks keeper. So there it was. Another great win for the team building on recent good results which sees us remain at fourth in the table. Less said about that first half performance though!!Just about hanging on to those above us in the table. Well done everyone. Funding a way to win when the odds are against you is a lovely habit. Next up is Horsham YMCA on the 2nd of January at home. Well done everyone. A great way to round off 2023.

Steyning: Lucas Clark Hallett Robinson Da Costa Barnes Radley-Martin Howell Meehan Johnson -Fisher Downer Subs used Langford Ruiz Bradley Chalmers Geal

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