Burgess Hill Town report
match report by Rupert Cane
It began as farce, and ended in tragedy. Kingstonian’s third consecutive defeat to a team in the bottom three, this time to the one languishing at the foot of the table, was played out in laughably windy conditions, and ended with a second K’s manager in six weeks leaving the post.
Perhaps this game above all will shape our memories of Dean Brennan’s brief spell at the helm. Eight of the 14 K’s who featured were brought in by the Irishman. You suspect we will not see many of them ever again. K’s led twice, but withdrew into their shells after the break - perhaps blasted into them by the strong winds - and never recovered. A 10th defeat in 11 games tells its own story.
Attacking with the wind in the first half, K’s pinned the hapless Hillians back but couldn’t convert territory or corners into goals until the 38th minute, when an intricate move gave Nathan Minhas space to pick out the bottom corner from the edge of the box.
Burgess, themselves without a win in 10, had served a warning of their intentions seconds before the opener when Rob Tolfrey saved and held a close-range shot. But our keeper was beaten five minutes after K’s went ahead. Burgess kept the ball alive after hitting the post and with the home side’s defence AWOL, Ross Murdoch had the simple task of volleying in.
But K’s did go in at half-time ahead, an absolute necessity one felt having had the wind behind them. From a corner, Dean Inman’s looping header was scrummaged over the line by James Kaloczi, who had the ball wedged between his legs. Similar drama was to follow at Twickenham later that afternoon.
At King George’s Field, Minhas shot wide with the goal gaping as K’s started the second half well, but Burgess soon gained the upper hand and Murdoch equalised from a corner.
The death knell was delivered by Tommy Wood with 10 minutes remaining. Again Burgess had breezed upfield and found plenty of gaps in the K’s rearguard. Again Tolfrey had no chance. And again K’s had lost to a relegation candidate. If it carries on like it is, the name of Kingstonian will join those battling to avoid the drop.
Subs: Lyle Della-Verde (for Shaun McAuley, 62m), Jonathan Muleba (for Delano Sam-Yorke, HT), Devonte Aransibia (for Aaron Lamont, 85m), Chace Jacquart, Josh Kyte.
Burgess Hill Town: Mitch Bromage, Boris Kipeye-Bonno, Tom Cadman, Michael Wilson, James Richmond, Cheick Toure, Farrell Ryder, Dan Beck, Tommy Wood, Ross Murdoch, Aaron Smith-Joseph.
Subs: Charlie Bennett (for Farrell Ryder, 84m), Steven Sargent, Josh Tuck, Jared Rance, Aiden Enver.
Goalscorers: Nathan Minhas (38m, 1-0), Ross Murdoch (43m, 1-1), James Kaloczi (45m, 2-1), Ross Murdoch (59m, 2-2), Tommy Wood (80m, 2-3)