Well, at last, we took the spoils after a terrible run of form not helped by inactivity due to the fixture list and the weather.
It was a brilliant performance with two of our four goals being considered for goals of the month! All this with us being reduced to ten men when our debutant goalkeeper was sent off when he was adjudged to have committed handball outside the penalty area after an innocuous ball forward.
But before all that, we need to mention the very late registrations of 3 new players that took place on Friday evening. We welcomed Jaan Stanley from Raynes Park Vale who is an attacking midfielder but played as our number nine today. Our goalkeeper, Toby Mckimm who has joined on loan from Leatherhead, George Owusu joins us from Sutton Common Rovers and finally Alex Penfold who rejoined us from Roffey after a very impressive batch of games for them.
Back to the match, we started well and pegged the home team back for the opening 15 minutes and it was no surprise that we went ahead in the 21st minute after a corner from Ryan Smith finally ended up at the feet of Oli Thompson who was on hand to pass the ball into the corner of the net for his first goal for the club. Then came the red card to Toby McKimm, Toby was adjudged to have handled the ball outside of his box after a miscommunication at the back. Up step Nick ‘Tricky’ Wilson, who left his right back berth to put on the gloves.
You would think that this would put the home team into the ascendency but very shortly afterwards, Athan Smith-Joseph put on the ‘after burners’ and left Hailsham defenders in his wake and struck a ferocious shot that gave the Hailsham keeper no chance – it was a great strike and Athan ran to our vice-chairman in the stand to show his thanks to the support he has given him in recent weeks.
Half-time, 2-0. No changes to personnel at half time.
Hailsham weren’t going down without a fight and in the 93rd minute scored their second after a great strike from Luca Bish gave stand-in goalkeeper Nick Wilson no chance. But there was no time left for Hailsham to launch a comeback as we ran out of 4-2 winners.
It was a great win and leaves us in 3rd place, yet again we do not have a game next Saturday due to the fixture list. But we start a run of three consecutive home fixtures on Wednesday 22nd February against Arundel, we then host East Preston on Saturday 25th February before seeing out the month with a local Derby against Dorking Wanderers ‘B’ on Tuesday 28th February.