Burgess Hill Town are unbeaten in the league this season but needed a fair amount of good fortune to get past a stubborn Hastings United side. The home side are managerless and staring the possibility of Sussex League football squarely in the face but put in a fairly strong shift even if the difference in the two teams was obvious throughout on a sodden pitch and during a match when the rain fell hard.
This was my first visit to the Pilot Field, which is somewhat embarrassing given that I’ve lived in Hastings long enough now. It’s a venue that once held speedway and you still get a sense that it really wants to be an oval. The old main stand will be familiar to anyone who has attended any lower or non league ground that has yet to be modernised – wooden benches across stone, and pillars. Still, it’s fun and with a crowd of 363 the whole place was fairly noisy too. I especially liked the moment when the tannoy announced that some spectacles had been handed in – and then the home crowd inquired of the ref via the medium of chant if they were his.
Burgess Hill took the lead before the break and Hastings battled back after it. A deflected shot on 85 minutes, after the home side had had a man sent off, was the difference. Football is a cruel mistress, as Peter Cook impersonating a manager once observed.
I didn’t take many photies today. When the light was good it was raining and the camera ain’t weatherproof – when it was dry it was dark and everyone became a blur. This shot is, as you can tell, via the magic of cameraphone and shows Hastings celebrating their equaliser. Hopefully they will get more opportunities to celebrate in 2015.