Crawley narrowly beaten by Burgess Hill in even contest

Burgess Hill v Crawley. Sussex Spitfire 1
Burgess Hill v Crawley. Sussex Spitfire 1

Crawley lost their clash against promotion rivals Hill in a game whose scoreline was not a true reflection of the small difference between the two teams.

The match started at a ferocious pace with both teams trying to dominate the early minutes.

The visitors managed to maintain control of the ball forcing Crawley to defend for most of the first 20 minutes.

The tackles were vicious and the contact areas were intensely contested, it was not a game for the timid.

The visitors were first to find a chink in the armour and slipped through to score under the posts after 23 minutes with the conversion taking the extra two points.

Undeterred by this the home side started the offensive on the Burgess Hill line and after several phases of play put themselves into a scoring position but a badly judged pass allowed the visitors to change the run of play and quickly become on the attack just 20 metres from the home line.

Maximum effort from Crawley thwarted this attack but as the visitors maintained the pressure they were soon to cross the line again with just ten minutes of the half remaining.

Crawley had a few chances to register on the scoreboard before the end of the half but again it was resolute defence and miss timed passes that kept the half-time score at 0-14.

The new half continued as the first, with both sides creating opportunities only to be denied points from the fierce defence or from unforced errors.

A penalty offence by the home side allowed Burgess Hill to kick into the corner and the resulting line-out was driven over with just 20 minutes left to play.

Eager to take some points Crawley threw everything into the restart but some miscommunication and a few seconds loss of concentration gifted the visitors in the easiest score of the day with a 40 metre run to the line.

As the clock ticked away the home side looked close to scoring three times but again the pressure from the visitors in defence forced errors and slowed the advances.

Crawley’s scrum half broke from the back of a scrum and managed a 50 metres solo effort to the line breaking four tackles on the way to finally put Crawley on the score sheet.

Burgess Hill were relegated from the league above last season so were always going to be a tough side to beat.

Crawley showed they are close to gaining enough experience to earn promotion.

With one league game still left to play Crawley will finish fifth in Sussex One.

Crawley: Theobald, Mansfield, Riley, Attew, Gilliat, Gosling, Morgan-Smith, Thompson, Wilson, Evans, Patto, Lane-Miller, Wilson, Moffat, Bowen, Cockram, Gidman, Wrigley.