Hooper Holt Mid Sussex League - Premiership
Smallfield ( 0 ) 3 East Grinstead United ( 0 ) 1
( Murrell 50, Pearson 70,90.) ( Fielding 73. )
The final game of the season was played out in difficult circumstances with glaring sunshine and a crossfield howling gale that made a mockery of trying to play any semblance of the beautiful game, shame as the playing surface was a bonus in comparison to some of the grounds this time of year.
Both sides had chances in the opening half with Aiden Murrell finding the side netting and Ryan Pearson shooting both wide and heading over, the latter player then went the nearest just before the interval with his shot cannoning off the underside of the bar and away.
For EGU they were having a lot of the play with both Mark Burroughs and Kieran Fielding having chances but Mother Nature played her part in making any good approach work wasted by the final ball that inevitably was nullified by the conditions as the half ended all square. 0-0.
Kicking down the slope in the second half the odds were probably on the Field to get back onto the goal trail, but as stated the conditions proved to be a great leveller, but finally the homesters opened their account when Aiden Murrell on 50 mins broke down the left then cut inside to fire past the EGU keeper. 1-0 Smallfield.
The visitors far from being dismayed then came back into the game and for a brief spell pushed the Field back on the defensive with keeper Zak Rice having to work overtime in keeping the eager EGU forwards at bay, with many a hacked clearance being the order of the day.
But the Field showed their quality in holding out and then hitting the visitors on the break on 70, when ace poacher Pearson found space to slot home the second of the afternoon 2-0 Smallfield, game over, but no the visitors came back yet again when on 73 another skirmish in the homesters box led to Uniteds Keiran Fielding
finding a gap to rifle home and close the gap to a single goal. 2-1 Smallfield.
An incident in the Uniteds box led to a penalty being awarded after Pearson was felled, the latter as is his want and chief penalty taker was then to be stopped in his tracks by the very large appearance of keeper Rice who no doubt fancied himself appearing on the score sheet, but as we all know one should really leave it to the experts ( well usually ) as one can imagine the resultant kick was straight at the keeper, hence the sight of a rather abashed keeper retreating backward to his more familiar position.
If Pearson was aggrieved he didnt have to wait long for his 20th league goal of the season with Lee Waterhouse on 90 supplying the pass that the striker put away with aplomb to settle the contest. FT Smallfield 3 -1.
Smallfield as expected finished runners up just one point short of the title ( Peacehaven United ) but with a + 16 goal difference in their favour, even allowing for a dip in form in March, but controversy still remains over the outcome of an earlier match ( Old Varndarians ) when with the Field leading 3-0 an incident on the field led to the match being abandoned and the points awarded to OV. ( Please note these comments were taken from a third party ( s ). Anyway as they say its all history now!............Heres to next season.