Late penalty miss denies ‘Hurst revenge against rivals Roffey

Just Biss! Ben Bissett puts Roffey ahead against Billingshurst. Photo by Steve Cobb
Just Biss! Ben Bissett puts Roffey ahead against Billingshurst. Photo by Steve Cobb
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The only Division Three game to take place on Saturday saw local rivals Billingshurst and Roffey battle out a 1-1 draw.

A tight game throughout saw Roffey’s Ben Bissett and Chris Osbourne trade second half goals within minutes of each other, and Billingshurst missed the chance to avenge a 3-0 defeat only recently when Nick Tilley’s penalty was saved by visiting keeper Aaron Jeal.

JPCT 121013 S13410876x FOOTBALL: Billingshurst v Roffey at Jubilee Field -photo by Steve Cobb

JPCT 121013 S13410876x FOOTBALL: Billingshurst v Roffey at Jubilee Field -photo by Steve Cobb

Both sides were missing a number of players, Roffey striker Damon Aston withdrawing last minute, while a number of ‘Hurst players were at a wedding, including their goalkeeper, which meant Matt Jeal was signed on last minute to play his first game in two years.

Hosts ‘Hurst had a good early chance but Paul Elliott went for precision when Darren Annis’ ball in deflected straight to him, allowing Roffey keeper Aaron Jeal to save.

Billingshurst used their five-man midfield to good effect to put pressure on the Roffey backline, while Roffey’s changed frontline were just failing to click, though Spencer and Ben Bissett, pushed upfront, missed half chances.

Hurst boss Mark Betts said: “We were disappointed to be 0-0 at half-time, we had the lion’s share of the game and considering we had a goalkeeper who hadn’t played for two years that was a massive tick. No disrespect to Roffey but one of our centre backs said it was one of the easiest 45 minutes he’d faced.”

Roffey, second in the table, were much improved as Bissett and Ross Swaine moved out wider to exploit the space, especially on the right side and it was an excellent pass in the 72nd minute from Vinnie Swaine to Bissett that led to the goal.

Robbinson, intelligently moved wide left taking defenders with him, Bissett stepped inside and after some excellent solo play got past two defenders to round the oncoming keeper to score a well deserved goal.

Roffey’s Luke McGregor struck a superb 25 yard snapshot just over, but just three minutes after the opener Billingshurst hit back. Striker Osbourne first beat Duncan Hirschfield and then did likewise to brother Duncan before finishing well under the advancing Jeal for 1-1.

Billingshurst were then awarded a penalty which Roffey boss Julian Miller felt was soft, but the usually reliable Tilley saw hi spot kick saved by Aaron Jeal.

And Roffey finished the game the stronger, Duncan Hirschfield saw a header cleared off the line with the goalkeeper beaten as it finished even.

Roffey boss Miller said: “Without taking anything away from Billingshurst it was a mediocre performance where Aaron Jeal earned us our point. In the end and possibly because of expected high standards from Bissett and Jeal, man of the match went to Spencer for a dogged display at both ends of the pitch.”

Hurst: M Jeal; Bradshaw, Proto, Simmons; Stepney, Tilley, Gravestock (Carse 65), Elliott, Thomas; Osbourne, Annis.