Billingshurst fall just short of finding winner in Seaford Town draw
Billingshurst picked up a 2-2 draw at home to Seaford Town, falling just short of grabbing a deserved winner after a sterling second-half display.
The hosts twice had to come from behind to level a Callum Connor brace as Callum Nash first halved the deficit in the SCFL Division One clash from the penalty spot, before Sam Bull netted a fine leveller in a second half dominated by Hurst.
It took just 11 minutes for the breakthrough. Seaford’s early pressure paid off as Billinghurst cheaply gave the ball away in midfield and the impressive Callum Edwards' ball across the box found Connor and he finished well.
This spurred a slow starting Billingshurst into life and Nash latched onto a back-pass and beat goalkeeper Mike Platt to the ball and was clearly felled by the Seaford stopper.
Nash picked himself up to convert the resulting spot kick into the bottom left corner.
The lead didn't last long as on the half-hour mark another turnover in possession saw Connor ride a tackle and slot past a somewhat hesitant Lewis Blaney in the Billingshurst goal.
The hosts took control of the game in the second half as the midfield trio got closer together and it helped them carve out numerous chances.
The best coming on the hour mark when the lively Nash got away down the right and played in Nick Tilley behind the defence, but Platt got strong hands to his effort and pushed the ball away.
Tilley then fired over from a corner before they did level on 65 minutes. A quick free-kick across field found Bull on the left flank and he danced across the area and hit home a low effort.
With the re-signed Robbie Tambling and Matt Rendell marshalling the back line well, the platform to push was all Billingshursts and this was aided by Seaford’s Jayson Sowter being sent to the sin bin with 20 minutes to play.
Try as they might, 'Hurst failed to find an elusive winner and themselves had captain Tom Colbran harshly sent to the bin for what was a case of frustration rather than dissent.
In the dying moments, Seaford's George Olulode was sent off after picking up a second yellow card.
Assistant manager Dave Gellatly said: "As is a slightly worrying pattern with us of late, we started poorly in the first half and didn't fully get into the game until after the break - which is something we have to address.
"Having said that, we dominated the second half and were unlucky not to have gone on to win it.
"There were a lot of pleasing performances after the break and we were happy with the desire, effort and commitment the lads show.
"For us now, it is about putting a 90-minute performance together as we have shown in spells that we can match anyone in this league."
Tuesday night saw Billingshurst spring a shock in the Sussex Senior Cup.
Hurst beat division-above Newhaven 3-2 at home to advance to the second round of the competition.
Billingshurst travel to Division One leaders Midhurst & Easebourne this Saturday.