Billingshurst hopes lie on cup semi after fine year ends with whimper

Billingshurst’s limp towards the end of the season saw them conclude their league fixtures with a heavy 5-0 defeat away at Rottingdean Village on Bank Holiday Monday.

What has been an excellent maiden year in County League football has ended with a whimper, the final defeat coming two days after a 3-1 loss at home to Uckfield.

Hurst failed to win any of their final seven league fixtures, though they can still end the season with some silverware if they beat Southwick Reserves in their Vernon Wentworth semi on Saturday.

“I’m considering taking an advert out in the County Times asking if anyone’s seen our wheels because they’ve come off somewhat,” boss Mark Betts joked. “Our season now comes down to the cup semi so anyone with even the slightest niggle wasn’t risked for the Rottingdean game.”

Two “dreadful” defensive mistakes put the hosts two-up at the break. Hurst missed a number of good chances and Kris Pover netted a second-half hat-trick to complete the rout. Two days earlier Nick Tilley scored in a 3-1 loss to Uckfield, and the results saw Hurst finish fourth in Div. 3.

The winner of Saturday’s semi will play Clymping in the final, though Betts added: “The way we’re playing right now it’s far from a certainty.”