Injury-time Thomas goal hands Hurst second win

Billingshurst V Crawley Town 11-7-14  (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-140714-122844002
Billingshurst V Crawley Town 11-7-14 (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-140714-122844002

An injury-time Lee Thomas winner was enough to seal a second consecutive win for Billingshurst, as they came away 3-2 winners against Ifield.

The win keeps Billingshurst in the top half of the Division 3 table and meant a positive result in their first home game of the season.

Ifield took the lead as a looping cross found right midfielder Nik Lecomber at the back post, and, as he headed the ball back across goal, it dipped under the crossbar and past Tom Betts.

Hurst equalised through a well-taken Ben Brooker free kick on 20 minutes, after the same player had been fouled.

An injury to captain James Day shortly after meant a reshuffle of the Billinghurst pack before half-time.

With 15 minutes to go Ifield took the lead when the substitute Martin Harris beat the offside trap and chipped into the far corner to put the away team ahead.

Despite not being at their best, Billingshurst pushed on and two minutes left, substitute Kieran Greig jinxed past a few challenges in the box before laying off to striker Brooker, who shot home.

With Billinghurst pushing for a winner, Craig Lamper and Russell Curtis kept possession in midfield, before 16-year-old Jake Chadwick crossed an inch-perfect ball to Thomas, who brought the ball down and sweetly finished with his left foot.

Billingshurst manager Paul Cooper said: “Having won last week at Ferring, we said before the game the importance of making winning a habit.

“Although we didn’t play well today, its back to back wins – another three points and a good habit to be in.

“There is plenty still to fine tune, but you can see the confidence is building now in some of the players and with that performances rise.

“The loss of James Day midway through the first half could have really impacted the team but fair play to Kieran Greig who came on and did an excellent job with the rest of the back four.

“It’s Southwick away next week which we know will be a big test as they along with Bosham are the only teams in the division with a 100 per cent record – the next task is within this.”

Billingshurst: Betts, R.Taylor, Lovett, Lamper, Dixon, Day (Greig 30), Stepney (M.Taylor 63), Thomas, Brooker, Leslie (Curtis 63), Chadwick.