Lambkin shines for Billingshurst but can’t prevent a narrow home defeat

Billingshurst boss Mark Betts said his side’s failure to adjust to the poor conditions cost them in a defeat to Uckfield.

Still in a close game ‘Hurst had a number of chances, not least in the dying moments after Chris Osbourne had pulled it back to 2-1 to give them hope.

JPCT 270114 Billingshurst v Uckfield at Jubilee Fields. Photo by Derek Martin

JPCT 270114 Billingshurst v Uckfield at Jubilee Fields. Photo by Derek Martin

Betts said: “It was as close as the scoreline suggested and we did well to get the game on because the pitch was interesting. We started well but then they seemed to get to grips with the conditions better then us. I said before hand this is not the surface to play football on but by the time they cottoned on to what I’d said we were already up against it.”

Availabilities meant Phil Awcock, a new signing from Loxwood, was thrown straight in. It was from his conceded free kick that the visitors took the lead, Tom Swancott nipping in ahead of everyone to turn a drilled delivery home.

The hosts had first half chances, Darren Annis shooting weekly at the goalkeeper and Osbourne with a volley from 25 yards well saved.

Uckfield doubled their lead just after the hour when Aaron Singh followed up after ‘Hurst ‘keeper Tom Betts initial save.

With ten minutes remaining Osbourne pulled one back, but the striker then missed an easier chance to level, lashing over the bar, and Lambkin also headed just off target.

“I have to give a special mention to Ollie Lambkin who was dominant in defence, he didn’t deserve to be on the losing side,” Betts added.

Hurst: Betts; Simmons, Lambkin, Awcock; Stepney (Barr 65), Tilley, J Saunders (Proto 75), Gravestock, Morey; Osbourne, Annis (O Saunders 70).