DCSIMG

KEEPER CURSE STRIKES AGAIN

Met Police 3 Burgess Hill 0

MET POLICE certainly have the 'fluence' over Hillians as they proved yet again on Saturday by making it six wins in the six in meetings between the clubs.

But once again there was a hard luck story behind the statistics and it was the continuing goalkeeper curse that struck the visitors.

Andre Foster pulled out with 'flu on Friday and that left it too late for manager Gary Croydon to sign a replacement. The irony was that both Pat Gannon and Joe Hoare were watching but could not fill the gap because of injuries.

It meant Dave Soutar having to don the keeper's jersey but at least there was a ready-made replacement at centre half in Ryan McMillan, who had a fine match.

Soutar could not be criticised but the first two goals were soft ones and with a frontline keeper it could well have been a different story.

Hillians' bad luck did not end with the problem at No 1, however, with Foster's absence meaning fellow Southampton University student Mitchell Day also failed to make his debut. The pair were due to travel to Imber Court together.

And during the game there were more problems for the visitors, with Nick Fogden limping out of the action after only 12 minutes, Leo Day following two minutes into the second half and finally, Fogden's replacement, Phil Elkins, having to go off in the latter stages.

After a nervous start, Soutar produced a good touch over before being beaten on 25 minutes.

Out-of-sorts skipper Mark Pulling misplaced a pass in midfield and it led to James Evans trying a shot from outside the box more in hope than expectation that squirmed under Soutar's diving body.

Despite the setback, Hillians rallied late in the first half. First Lloyd Cotton headed over a good chance from McMillan's cross and then Neil Watts was through only to scoop his shot over the bar.

The loss of Day just after the break was a blow to Hillians but his replacement, Luke Gedling, soon forced a full length save from Police's veteran keeper Stuart Mackenzie.

Before that Pulling had pulled a smart save from Mackenzie.

But on 59 minutes Soutar again allowed the ball to go in under his body as Paul Barrowcliff hit a free kick through the wall.

That goal clearly damaged the visitors' confidence and they were fortunate not to concede another as Police hit the woodwork twice in four minutes.

During this time skipper Pulling along with Glen Matten were booked by referee Alison Chapman.

Understandably, Hillians travelled with defence uppermost in their mind and it was a tough afternoon for lone striker Ashley Jarvis, who got little change out of big No 4 Adrian Topping.

However, Jarvis did test the portly home keeper as Hillians rallied yet again and it was rough justice when in the last minute Adolph Amoaku completed the scoring.

Hillians: Soutar; Pulling, McMillan, Curry, Greatwich; Cotton, Fogden, L Day, Matten, Watts; Jarvis. Subs: Elkins (Fogden, 12), Gedling (Day, 47), Price (Elkins, 78). Middy Starman: Ryan McMillan, dominant performance back in the centre of defence.

 
 
 

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