League Tables
Next Selection
2001-2002 1st Team season report and award nominations in full
Match Reports
1st Rate Jokes - New May 2002
Club Sponsors
Club Details
Club Forum
Football News

Match Reports

For the review of the season see the news section

For the final match report of the season see the news section


Rich City League Division Three

Saturday 13th April 2002

Hurstpierpoint 4 TSC 1

Hurst comfortably ran out winners in an entertaining game at the rec. The home side blew the visitors away with a whirlwind start, scoring 3 in the opening 15 minutes. With just 4 minutes gone Hoadey released Biggs who took his time before slotting in to the far corner. A terrific move minutes later saw Hurst go 2 up. Pitt played the ball up to Barber, he neatly laid the ball off first time to Mansell who outpaced the visiting defence before squaring to Biggs who tapped home with his right from 5 yards.

After last week’s victory and the early goals, Hurst played with confidence and scored again when a back pass left the injured keeper stranded and Barber slotted home. The visitors changed their keeper soon after to try and stop further goals being conceded. Hurst dominated all areas of the pitch, with Ant Pitt producing a stirling effort down the right hand side of midfield. Burrows released Mansell, only for his effort to be given offside, then again Mansell was harshly adjudged offside when put through by Barber. With Hurst’s regular keeper Mansell injured and looking on as he was replaced by Ground, on the morning of the match, the home side thought they had scored the fourth, only for the stand in keeper to produce a brilliant one handed save to deny Burrows. The home side felt the ball had crossed the line but the linesman did not think the same. The visitors battled and to their credit continued to try and pass their way back into the game, but it wasn’t until the 40th minute when they had their first serious effort on goal. A neat interchange of passing saw Neathey released into the box but his cross shot just flashed past the far post.

Hurst’s three goal cushion remained in tact and there should have been additions to the score sheet but they could not quite finish off the good build up play. As the half wore on the visitors came more and more into the match, as the home side sat back on their lead. It was no surprise when Neathey fired in to the top corner. This heralded TSC’s best spell of the match, and Ground produced 2 superb saves to deny TSC a second. At the other end Hurst were still creating chances and they finally got their reward late on when Mansell was again released, this time he evaded the offside trap, and as he had done many times before in the half, unselfishly squared the ball to Barber who slotted into an empty net for his second.

Manager Lee Saunders said, "The players worked their socks off, none more than Barber, and thoroughly deserved the win. It was sweet revenge for the 10-1 defeat earlier this season, which was the lowest point of my football career. After a roll and cut the pitch allowed both teams the chance to play football and to their credit both tried and succeeded. When you have players with the quality of Mansell, Burrows, Hoadey, Pitt we should be a match for any team in this league and once again we have shown what we can produce, its just a shame we can’t get a consistent team out, who knows where we could have finished the season? Colin was a rock at the back, along with Ad and Tim; the midfield functioned as a unit with Ant, particularly in the opening period, a real threat. Every player deserves credit for the last 180 minutes of football, if we can get all the players fit this club has a hell of a lot of potential, considering we were without Stafford, Kentsley, Kempton, Tandy, Ground, Davy Mansell and Harltess"

Team: Ground, Gardiner, T Stevens (Millin 80 mins), Pitt, Hoadey, Burrows, Fogden (Upcott 65mins, Cusack 79mins) Rowe, L Mansell, Barber, Biggs

Man of the Match: Colin Gardiner

Dick of the Day: Dave Biggs

Rich City Division 3

Saturday 6th April 2002

Hurstpierpoint 5 St.Francis 2

Hurst won their first match in a month to defeat their local rivals at the rec.  The strong wind made life difficult for both teams but Hurst took full advantage of having the wind at their backs by taking a four-goal lead in to the half time break.

Considering this was a derby match the atmosphere was very subdued, maybe after last weeks highly charged match this was always going to be a more stable affair.  Neither side looked confident in the opening 20 minutes as both sides felt their way in to the game, understandable given both teams league positions. The ball pinged around in the strong wind as players found it hard to exert control.

After the initial sparing St.Francis never threatened the goal as Hurst dominated first half proceedings.   Mansell did not have a save to make and the only time the visitors came close to their opponents goal was a terrific run by Beveridge who ghosted past 4 players before Kempton put in a timely challenge.  At the other end Hurst hit the bar after a terrific turn and strike by Barber, then Biggs headed over after a great run and cross by Burrows.  As the half went on Burrows started to exert his influence and Hurst took the game by the scruff of the neck. Burrows won a tackle on the half way line and a through ball released Biggs who coolly slotted the ball past the keeper. Minutes later Hurst extended their lead when pressure won Hurst possession on the half way line; Stafford picked up the ball and used the wind to smash the ball home from 25 yards. Hurst now had their tails up and were playing with more confidence.  After a long throw Gardiner again won possession on the edge of the visitors box carried the ball forward and drilled home number 3 to the delight of the home crowd.  Stafford then scored direct from a corner to make it 4 as the pressure told.  Burrows then released Mansell and as he accelerated on the pass he toe poked the ball past the keeper who instinctively stuck out his arm to stop the ball 12 yards outside the box.  The home side screamed for a free kick but to the relief of the visitors and especially the keeper who would have been sent off if he had awarded a kick, the referee missed the incident and awarded a goal kick.

St.Francis had use of the wind in the second half and put the home side under a lot of pressure in the opening 20minutes for the second period, but the Hurst back line stood strong.  The majority of play was conducted in the Hurst half but St.Francis never really threatened the home goal until they were awarded a dubious free kick on the edge of the box, which Higham curled under the wall and in to them idle of the goal, which Mansell would have been disappointed to have let in.  The goal lifted the Saints and they scored again when Mansell spilt a left wing corner and Beveridge scored from 2 yards out. Mansell made amends for his mistake with a superb save to deny cook.

Hurst should have scored further goals in the second half, they got in to some great positions as St.Francis pushed forward, and on several occasions outnumbered their hosts but due to poor final passes and finishing it wasn’t until the Saints defence opened up to allow Biggs a free run from the half way line and he finished the match in style.

Manager Saunders was happy for once, “It was bliss to have a decent referee this week! We worked our socks off, pressed them hard especially in the final 25 minutes of each half, played the conditions perfectly and thoroughly deserved the win.  Our passing and movement off the ball was not brilliant but the players deserve credit for the way they took the game by the scruff of the neck.  The pleasing thing from a personal point of view was that I actually had a squad to pick from, rather than the previous 30 games this season where I have just had to pick the 11 fit players available.  I think I got the balance right; it is harsh on some players who have been the backbone of the team this season like Ad Rowe. There will be players who are unavailable for the remaining 2 games but it now down to them to take their chance and prove to me that they should be first choice. I still think we need one more win this season to ensure safety and we really want to stay out of the bottom 4 so we avoid any possible threat of demotion due to league restructuring, which is still a distinct possibility.”

Team: Mansell, Kempton, T Stevens, Kentsley, Gardiner, Burrows, Stafford (Rowe 80 mins), Pitt, Stafford, Pitt, Barber (Grimsley 65 mins), Mansell, Biggs (Cusack 87mins)

Man of the match:  Colin Gardiner, a close call with all players deserving credit

Dick of the Day:  Ad Rowe

Rich City Division 3

Saturday 1st April 2002

Hurstpierpoint 2 Ansty 3

Hurst were struck by a late sucker punch allowing Ansty to go above them in the table. Both sides fought a monumental battle to avoid relegation but it was Ansty who now seem to have secured their safety, whilst Hurst must in 2 of their remaining 3 games.

Ansty set about ruffing up the hosts right from the off. In the first minute Mortimer made a late and high tackle on Hurst’s keeper who needed lengthy treatment before he could carry on, although his movements were restricted for the remainder of the game. The tackle went unpunished, which unfortunately set the tone for the remaining 89 minutes in which the referee and his assistants totally lost control, making numerous strange decisions, the majority seemed to go against the hosts. The first horrendous decision was made in the 10 minute a long pass released Horscroft who outpaced Kentsley but the defender came back with an excellent tackle that toe poked the ball away. The referee from 45 yards away deemed the tackle a foul, and although the tackle was made 5 yards outside the box the referee ignored his assistant and awarded a penalty that Newton calmly converted. The decision stunned Hurst and it put hem off their stride. Things got worse for the home side on the half hour when Mansell bent down to pick up a weak 25 yard effort only for the ball to take a horrendous bobble, hit the keeper on the head and ended up in the net. Both sides lost influential players in the first 45 minutes through injury, for Ansty they lost Richardson and Chamberlin and for Hurst Fodgen.

Hurst rallied and Kentsley should have done better when unmarked at the far post but he put his header wide. Stafford saw a goal bound effort cleared of the line, then Mansell and Barber both went close in goal mouth scrambles. Hurst got a life line when a weak first time shot by Kempton was only parried by keeper Lomas into the Ansty net.

The second half saw Hurst dominate possession, with Ansty hardly ever getting in to the Hurst half let along the home sides box. A great run by Mansell saw the ball evade Kentsley by inches as the open goal beckoned, then further efforts from all Hurst’s front line players were blocked or saved. Hurst drew level in controversial circumstances on 70 minutes. Hurst were in possession on the edge of the Ansty box from a free kick, when the referee blew his whistle to allow an injured Ansty player treatment. Once play resumed the referee ordered the home side to return the ball to Ansty, which quite rightly Hurst were not happy about. As the referee dropped the ball Mansell swung his foot uncontested at the ball and it looped in to the Ansty net. He did not mean the goal and Hurst should have allowed Ansty to score straight away to even matters up but they didn’t and this did not help the volatile status of the match.

Hurst continued to have the lions share of possession but could not quite break down a resolute Ansty defence, marshalled superbly by the impressive Roy Agyei. In the final few minutes Hurst looked for the vital winner, but first Mansell missed a good opportunity, then Stevens, who had been pushed into midfield after an injury to Stafford, went through and only had to square the ball to Mansell unmarked on the 6 yard box but he chose to shoot with his right instead sending the ball past the near post. Mansell was sent clean through only for the referee to award a foul against the striker, it appeared if there was a foul it should have been the other way round. Biggs then has a glorious chance to get that vital goal but Lomas produced a brilliant point blank save. As the 57th minute of the second half ticked past, Ansty were awarded a controversial free kick and for the first time in the second half they managed to get the ball in to the Hurst box. Although Mansell managed to catch the ball, it was dislodged as he hit the hard ground, and the ball ran straight to an Ansty player who squeezed it home to send the visiting supporters into ecstasy.

Manager Saunders said,” I can’t believe we lost this match, they had 2 shots but somehow scored 3! I would never blame officials as an excuse for a poor performance but the referee and his assistants totally ruined the game, with ridiculous decision after decision, all of which seemed to go against us. The referee at one stage couldn’t even remember which way the teams were shooting, and although it is harsh to say I don’t feel he should be officiating at this or any other level. One of the assistants wanted to be involved in the game every time he had a chance, but when he did keep his flag down the referee decided to overrule him twice from 45 yards away when the assistant was much closer and never awarded either decision., first when they were awarded a free kick which he made in to a penalty then secondly when Mansell was clean through and ha gave a foul against Lee. To be fair to Ansty we should not have allowed our second goal to stand, Lee did not mean to score, but because of all the decisions the ref had made it felt like justice at the time. In hindsight we should have wiped that one off. We must win 2 of our 3 remaining games, which we are more than capable of doing but we have to play a lot better than we did today to achieve that. The scenes after the game were nothing to be proud of and we will be reporting their full back for constant threatening behaviour during the game and also for physically attacking Steve Fogden after the match as the players made their way to the changing rooms.”

Team: Mansell.D, Rowe, Stevens, Kentsley, Kempton, Stafford (70mins Millin), Pitt, Fogden (45 mins Biggs), Mansell.L, Barber, Cusack (Grimsley 60mins)

Man of the match: Lee Mansell

Dick of the Day: Davy Mansell


Rich City Division 3

Saturday 30th March 2002

Newhaven 5 Hurstpierpoint 2

Hurst gifted the home side victory courtesy of 4 individual mistakes.  They found themselves 3 down at the break, and all three goals could have been avoided.  On a nasty pitch neither side could get the ball down to play and it meant the ball being in the air a lot of the time.  Newhaven’s side contained a lot of young players and Hurst experiences wavered as the home side played the conditions better on the day by getting the ball up front early and wide to their attacking talent.

Hurst started the brighter and could have taken the lead but Mansell, Biggs and Barber were all denied in the opening 12 minutes by the keeper or the pitch! Kempton laid a simple back pass to Mansell but as he attempted to clear the ball took a bobble and his effort sliced 10 yards straight to the Newhaven forward, who shot first time but Mansell made amends with a fantastic save, unfortunately the ball rolled in front of an empty net and Newhaven took the lead.  The game was not a pretty affair and Hurst then made another blunder that gifted Newhaven their second, Newhaven’s alert striker caught Stevens in possession and calmly slipped the ball past Mansell.  Finally Newhaven put a move together and they got in behind Hurst’s defence, the ball was squared and Mahoney hit the ball on the run, Mansell made a reaction save but the ball cannoned off Pitt for on og on his return to the side. Hurst had not created any opportunities outside those first 15 minutes and the game looked dead at 3-0 down at the break.

Hurst made a couple of changes at the break and came out firing in the second half as the home side took their foot off the gas.  Mansell was looking dangerous and it was no surprise when he was clumsily upended as he toe poked the ball past the home centre half.  Bigsy stepped up and sent the keeper the wrong way.  The goal lifted Hurst and they put the home side under a bit of pressure and were scored a second penalty minutes later when again Mansell was clipped in the box and Biggs put the ball to the other side this time.  2 penalties in 10 minutes, the first Hurst have had all season!  A neat move then saw Barber release Pitt in to the box but his shot was well saved by the keeper, a turning point in the game.  Newhaven sent another long ball in to Hurst’s half and a sliced clearance by Kempton allowed the no.10 to cleverly back heel the ball in to the path of the alert striking partner and he hit the ball first time across the face of Mansell and into the far corner.  As the final whistle approached Mansell stupidly kicked out gifting the home side their own penalty, and although he saved the initial effort the rebound was put home to give Newhaven their fifth of the afternoon.

Manager Saunders felt his side had thrown away a draw, “On a pitch that made any attempt to play football impossible we shot ourselves in the foot.  If was extremely hard for either side to make any real clear cut chances on a horrendously bobbly surface, but we gifted Newhaven 4 goals without them having to work for them.  All credit we battled back in the second half and we could have earnt a point when their keeper made a fantastic save from Pitty.  But then we went to sleep again and conceded another sloppy goal with a moment of stupidity by Davy, where he was extremely lucky not to be sent off.  Tennant, Pitt and Millin did extremely well on their returns, especially Millin on his debut. Monday is a massive game for the club and I just hope the players put the club first when they decide what they do on Sunday.  The club has stood by a few players this season, unfortunately I have my doubts about a few and what they feel is right to do before a match of this importance.  Just hope they prove me wrong, but if they do let their team mates down they won’t be playing for me again.”

Team: Mansell, Kempton, T Stevens, Tennant (Millin 45mins), Grimsley (Cusack 45mins), Stafford, Fogden, Pitt, Barber, Mansell, Biggs (Upcott 70mins)

Man of the match:  Lee Mansell, won the first two penalties of the season!

Dick of the Day:  Davy Mansell

Rich City Division 3

Saturday 23rd March 2002

Bexhill 1 Hurstpierpoint 0

Hurst left the seaside resort pointless, but had enough chances to have won 2 games let alone one!  In a one sided first half Hurst should have been 4 or 5 clear at the break.  Both sides struggled on an extremely bobbly pitch. The home side were happy to knock long first time balls whilst the visitors did at least try and get the ball down and play.  Hurst played the whole game without a recognised goalkeeper, with outfield player Stuart Kempton having to don the gloves after first team keeper Mansell pulled out with a badly sprained ankle (courtesy of one too may late night beverages!) in the morning, and Hursts 2 other keepers were also crocked.  Hurst did not need a keeper as Kempton had nothing to do apart from pick the ball out of the net with the home sides only real worthwhile effort on goal.

Hurst created 6 good goal scoring opportunities but spurned them all, through a mixture of the post, bar, good goalkeeping, weak finishing and some unkind bobbles and lack of the ball rolling kindly.  The visitors limited the home side to long range efforts none of which were on target, but they did hit the cross bar direct from a right wing free kick, dubiously awarded for a fee kick against Dave Biggs.  Bexhill finally put the home side under some pressure in the final 10 minutes but the Hurst back line stood firm. Some how the scoreline was scoreless at the break.

The second half continued in the same manner with Hurst pressurising the home defence and again went close on several occasions.  Once again Mansell hit the bar, the keeper produced two outstanding saves and all the forwards missed simple chances. As the half wore on Hurst tried to do too much with the ball rather than put efforts on goal.  On the hour the home side had the left-winger sent off for brutally kicking out at Tostevine, a key moment in the match.  The sending off seemed to work against Hurst as they took their foot off the gas, stopped working and started to play long balls straight to the heart of the home defence.  They did get the ball into the box on numerous occasions but never looked like adding the finishing touch.  As the game looked to be heading for a goalless draw Kentsley was turned on the half way line and as the Hurst players trotted back they found themselves outnumbered at the back, the right winger played a clever chip to the far post and the unmarked forward squeezed the ball home between the post and Kempton’s legs.  Hurst were stunned and could have gone 2 down in seconds from the restart but luckily for the visitors the long-range effort cannoned off Kempton’s legs.

The home sides defence stood firm in the final 10 minutes as Hurst through the ball in to the Bexhill box, in the end the determination of Bexhill kept the ball out of the home teams box and Hurst left empty handed.

Manager Saunders felt his side deserved a win, “I can’t believe we left without 3 points, we created so many chances yet the ball seemed destined not to go in the net.  All credit to Bexhill, their desire and commitment was there and in the end that was the difference.  The turning point was the sending off, it happens time and time again in football, losing a player inspires the 10 men and the other team thinks they have already won the match and let up on the work rate, leaving it to other players to do. The result could prove crucial to both sides in the bid to survive relegation; we must win 3 of our remaining 5 matches to stand a chance.  I have said it before, the players have got us into this situation so it is now down to us to get us out of it.”

Team: Kempton, Tostevine, T Stevens, Gardiner, Kentsley, Grimsley, Hartless (Rowe 77mins), Stafford Barber (Swain 73 mins), Mansell, Biggs

Man of the match:  Mark Stafford, tireless performance

Dick of the Day:  Stu Kempton

Rich City Division 3

Ansty rangers 2 Hurstpierpoint 6

Hurst scored six times in a match for the first time under the managership of Lee Saunders to send him off for further surgery on his knee a happy 'bunny'.

The pitch was already heavy from rain during the week and then rain started about 15 minutes before kick off to make the ground worse to play a short passing game on and although Hurst started brightly and took the lead following good work down the left wing by Lee Mansell, whose cross found Mark Stafford who diverted the ball for a goal off his back, they then tried to play the ball short too much and got penned back on the defensive for much of the rest of the half. Ansty equalised during this period from a pass over the top that beat the defence  and the Ansty forward placed his shot neatly past the onrushing Dave Mansell. There were a few more scares for Hurst but Mansell saved smartly a couple of times and Hurst did create two clear chances in breakaways that required smart defending.

Manager Saunders half time rollocking of his defence for not playing to plan and bringing on the two substitutes early in the second half really worked the miracle. After a poor start by both teams, Saunders made a tactical switch when Ian Barber replaced Jay tostevine. With almost his first movement, Barber was sent chasing a long through ball  and when the goalkeeper and defender made a mess of the clearance he was left with an open goal. Ian did his best to avoid scoring but the ball hit the post and went in to put Hurst 2-1 in front. the next change from Saunders again seemed to work almost immediately Chris Stevens came on in place of the tiring Stafford, and his high cross from the left sailed over the keeper and nestled in the far corner to give Hurst a 2 goal cushion at 3-1. However, Ansty were not yet completely undone and from the kick off Pendry was given too much room to surge down the centre before he was fouled just outside the penalty area. Dave Mansell seemed to have the free kick covered but the ball shot past him and rebounded off the post for an Ansty forward to poke into the net to bring them back to 3-2. It was then Hurst's turn as straight from kick off the ball was worked out to Dave Biggs on the left, who then waltzed past a defender and tucked a neat shot into the Ansty net to put hurst 4-2 in front.

The game then settled down for a while but Hurst continued to look much the more threatening as their forwards had too much pace for the tiring Ansty Defence. Two more goals arrived first from Andy Hartless, with probably the best move of the match he produced a top quality strike over the head of the hapless keeper. finally, Lee Mansell  whose tireless running had created problems for Ansty throughout got his just reward with an easy header from a left wing cross to complete the scoring at 6-2 to Hurst and send Manager Saunders off to his operation in a good mood as Hurst moved 3 places up the table past Bexhill, Lingfield and old rivals St. Francis.

Team D. Mansell, Tostevine, T, Stevens, Gardiner, Kempton, Rowe, Hartless, Fogden, Stafford, L. Mansell, Biggs.  Substitutes Barber, C. Stevens

Man of Match Tim Stevens    Dick of Day Lee Mansell

Saturday 9th March 2002

Hurstpierpoint 2 Pease Pottage 2

Points were shared at the rec in a match that the home side should have won but in the end had to battle hard to earn a point.

Hurst used the windy conditions to their advantage in the opening period and could have been 3 or 4 up at the break, creating several good goal-scoring chances. Bigsy got the home side off to a flyer, opening the scoring on 5 minutes when a clever diagonal pass saw sent him clean through and he calmly slotted the ball past the keeper. Mansell then doubled the lead with a goal of the season contender on 15 minutes. He fought hard to win back possession on the half way line, spotted the keeper off his line and cleverly used the wind to magnificently smash the ball home from 40 yards. Pottage were under constant pressure form the Hurst frontline, with Biggs, Stafford and Mansell all going close to increasing the lead. Fogden and Grimsley were superb in winning the midfield battle. As half time approached Mansell created himself some space inside the penalty area but he fired his shot straight at the keeper. Stafford then released Biggs down the left and he beat the full back, squared the pass across the front of the goal but no one could quite get on the end of it as Lane calmly cleared the ball down the line to safety. Hurst went to sleep and the ball found its way to Hill who managed to round Mansell and slot the ball into an empty net to give the visitors hope a the break.

Hurst were now defending against a strong wind but started the second half brightly. A superb pass from Mansell released Biggs who fired a great shot on goal only to see the keeper produce a magnificent save. The visitors grew stronger as the half went on and Hurst were on the back foot more and more as they struggled to get against the strong wind. Mansell produced a sensational one handed save to deny Mills his second, and Hurst clung on to their lead as Pottage saw several half chances cleared by some great last-ditch tackles. Rowe, Kentsley and Stevens were superb at the back as the ball was now coming back regularly. On the hour Pottage levelled when Lane drilled a corner straight in to the net. Hurst rallied and Stafford sent in a superb cross, which Mansell volleyed just over the bar. Mansell, who looked lively all afternoon, chased several lost causes and won possession, giving Hurst a breather at the back. Hurst had the luxury of using 3 substitutes in the last 25 minutes, which helped them get second wind. The last 15 minutes saw Hurst hang on to a point, as the clock struck 5.05 Kemsley saw his shot from 10 yards go straight at a relieved Mansell.

Manager Saunders felt his side deserved their point, “If we could have kept the 2 goal advantage at the break I think we would have gone on to win the game. We had a great chance to go 3 up after great work by Bigsy, who was superb all afternoon, but the defender did well and then they went straight up the other end and scored. I thought we played extremely well today but am a bit disappointed with both their goals; a lack of concentration cost us on both occasions. Yet again we have matched a top of the table team, which we have done all season, it’s the games against the lower teams where we struggle. We have a massive match at Ansty next week and I just hope the players take the same attitude and level of performance into that one. Everyone played well today but Lee Mansell was superb and today showed why he was a county one player”

Team: Mansell, Kempton, Tostevine, T Stevens, Rowe, Kentsley, Grimsley (Hartless 65mins), Stafford (Barber 70 mins), Fogden, Mansell, Biggs (C Stevens 75 mins)

Man of the match: Lee Mansell, back to his best

Dick of the Day: Davy Mansell

Rich City League Division Three

Saturday 2nd March 2002

Forest 3 Hurstpierpoint 0

In an entertaining game Hurst lost their first game in 3 to a scoreline that slightly flattered the hosts. Hurst were 1-0 down at halftime but it could and should have been 3-3 at the break.

Both sides created several opportunities on a pitch that made flowing football hard to play, but Hurst were wasteful in front of goal and Mansell kept the home side out until the last kick of the first half. Forest had the best of the opening 15 minutes and twice Mansell had to be alert to save bravely at the forward’s feet. Hurst got back into the game as the first half progressed, first Barber missed a simple header 5 yards out, failing completely to make contact with the ball after a great right wing cross, then Ad Rowe somehow missed a volley from just 2 yards. Forest then hit the bar from a 25-yard effort after another defensive lapse, which Hurst suffered too many of in the first period and only some last ditch tackling and blocking kept the game goalless. Lee Mansell then sent a neat through ball through to Swain who only had the keeper to beat but saw his shot slide past the post. Both sides got into good positions but the final ball was lacking. Just as the half time break beckoned Forest took the lead when Grainger turned Rowe on the edge of the box before unleashing a low drive that Mansell could only parry into the path of the unmarked forward.

Hurst started the second half-brightly and a superb cross from Mansell found Biggs unmarked 8 yards out but his header lacked any pace or direction. The game dropped off a bit until Forest extended their lead with a neat move finished by the ever alert forward. The home side could have extended their lead further, as all the Hurst players stopped with the linesman’s flag going up only for the referee to wave play on from 30 yards away. The ball was squared in the box and twice Kempton cleared the ball off the line. The introduction of Tostevine and Stafford for the tiring Grimsley and Swain injected new hope for the visitors and they had a blatant penalty turned down when Stafford was up ended in the box. As Hurst went searching for a goal Forest wrapped things up with a third after great work down the right, the full back beat 4 players to square the ball for the unmarked forward to hammer his second of the game.

Team: Mansell, Kempton, Tim Stevens, Colin Gardiner, Chris Stevens, Ad Rowe, Lee Mansell, Dave Biggs, Sam Swain (67mins Tostevine), Richard Grimsley (76 mins Mark Stafford), Ian Barber


Rich City League Division Three

23rd February 2002

Hurst fight back

Hurstpierpoint 1 Ifield 1

Hurst fought back from a goal down to sneak an undeserved point. The home side started the game on fire and had a goal disallowed after just 8 seconds of the match. Saw Swain stormed through the visiting defence, saw his shot saved, Barber went to put the rebound in and as the ball looped off a defender Swain headed the ball home, only to be given offside. The bright start soon evaporated as Ifield took full control and it was only a series of saves by the returning Mansell that kept the score line level. 3 times Mansell saved at the feet of onrushing forwards, each time he was more than up to the task.

The home team just looked all at sea, with only the experienced players showing any sign of real fight in their first half performance. Having a strong wind behind them did not seem to help matters as neither side really put any decent flowing football together.

Ifield finally broke the deadlock 15 minutes into the second half. After a succession of corners that could not get past the near post, Collins finally got one in to the air, and the wind played havoc with the flight of the ball and it sailed straight over Mansell and it to the net. Ifield used the wind to their advantage but it was strangling the skill out of the game. Mansell then made another good save, before being substituted early in order for him to catch a flight from Gatwick. Kempton took over in goal and looked secure in the role, although he did not have a save to make!

The home side grew in strength in the final 20 minutes and they got an equalizer when Barber sent over a left wing cross that was flicked on by Swain and the ball, aided by a slight deflection, looped in to the far corner. Lee Mansell was then put clean through and with Swain unmarked at the far post he got caught in two minds and dragged the ball wide of the far post.

Manager Saunders said, “We did not play at all well but for a change we got a result. We have played much better than that and in some games have deserved a lot more than we have got, so it’s the first real bit of luck we have had this year. The older players showed the younger lads up a bit today, and it was really down to their determination that we got a result. The players we have here at the club are much better than that, lets hope its just a one off. It’s a blow to lose james burrows, yet again our injury jinks seems to have struck”

Team: Mansell (65 mins Cusack), Kempton, Rowe, T Stevens, C Stevens, Fogden, Biggs (55mins Grimsley), Swain, Mansell, Barber, Stafford

Man of the Match: Rowe, a rock

Dick of the Day: Davy Mansell

Rich City Division 3

Saturday 16th February 2002

Hurstpierpoint 4 Lingfield 1

Hurst finally broke their 2002 duck to claim a deserved 3 points at the rec. For once Hurst fielded a very similar team to that of the week before, and this was vital in such an important match.

The opening quarter saw 3 goals scored, as both teams were very open. A neat move on 7 minutes saw Barber lay off a burrows chip into the path of Swain who neatly slotted the ball home. The visitors hit straight back as Kempson dropped a straight forward catch, the ball bobbled out to Gaultiere who hammered it back into the to corner. Hurst rallied and within minutes had restored their lead when Burrows cross-found Swain totally unmarked at the far post and he had the simplest task of tapping the ball home. Hurst played some flowing football and looked dangerous every time the ball went forward, some exceptional movement off the ball by Mansell and Swain helping to create space for their teammates. Most of the danger came down the home sides right flank, and it was another overlapping run from a quickly taken Burrows free kick, that saw Kempton put in a delightful cross which Mansell headed home for his 7th of the season. The visitors had a few nice touches in the midfield but never looked threatening to the home sides defence. Mansell could have added a fourth just before the break but the home keeper denied him, then Mansell unselfishly pulled the ball square to Barber who scuffed his shot in front of an empty net. The second half saw Hurst sit back on their two gaol advantage, without a league win in 2 months the nerves started to show as the half went on. The visitors had a lot of the ball, as Hurst defended too deep and gave possession away too easily. The first half movement was not there and Kempson redeemed himself for his earlier mistake by pulling off two important saves midway through the second period, the second one a top draw effort. Hurst made a couple of changes as the players tired and they could have extended their lead but first Stafford and then Barber missed good opportunities. The home side did rap the match up as the visitors pressed forward, Burrows intercepting a square pass and releasing Biggs who calmly slotted the ball past the hapless keeper.

All round thoroughly deserved win for the home team was epitomised by their commitment and effort.

Manager Saunders felt his side deserved their win, “We played well in the first half and in the second it was just a matter of keeping our discipline, which we did but I did feel we sat back too much and lowed them to come back into the game. All the players were excellent, their attitudes spot on, Stu Kempton is back to form and his runs down the right were a constant danger, with Burrows spotting them particularly well. I actually thought we played a lot better last week against the Village when, we deserved something out of the game but that’s football! Burrow’s called nut meg was a highlight of the match for me, especially with his dance afterwards!! I have said all along we have the players here who can play football and match the topsides; it’s just a matter of them putting the effort in and applying themselves in the correct manner. We have another big game next week against Ifield, who have picked up lately and we must get a result from that one.”

Team: Kempson, Kempton, C Stevens, T Stevens, Rowe, Swain (70 mins Stafford), Fogden, Mansell, Barber (80mins Cusack) Burrows, Biggs

Man of the match: Stu Kempton, constant supply down the right wing

Dick of the Day: Kempson, butter fingers!

Rich City League Division Three

9th February 2002

Hurst suffer another league defeat

Hurstpierpoint 1 Franklands Village 2

Hurst went down to a narrow defeat and can count themselves unfortunate to take something from the match. They created twice as many opportunities as their hosts, but poor finishing and 3 goal line clearances meant they suffered their 6th home defeat of the season.

Both sides started brightly and it was Hurst who had the best of the opening 10 minutes, creating 4 goal attempts, but they could not convert any. Village on the other hand went down the other end Hurst sat too deep and allowed a free cross into their box which Gault smartly finished. Both sides tried to get the ball down on a sticky surface, but neither side was helped by some strange referring decisions that spoilt the flow of the game. Hurst tried hard to level the match and had 2 further chances to score but found themselves 2 down on the half hour, when they gave the ball away, then allowed the visitors far too much space in the midfield, the ball came to the back of the Hurst defence and unmarked runner from midfield smashed the ball home. Hurst rallied and produced their best flowing move of the match, the ball slipped through to Swain who slid the ball past the keeper only to see it cleared off the line by a last ditch tackle. A series of corners saw Village clear another effort of the line, and twice the ball looked to be heading for the net before timely interventions in the six yard box denied the Hurst players. Hurst most dangerous moments came down the right flank as Kempton got forward to support Swain at every opportunity.

Hurst rallied strongly in the second half and produced a series of attacking moves, but again their finishing could not match their creative play. The best chance fell to Mansell but his effort unmarked from 12 yards went well wide, although an alleged bobble did not help! At the other end the Village forwards looked lively, and Kempson did well to save at the feet of Gault when clean through and then Burrows cleared off the line after a free header looked to be going into the far corner. Hurst rallied again and a spectacular effort from Rowe, hanging at the back of the box from a right wing corner, was again cleared off the line. The home side finally broke their duck, when Mansell released Barber and he brilliantly smashed the ball home from 20 yards. Hurst tried to salvage a point but again the finishing let them down and they now find themselves bottom of the league after Bexhill’s win at St Francis.

Manager Saunders said, “Our make shift back four was superb and kept their lively strike force limited to a handful of chances. We had enough clear cut chances to have won the match but you have to finish them, they did and we didn’t, it’s as simple as that. We have matched all the top teams this season, but find ourselves bottom of the pile which I don’t think reflects the quality we have in the side. I think it is now crucial we win our next two fixtures to drag ourselves out if this situation. The players have got us in this position and it’s down to them to show the guts and determination to get us up the league into a position that truly reflects our potential. I think we have suffered enough injuries this year, hopefully we can now have a run with a settles team which will be vital to our league survival.”

Team: Kempson, Kempton, Rowe, Burrows, C Stevens, Fogden, Biggs, Swain (Cusack 78mins) Mansell, Grimsley, Barber

Man of the Match: Burrows

Dick of the Day: Dave Biggs

Mid Sussex Senior Cup

2nd February 2002

Hurst hit be late winner

Hurstpierpoint 1 Haywards Heath 2

Hurst were hit by a late sucker punch that knocked them out of their last cup trophy of the season. The game was played on a good pitch, considering the wet weather, and in blustery conditions. Hurst changed their formation to try and out number the visitors in midfield, and they did out number them numerically in the first 45 but this did not help as Heath dominated the midfield area.

In a strange first half Hurst were second best, yet both sides had several good opportunities to score and the 1-0 half time scoreline did not reflect the match. Heath got off to a perfect start opening the scoring within 5 minutes. They worked the ball down the left, switched play to the right and as the ball came back across goal Rowe lost his footing, leaving Elphick unmarked at the far post where he confidently curled the ball home in to the top corner. Hurst had to re shuffle the pack after 10mins when they lost Neville to a serious knee injury. Heath had further opportunities to extend their lead, Kempson twice denying the lively Scriven with close range saves, and a header from a left wing cross hitting the bar. Heath were winning every 50 50 ball, but they did look square at the back, and looked like they would gift Hurst an equalizer. Twice Mansell and once Stafford went clean through, only for them to see their shots go wide, saved or caught up by the defenders.

The second half was a totally different story, Hurst put Heath under a lot of pressure as their midfield got on top, helped by the introduction of the rhino Burrows after 60 minutes. It was no surprise when Mansell levelled on 70 minutes. He picked up a threaded pass from Burrows, cleverly dummied the ball past the centre half and smashed it past the keeper. Hurst saw three attempts cleared off the line, even Ad Rowe managed to have a header brilliantly cleared off the line! Hurst were pushing hard for a winner and twice Mansell was denied by good saves and goal line clearances. Heath also had a great chance to get back in front on 75 minutes, when slack defending saw the ball reach Scriven unmarked 12 yards out; with the goal at his mercy he amazingly fired the ball wide. Again Hurst pushed as they searched for a winner, with total panic in the visiting defence. As the game looked to be heading for extra time, Hurst allowed a cross from the left to enter reach Hatt in the box and he drilled the ball home below Kempson. Hurst tried in vain to get another equalizer but time was then against them and it is Heath who has a home tie to TSC in the quarter finals.

Manager Saunders said, “In the first half far too many players weren’t interested in playing and left it to their team mates to help each other out. Although the commitment was not there in the first half we still had 4 good opportunities to score, but then so did Heath. Their midfield bossed the first 45, even though we numerically outnumbered them. After a few strong words at half time, it was a totally different story in the second 45, the commitment was there and we did manage to put them under a substantial amount of pressure, and once again we did not quite get the rub of the green, 3 cleared off the goal line and the ball did not fall for us in the penalty area. Lee scored a good goal, and I thought there was going to be only one team who would win it after that, but we shot ourselves in the foot and conceded a poor second goal. It is frustrating going out of the cup, especially after the first 45 minutes. Heath played poorly and if we could have played a decent first 45 we could have taken a healthy lead, but our performance let us down”

Team: Kempson, Kempton, Rowe, T Stevens, Kentsley, Fogden, Biggs, Stafford (Cusack 85mins) Mansell, Barber (Burrows 60mins), Neville (10 mins C Stevens)

Man of the Match: Ian Kentsley

Dick of the Day: Mark Stafford

Rich City League Division Three

19th January 2002

Hurst let lead slip

Steyning 3 Hurstpierpoint 1

Hurstpierpoint let a half time lead slip as they went down to a Steyning second half comeback. A tight first half saw both sides have opportunities to take the lead but it was Hurst who made the initial break through. Barber was sent clean through, for once the linesman’s flag stayed down, his touch took him in to the box and although his first shot was saved the keeper could not hold on and he managed to squeeze the ball home.

Steyning should have taken the lead minutes before this when the ball was squared across the Hurst 6 yard line and with the goal at his mercy Hannah scuffed his shot to allow Kempson to hack the ball off the line. Hurst were undone again a few minutes later, a through ball put McMichael in the clear and as he went to unleash the trigger Gardiner made a magnificent tackle to stop him in his tracks. Hurst were defending resolutely, with Burrows instrumental in organising the back line, and they were battling hard to close down their opponents, their strong play forced a succession of corners, which they could not capitalise on. They did have two more chances to extend their lead before the break, but the home keeper denied Mansell before Burrows saw his long range effort sail just over the bar.

Both sides battled hard and all players were fully committed, with strong tackles flying in all over the pitch. A heavy pitch made playing football difficult but both sides tried to give a good account of themselves by playing the ball on the deck.

The second half started with a lot of possession for the home side, and just as it looked like Hurst had weathered the early storm, Kentsley was penalised for tugging the shirt of Hannah as he ran away from goal. Hurst felt hard done by as both players had hold of their shirts and the ref seemed to succumb to pressure from the home crowd. The resultant penalty sent Kempson the wrong way. The goal lifted Steyning and it was now one way traffic and Hurst struggled to get out of their half. The home side’s confidence grew and another clever pass sent Lester threw, although again he looked to have come from an offside position this time the linesman flag stayed down, he drilled the ball past the keeper at his near post. Hurst were struggling to get to grips with the increased pace, and the heavy ground seemed to be taking its toll on the visiting players, keeper Kempson was called into action 3 times in 10 minutes but each time was up to the task. Hurst finally managed to break out of their own half and Mansell had a good chance but he did not react quickly enough to Hoadeys cross and the chance went begging. Steyning sealed victory when a long ball bounced in the Hurst box, the defenders did not deal with in properly, and McMichael brilliantly sent hi overhead kick into the top corner. Upcott came on for the visitors and made an immediate impact his clever chip tipped over the bar by the alert keeper.

The final piece of action saw Matt Hoadey produce a tremendous piece of skill on the left touchline, first he shimmed left and then right, like a dancing queen, then as he went to beat the man again he dropped his shoulder and produced a great turn only to fall flat on his a*se without taking the ball with him. This amused the crowd who burst into fits of laughter, even the visiting bench found it funny at 3-1 down!

Manager Saunders said, “We had a game plan which worked perfectly in the first half, the players carried it out to perfection. Unfortunately we tired in the second and were not able to maintain the level of performance. The turning point was the penalty, I thought it was extremely harsh, both players were tugging each other. If we could have held out for a bit longer I think we would have maybe got a result out of the game. The players did very well, hopefully we can take that level of performance into the remaining games, which we need to win at least 5 of.”

Team: Paul Kempson, Kempton, Kentsley, Gardiner, Stevens, Hoadey, Burrows, Fogden, Stafford (75mins Upcott) Mansell L, Barber

Man of the Match: Colin Gardiner, solid and committed Dick of the Day: Matt Hoadey


Rich City League Division Three

Saturday 12th January 2002Hurst grab pointHurstpierpoint 0 Crowborough 0

A tight affair at the rec ended in a stalemate with both defences looking impressive as neither side really put any flowing football together. A draw was probably a fair result overall, with both sides attempting to play the ball on the ground which was good to see after certain other teams who have visited the rec this season!

Both sides took a while to settle in to the match, and it was the visitors who had the first real opportunity. Thankfully for Hurst the effort blazed over the bar. Hurst suffered a major setback in the first five minutes when their stand in keeper, Paul Kempson, was injured in a clash with the ‘borough forward. He managed to continue until the break but his movement was severely limited. However he was still able to thwart the visitors best first half effort, when he firstly denied the on rushing forward and was alert and somehow quick enough to get up and deny the forward for the second time.

Hurst started to get themselves into the match and Mansell saw a clever lob from 35 yards just pass over the top of the bar. Kempton then picked the ball up inside his own half, drove 35 yards towards the opponent’s goal and hit a thumping drive straight at the keeper. Burrows then hit a screamer that shaved the top of the cross bar. Just before the break a clever reverse pass sent Mansell clean through as the visitors defence pushed right up he ran on to the ball from inside his own half. However the linesman was quick to raise his flag and the ref had no option but to award offside, much to the annoyance of the home team. At the other end the Borough forwards looked dangerous; linking up well with clever one two passes. But the Hurst back line held strong and the teams went in level at the break.

Hurst’s keeper could not continue after the break and they had to put an outfield player in between the sticks. The second half followed a very similar pattern with both defences coming out on top. Passion was high and players worked hard to close their opponents down. Both sides had two good chances each to win the match, first Crowborough looked to have taken the advantage when Hurst lost the ball at the back, allowing Singer the chance to break down the left. He lifted the ball over the advancing keeper only to see it drift wide of the far upright. Kempton then sent a delightful cross in to the box, which Mansell headed just wide, when he should really have done better. ‘Borough then had their best opportunity when the unmarked centre back headed goal wards from a left wing corner. The ball was cleared from the goalmouth straight to the waiting forward whose drive at the back post was well saved by the stand in keeper Tennant. Burrows then sent in a free kick which Kentsley could not quite steer his header on target. As the game went in to injury time Tostevine raced through in to the box and looked to have been brought down from behind, but as Hurst screamed for a penalty the ref pointed for a goal kick.

Manager Lee Saunders said, ”I felt we contained them extremely well, our back four was superb in particular the two centre halves, they were just immense. The chances they created really came from our own doing by giving the ball away in the wrong places. We just lack a bit of conviction with out passing and need to work on our movement off the ball, which will hopefully come with a goal. A draw was probably a fair result given the lack of real chances, I was a bit worried when we lost our keeper but Simon Tennant did a fantastic job in the second period, he did not have much to do in terms of action but his talking and organisation was outstanding and he did pull off one excellent save. Every player, including the subs, gave 100% and you can’t ask for much more than that. It is great to have Colin, Chinner, Burrows and Mansell back in the team, there is so doubt that when we have our strongest 11 out we're a match for any team in the division. If we can keep a settled team for a few weeks we might put a decent run together. And we are still missing our attacking players Tandy, Swain and our top scorer Paul Ground.”

Team: Kempson (Tennant 45mins), Rowe, Kempton, Gardiner, Kentsley, Biggs, Stafford (Tostevine 65mins), Burrows (Upcott 80 mins), Fogden, Mansell, Barber

Man of the Match: Colin Gardiner

Dick of the Day: Paul Kempson


Rich City League Division Three

Saturday 29th December 2001Hurst stuffed like festive turkeysUpperBeeding 4 Hurstpierpoint 0 A poor team perfomance by Hurst saw them go down by 4 goals to nil. The match started on a pitch covered in snow, making footing extremely difficult. Hurst had the first chance to score when a neat run by Upcott saw him given offside to the furry of the visitors, when he played the ball to himself, the resultant shot saved by the home keeper and the rebound being slammed home by Barber, who playing against his former side was one of the only players to come out of the game with any respect.Beeding went straight down the other end, got in behind the Hurst defence, the deep cross was palmed away by Charman straight on to the head of Dodd who headed into an empty net. Apart from a few long range efforts, which Charman dealt with comfortably the match did nottake off. As the half wore on Upper Beeding became stronger and stronger, which forced Hurst to change their tactics from 4-4-2 to 3-5-2 at the break.The tactical change did not work as Beeding increased their lead minutes into the second half when the ball was worked out to the unmarked left winger who placed the ball past Charman. Hurst again felt agrieved as they should have had a free kick for a foul on Tim Stevens in the build up to the goal. Minutes later the game was all over as Charman caught the ball from a corner, went to launch an ealry throw but only succedded in dropping the ball at the feet of Beeding forward who tapped the ball home. Hursts heads dropped and it was only a matter of time before the scoreline increased, this time a neat moved was well finished to give the centre forward his second of the match. Charman then kept the scoreline down as the visitors went to pieces.Hurst manager saunders commented,'it was a very poor performance, with the team we had out I had hoped for a point, but the way we played, espeically in the second half meant we weren't ever going to achieve that. We have a very tough month ahead with games against Village, haywards heath, steyning and pease pottage, I just pray we can get some players back for those matches."Team: Charman, Kempton, Rowe, Stevens, Tennant, Neville (MacDonald 70mins), Fogden, Cusack, Biggs, Upcott (60 mins Schooly), BarberMan of the match: Ian BarberDick of the day:Matt CharmanNOBR

Rich City League Division Three

Saturday 22nd December 2001Hurstpierpoint 0 Newhaven 0A dour match at the rec ended goaless, with neither side really deserving three points. Hurst tried to play football whereas the visitors relied on hard work and the long ball to earn a point.Hurst decimated by injuries gave a debut to new signing Ian Barber, but he never really received any service to make any impact. The football was slow, with Newhaven who were also missing several first team regulars, giving the hosts no time or space to play. The only real opportunities in the first period came when the full backs overlapped, especially down the left, on a couple of occasions to get in behind a resolute Newhaven defence. Sam Swain had the best chance of the first half, but he fired his effort back across the goal and past the upright. Greg Upcott then had an opportunity, put through by Hoadey, but he chose to shot rather than attack the space in front of him. A nice run by Bigsy saw him thread a lovely ball through to Barber who saw his effort well blocked. Newhavens only real effort in the first 45 was a free header from a right wing corner that was put over the bar.The second half followed a very similar pattern to the first with both sides fighting hard. Hurst created a couple of chances that should have opened the scoring but they squandered the good build up play. At the other end Hurst looked secure but they had to rely on Davy Mansell, who was quickly off his line to smartly smother two Newhaven attempts. Newhaven relied on the long ball up field and their only chances came as a result of defensive lapses. A terrific run by Biggs saw him skin two defenders but he saw his shot come back of the upright. Minute’s later Hoadey missed the sitter of the season. Put through by Biggs, he calmly rounded the keeper and as he went to put the ball in to an empty net from 12 yards he managed to fire the ball over the bar. Upcott was put clean through only for a controversial offside to be given against him. Right at the death Ad Rowe had an opportunity to win the match but his first effort was blocked and the second saw him slow to react.Manager Saunders said,”We would have liked to have won the match, although we will take a point. We look solid at the back but are really missing the attacking influence of the players currently injured, and now we can add Sam to that list! We never really tested their keeper but we did have 4 or 5 excellent opportunities to win the match. Saying that we had to rely on Davy to save as twice when defensive lapses gifted Newhaven their only real scoring opportunities. We need to pick up as many points as we can over the Xmas period, then hope we can get some of our players fit for the New Year.”Team: Mansell, Stevens, Rowe, Kentsley, Kempton, Biggs, Hoadey, Swain (Schooly 60mins) Fogden, Upcott, BarberNOBR

Sussex Intermediate Cup Round Three

15th December 2001

Hurstpierpoint 0 East Grinstead Town Reserves 2

Hurst were edged out in a close affair at the rec. Neither side really established themselves in a game where clear cut chances were few and far between. A tense opening saw both sides struggle to pass the ball with any momentum, and Hurst's game plan was severely disrupted when they lost Hartless as early as the 15th minute to a serious knee injury. Minutes later the visitors took a lucky lead when a left wing crossed sailed over the head of the deputizing Kempson in the Hurst net. That was the only real effort the visitors had in the first half, bar two other mis hit long range crosses that both nearly crept in! Hurst should have been level at the break, both forwards missing a couple of good chances from early crosses, and the visiting keeper producing a couple of good saves. The ball did not quite run for the home side, if it had they could have found themselves a couple of goals to the good. Hurst started sluggishly after the break and it needed a smart save from Kempson to deny the visitors a second. Hurst had plenty of possession in the second period but found it hard to break the visitors down. The home side did have two or three chances to break through but their first touch or lack of pace let them down at the last moment. At the other end the home defence did well to control a dangerous looking visiting front line, although their were two scary moments when it looked like Town might get a second only to be denied by the alert Kempson. Hurst took their foot of the gas and seemed to lack any really urgency. With minutes to go Hurst were desperately looking for that equalizer, but the home full back got caught on the ball, the forward squared it to the unmarked walker to fire home and secure the tie on a 4th round visit to either Uckfield or St Francis. Manager Lee Saunders said, “I honestly can’t believe the injuries this club has had in the past 9 months. You expect to pick up a few here and there but we have now suffered 11 serious injuries, nearly all of them at home. I feel very sorry for Andy, he loves playing the game and now looks as though he has strained his medial ligament which will keep him out for a few months. The club wished him a speedy recovery. The loss of Andy severely disrupted our game plan, we missed his passing especially in the second half. We never really got going, and the tempo of our football was now where near good enough to break down a well organized side. We did not pass the ball well enough and ran into too many blind alleys. Their first was a fluke and our full back gifted them their second at the death. Neither side looked very impressive and the match could have gone either way. It’s a shame to go out of a cup, especially when we had a good chance to go all the way, but league survival is our main priority and players know that they need to improve if we are to get ourselves out of trouble.” Team: Kempson, Rowe (Cusack 62mins), T Stevens, Gardiner, Tostevine, Kempton, Hartless (Mansell 15mins), Fogden, Neville (Basnett 80mins), Biggs, Upcott Man of the Match: Colin Gardiner Dick of the Day: Jay Tostevine NOBR

Hurst  2  Uckfield  0

Rich City Division 3 8th December.

Hurst Kept up their good record against a poor Uckfield side and should have won by many more than the 2 goals.

Hurst started with Paul 'Kempo' Kempson 2nd team manager in goal because of a mix up about Dave Mansells whereabouts. The long injury list also meant that the only recognised striker was Greg Upcott starting and making only his second appearance for the first team. Also, Colin Gardiner (friend of Andy Hartless) debuted as a central defender.

In a generally poor first half the main talking points were the sending off of one Uckfield player and as to whether their number 7 should have also seen red for a dreadful tackle on Andy Hartless after previously flattening Jay Tostevin. There was just one moment of note when an Uckfield cross was met in the box with a scuffed effort and a hurst defender hoofed the ball off the line with Kempo floundering. Hurst could only summon some routine saves for the Uckfield keeper.

In the second half Hurst started to push the ball around more meaningfully and finally a great through ball from Hartless saw Upcot race away and his shot screwed off a defender into the net to give Hurst the lead. After that Hurst created enough chances to have won 3 games, with Tostevin the main culprit (But good running to get the positions Jay). Three times in one on one's with the keeper he managed to miss the target or hit the keeper. Hurst finally got the cushion of a second goal courtesy of the referee who ruled the goalkeeper picked up a back pass, when most thought the defender had miskicked. Then instead of ordering the kick to be taken fromwhere the 'offence took place the ref chose a spot on the edge of the penalty area. Hurst's debuting Gardiner stepped up to blast the ball through the Uckfield wall and past the unsighted keeper.

After that the game went pretty dead as Uckfield gave up any hopes they might have had and Hurst settled for what they had. The real bonus was the confident and commanding performance of Colin Gardiner who also lasted the game well considering he hasn't played regularily for about 2 years. It goes to show that just once in a while "I know a friend who can play" does pay off.

 Team: P. Kempson, A. Rowe, I. Kentsley, C. Gardiner, T. Stevens, J. Tostevin(A. Cusack 80min), A. Hartless, S. Fogden, S. Kempton, G. Upcot(g. Neville 75min), D. Biggs

Mid Sussex Senior Cup Saturday 24th November

Hurstpierpoint 4 Cowfold 1 Hurst came behind for the third cup match this season, highlighting the inconsistency of their performances this year. Another poor opening 45 minutes saw the home side fall behind to a 10th minute effort, Spooner taking advantage of some hesitancy in the home defence. A long ball was played deep into the Hurst penalty area, Charman came but the header from Kempton sailed over his head and allowed Spooner to put the ball into an empty net. Cowfold then had two good chances to extend their lead, but Charman was well positioned to deny the visitors. Hurst could not find any rhythm and played at a very slow pace, making it easy for the visitors. They managed to draw themselves level just before the break when Burrows got up well from a Neville corner, headed the ball across goal and Mansell bravely nodded home from 5 yards. Hurst played at a much quicker tempo in the second period, keeping the ball much better and they found themselves in front on the hour when a rasping 25 yard bullet from Mansell found its way in to the top corner, giving the keeper no chance. Cowfold worked hard but their lack of fitness really told as the second half wore on and in the end that was the main difference. Substitute Upcott neatly finished a well-worked move and he could have added another but his touch just let him down. Mansell completed his hat tick in the 85th minute, turning in a low cross from Tim Stevens who worked himself in to a good position down the left. More bad news on the injury front, Burrows has pulled a hamstring and could be out for a month, while Lee Mansell has gone over on his ankle, which looks bad as well. The scoreline flattered the hosts and Cowfold take a lot from the match. Manager Saunders said, We made hard work of it again, especially in the first half. Playing against a big side we knocked long balls instead of playing the ball to feet. But credit to the players for having the confidence to knock the balls round in the second half. I knew if we did that we would be ok, and in the end it proved so. I think we have Haywards Heath in the next round, and we can t give them a goal head start that s for sure! . Team: Charman, Kentsley, Kempton, Cusack (Brooks 65 mins), Fogden, Rowe, Stevens, Swain (Tennant 80mins), Burrows (Upcott 65mins), Mansell, Neville Man of the match: Lee Mansell, superb hat trick Dick of the Day: Charman NOBR

Division Three Cup First Round

17th November 2001 Upper Beeding 3 Hurstpierpoint 2 Battling Hurst give themselves too much to do Hurst took on a powerful Upper Beeding side on their own patch, and despite the result out fought and out played the hosts for the final 60 minutes. Unfortunately for the visitors, individual first half errors left themselves with just too big a mountain to climb in the second half. Hurst yet again had to shuffle the pack due to even more injuries picked up the week before. A tight affair saw both sides fully committed, but it took Hurst a full 45 minutes to get to grips with their passing on an uneven surface. By the time they had found their feet Hurst were starring down the barrel, trailing 3-0 at half time, with the hosts scoring with each of their 3 attempts on goal. The first saw an uncharacteristic mistake by Stevens, miskicking to allow Barber to coolly grab his first. As Hurst reeled from the mistake they battled hard but did not create too much going forward. The hosts extended their lead, with a set piece. An out swinging corner was aimed to Gary Sauter at the far post and as he rose he powerfully headed home past the stranded Charman. Strong protests from the Hurst players fell on deaf ears as it was evident Sauter had been climbing all over Kentsley, even the hosts could not believe the goal stood! Hurst finally found some rhythm, and Tandy started to get in behind the back five, but the build up could not quite be finished. As half time approached Hurst looked to re group but they gifted Beeding another goal, Kentsley bringing down Barber after a long diagonal pass. Barber got up, dusted himself down and sent Charman the wrong way. Hurst came out with all guns blazing in the second period, similar to the last few weeks. Hartless and Fogden were instrumental in the middle of the park, winning every ball, some they even had no right to win, and playing their way out of trouble. The whole team found their feet, knocking the ball round with control and purpose. They played the ball quicker and played more football in their opponent s territory, pressing and pressurising the hosts at every opportunity. They got themselves back into the match on the hour when a neat through ball saw Hoadey clean through in the six yard box, somehow he missed but fortunately the ball came out to Swain who fired the rebound home. Fogden then missed an identical chance to close the gap further, but they weren t to be denied, in the 76th minute a clever through ball from Hartless released Biggs who neatly rounded the keeper. Hurst had chances to level and take the game in to extra time but the finishing and luck deserted them in the final minutes. Manager Saunders, Although we lost the game I was very pleased with the way we played, especially in the first half. We had to shuffle the pack to overcome injuries and we also made a couple of tactical changes to combat their physical and aerial threat. Only one team was in the match and that was us. We made 2 mistakes which were punished by a very good forward in Barber, and the second was a blatant foul. The players can take pride in the way they performed for each other. Ian Kentsley was superb on his comeback game, Kempton was outstanding, the best player on the pitch, and Hartless and Fogden worked tirelessly. If we can put in a few more of these performances for a full 90 minutes then we will be ok this season and could even lift one of the remaining cups we are in, injuries prevailing!!!! Team: Charman, Tostevin, T Stevens, Kentsley (Rowe 82 mins), Fogden, Kempton, Hartless, Tandy, Swain (Cusack 73 mins), Biggs, Hoadey Man of the Match: Stu Kempton Dick of the Day: Ad Rowe NOBR

Sussex Intermediate Cup Round Two 10th November 2001

Hurstpierpoint 3 The Royal Sovereign 1 Hurst fight back! Hurst fought back from a goal down for the second cup match running to put themselves in to the third round. Overall Hurst deserved the win; although the first 30 minutes gave the home side a few scares after an average opening. As the game wore on the hosts imposed themselves and kept their opponents at arm length. Hurst started slowly whilst the visitors looked confident, as you would expect from a team who have won all 8 matches this season. Both sides conceded possession far too often in the opening exchanges, as the game failed to find any rhythm. Hurst did manage to create a couple of half chances, with Dave Biggs cleverly twisting and turning to get in behind the right full back. The finishing did not match the build up play and Royal Sovereign capitalised by counter attacking and opened the scoring with a well-taken goal. The ball was played down the left, Hurst invited a free cross to go in to their box and the Sovereign forward got in front of the Hurst back line to tuck the ball home. The goal stunned Hurst and the visitors had their most sustained period of pressure in the match, but the home defence held strong. Grounds pace and Bigsy s/Swain s skill was causing the visiting defence problems, but the chances they created went begging, with Hartless seeing his close range effort brilliantly turned away by the visiting keeper. Hurst finally got themselves level on the half hour, Rowe s long ball completely missed by the centre half and the returning Hoadey sprinted on and slipped the ball past the advancing keeper. Hurst then took control of the remainder of the game, although they did have a scare when a right wing cross sailed across the Hurst box and struck the upright as Mansell lost the ball in the sun. The game was all square at the break, but Hurst upped the tempo in the second half with a much better team performance. They took the lead on 50 minutes when Hoadey smashed a spectacular second from 30 yards. As Ground looked for the third, he was thwarted by a brave save, in the process damaging his knee and he was substituted for Tandy. Hurst increased their lead on the hour. A cross shot across the goal from Swain found its way to Biggs who turned and drifted a delightful cross to the back post where Burrows rose to head his first of the season. In doing so he pulled his hamstring and would have been replaced, unfortunately Mansell could no longer continue after jarring his back whilst taking a goal kick in the first half. A re jig saw Burrows take over the keeper s cloves and Fogden come in to the middle of the park. Hurst were content to sit back and soak up the pressure, and although they gave possession away to easily, the visitors never looked likely to add to their single goal. The win was marred by injuries to James Burrows, Davy Mansell and Paul Ground, the later being a serious knee injury which could prove costly to Hursts battle against relegation. Manager Lee Saunders said, Again we started slowly and produced a better second half performance. The lads deserve credit for coming from behind, it shows a bit of character. Paul s injury looks serious and is a real blow, our best wishes go out to him and lets hope it is not as serious as it looks, for the lad himself and also it would be a disaster to lose our best player this year. I can t believe the number of injuries, and serious ones the club has experienced this season, it is unbelievable. I think we should get the priest in to rid us of the jinx, if it works for Oxford it should for us! Team: D Mansell (Fogden 75 mins), Kempton, Rowe, T Stevens, Hartless, Biggs, Burrows, C Stevens Ground (Tandy 57mins), Swain, Hoadey Man of the Match: Matt Hoadey Dick of the Day: Paul Ground NOBR

Rich City League Division Three Saturday 3rd November 2001

Ifield 0 Hurstpierpoint 3

Goal feast and away win at last! Hurstpierpoint finally won away from home for the first time in 7 months, courtesy of a tremendous second half performance that produced three goals and a clean sheet. The opening 15 minutes saw Hurst dominate proceedings with the midfield seeing plenty of possession. The home side were lucky to keep 11 of the pitch when a terrible late challenge on Burrows, saw just a yellow card produced for the number 8. Paul Ground was put clean through, but he fired wide of the goal, then Sam Swain saw his shot saved at the second attempt. Ifield started to get themselves into the game, and had their best period of the match. Hurst started to play the ball long, giving possession away easily. All the home side s attacks came down the right hand side, and they were causing problems to the visiting left flank, with players getting pulled out of position. Hurst made a couple of tactical changes to combat the progression the home side were making. The Hurst back line held firm and for all the possession the home side had in the last 20 minutes of the first half. Mansell was never seriously tested. Hurst dominated the second half, enjoying plenty of possession and playing some neat football. Incisive interpassing saw Hurst score three times, but the simple football could have led to plenty more. The industrious Hartless released Ground who looked destined to score, only for an extremely late and very dubious off side flag to pull him back. However it was not long before Dave Biggs opened the scoring on the hour, finishing a neat three man move down the left by walking the ball round the keeper and side footing (with his right foot) into an empty net. Hurst missed a couple of chances before Paul Ground set up Swain to coolly fire past the helpless keeper. Hurst wrapped up the match minutes later when Swain repaid the compliment and this time Ground scored, unmarked at the far post. Hurst should have extended the game even further but Ground, Swain, Mansell and Biggs all missed chances when through on goal. Hurst got themselves in to trouble at the other end as they tired to overcomplicate play, but Mansell was alert on two occasions to help Hurst keep their first clean sheet in 2 months. Manager Lee Saunders said, The first half was disappointing, the players did not carry out the game plan, possibly down to confidence. All credit to them though, the played extremely well in the second half, carried out the tactics and knocked the ball round with confidence. We could have had seven or eight in the end, but it is also nice to keep a clean sheet. Hopefully this will kick start our season and push us up the league. Team: D Mansell, Tostevine Kempton, Rowe, T Stevens, Hartless, Biggs (L Mansell 76mins), Burrows, C Stevens (Fogden 70 mins), Ground, Swain Man of the Match: Andy Hartless Dick of the Day: James Burrows NOBR

Rich City League Division Three Saturday 27th October 2001

Hurstpierpoint FC 1 Upper Beeding 1

Points Shared at the Rec Hurstpierpoint produced a stirring second half fight back to earn their first league point for 2 months and end a 7 match losing streak. The home side could have won the match but both sides were happy with a draw. Hurstpierpoint started brightly and Hartless released Paul Ground who cross shot was palmed away at full stretch, earning Hurst their first of a succession of early corners. Upper Beeding, containing several ex county one players, weathered the early storm and scored with their first attack. Stables beat Biggs with pace and whipped in a low cross that field-michael smashed past the helpless Mansell. The visitors were spurred on by the opener and took the game by the scruff of the neck. Hurst looked tired and lethargic, playing at walking pace. They stood off their opponents, allowing the visitors far too much room and giving possession away cheaply. Only a succession of great saves by Mansell, who started his first game for 5 weeks, the woodwork and poor finishing kept the scoreline to 1-0 at half time. Something of a minor miracle. Hurst came out after a half time dressing down and produced a much better second half performance, playing quicker and sharper football, allowing them to get in behind their opponents. The game turned after 55 minutes when sub Barber was sent off for a late tackle on Biggs. It was late, but it was his and the games first bad challenge and did not warrant a red card. This gave the home side spirit and they put the visitors under the first real sustained pressure. Just after the hour Paul Ground picked up a loose ball and fired a weak shot, which somehow squirmed under the keeper s body to put Hurst level. The game looked there for the taking but the three experienced visiting centre halves swallowed up every long ball Hurst played, making the game look very simple. At the other end the visitors could have snatched all three points when stables won another free header from a diagonal cross, a repeating story throughout the match, only for the header to be cleared off the line. Then an identical header saw field-michael miss a sitter as the ball came across goal. Hurst had a couple of chances to win the match but the finishing lacked any real conviction. Manager Lee Saunders said, I would settle for a point, as we were awful and totally outplayed in the first half, a complete lacklusture performance. We have not had much luck this season but I think we used what we were owed in the first 60 minutes when we could have been 5 down. The turning point was the sending off, it was a disgraceful decision, but I will take anything with the position we are in. We could have gone on to win the match but we panicked and started trying to pump balls in to their box, rather than being patient and keeping hold of the ball. I thought Tim Stevens and Dave Mansell were magnificent, it is just a shame Tim can t play regularly. We got in behind them in the second period but our final ball and crossing was lacking quality. We are improving and hopefully this will set us on a run of results. We must pick up points at Ifield next week to ensure we stay in touch with the teams above us as we have lots of cup game sin November and can t afford to drop too far behind, even with games in hand. Team: Mansell, Tostevin (Swain 70 mins), Kempton, Rowe, Stevens, Hartless, Biggs, Burrows, Powell (Stevens 52 mins), Ground, Tandy Man of the Match: Tim Stevens Dick of the Day: Chris Powell NOBR

Rich City League Division Three Saturday 20th October 2001

Hurstpierpoint 0 Forest 3

Hurst suffered yet another defeat, as Forest left with three goals and a clean sheet. If the score line had been reversed the visitors would not have complained, but again Hurst gifted goals and found it difficult to convert at the other end. Hurstpierpoint had 75% of the possession and played some lovely flowing football, especially in the second half, yet came away with nothing, a very similar story this season. The first half was a lively affair, Hurst knocking the ball around with confidence and Tuley/Walker looking dangerous up front. for Forest. Hurst s midfield dominated proceedings throughout the match, but it was Forest who took the lead when they worked the ball down the left, with Hurst allowing them too much time and space. Tuley took the return pass from Walker to lift the ball over the advancing Charman. Hurst rallied and took the game to the visitors, twice going close but crosses eluding any home player. Hurst stroked the ball around, creating a few openings but the shooting didn t match the build up play. As Hurst looked to get back in to the game they shot themselves in the foot, gifting Tuley his second with an unmarked header inside the 6-yard box for a right wing corner. The visitors then extended their lead when Charman brought down Tuley as he went away from goal, earning his second booking in 2 weeks. Walker smashed home a great penalty to give the visitors a 3 nil half time lead. Forest sat back in the second half, protecting their 3-goal lead. Hurst came close to pulling a goal back early on in the second period, twice Ground seeing chances cleared off the line. For all their effort and possession Hurst could not get the important break through they required and Forest kept them at arms length, without having to attack and extend their lead. The football played by Hurst was a joy to see, if only the first third and final third could close out the chances, the season could have told a different story. It now looks like it will be a tough and long winter, with only a cup run to take the minds off of a league struggle.

Team: Charman, Tostevin, Fogden (Neville 65mins) , Stevens, Rowe, Biggs (Tandy 75 mins), Hartless, Burrows, Kempton, Hoadey, Ground (Swain 80mins)

Man of the Match : Tim Stevens Dick of the Day: Matt Charman


Sussex Intermediate Cup 13th October 2001

Hurst 3 Woolbridge Tavern 2

Hurst slip bottom of the pile

Sussex Intermediate Cup First Round 13th October 2001

Snipers turn up at Hurst!!!! Hurstpierpoint 3 Woolbridge Tavern 2

A roller coaster affair saw Hurstpierpoint come from behind twice to progress in to the second round, recording their first victory for 6 weeks. Both sides combined to produce an entertaining affair. A fairly even first half saw the visitors go in with a slim advantage at the break. Both sides started slowly, allowing each other a lot of time and space on the ball. The grass was extremely long, making passing quite difficult in the opening period. On 15 minutes a mix up between Charman and Stevens allowed McInchely to slide the ball into an empty net from an acute angle. The goal kick started the match, with the visitors going close twice, both times denied by the alert Charman. Minutes later a long ball was put over the home defence to McInchely, Charman came racing off his line only to see the ball stick in the long grass as he tried to hack the ball clear, taking down the forward with him. Calls for his dismissal (mainly from the home bench!!!!!!) were waved away and he escaped with a caution. Hurst started to get back in the game and both Swain and Ground missed good chances to level when put through. Hurst were finally rewarded 10 minutes before the break when a neat diagonal ball was played deep into the visitors box, Swain took up a nice position and headed the ball square for Ground to thump the ball home into an empty net. Just when it looked like Hurst would take advantage, poor defending allowed Tavern to regain the lead. The ball was worked out from the back, played down the left and as the cross came in Brehm got in front of Tostevin to fire past Charman. Not for the first time this season Hurst found themselves down at the break after a poor first half display. The second half got under way and saw the home side dominate for the remaining 45 minutes. Hartless, Ground and Swain all missed chances to draw Hurst level, before Ground saw his header rebound against the bar. Stu Tandy was creating danger down the left and his pace twice took him past the full back, only for his cross to go inches wide of a forwards boot and then Hartless effort blocked on the line. Another run saw Tandy cross deep to the far post and Tostevin dive spectacularly full length at the far post, completely missing the ball! Hurst finally got themselves level, a square defence allowing Swain a clean run on goal, and he coolly took the ball round the advancing keeper and slipped it in to an empty net. The goal gave Hurst renewed confidence and they started to play the best football of the match, keeping holding of the ball and playing things simple, with Burrows and Hartless becoming more and more instrumental. Another cross from Tandy found its way to Ground, and his scuffed shot somehow found its way in to the net. Ground and Swains pace was causing panic in the square visiting defence, and both could have had a hat trick. Swain released Ground and he burst away from the defence, as he bore down on the visiting keeper he took aim and from no where a sniper took him our, collapsing in a heap to the immense amusement to the crowd and management! Nerves took over in the final few minutes, but tavern never really threatened in the final period and Hurst deserves their victory. Manager Saunders, back from International duty said, We played poorly in the first half and again our defending was poor. We talk about the importance of stopping giving goals away, but we did exactly that again. The players deserve a lot of credit for their effort, especially in the second half where we did much better at keeping hold of the ball. Our passing improved as the game went on, and hopefully this will give us confidence to take into the league. We still need to improve in a hell of a lot of areas, as we still struggled against a weak side and Forest will be a much stronger outfit.

Team: Charman, Tostevin, C Stevens (Rose 65mins), Rowe, Fogden, Kempton, Hartless, Burrows, Tandy, Swain, Ground

Man of the Match: Sam Swain

Dick of the Day: Paul Ground

 Best with Microsoft Internet Explorer 4 and higher Copyright © 2002 modevo