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2001-2002 1st Team season report and award nominations in full
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2001-2002 1st Team season report and award nominations in full

The 1st teams Season: Month by Month

August: Early Season Form – ‘Away day blues’
The first month could not have been any tougher, away to 3 top 4 sides, starting at Champions Elect Pease Pottage. Although we lost 4-2, we gave a good account of ourselves and played some neat football. The score line could have gone the other way but that seemed to be the case through out the remainder of the season. We picked up 3 injuries in the first match, and one before kick off, with player manager Saunders now ruled out until April.
The first point of the season was picked up at on a terrible pitch at Uckfield in our next match, it should have been three. A poor second half saw meant defeat at Crowborough, then on bank holiday Monday a depleted Hurst, through injuries and non shows from Jason Penicard and Mark Hanford, battled hard but went down to 2 late set piece goals at Franklands Village.

September: ‘Off the mark’
James Burrows returned for his first match of the season and Ja Tostevine, Lee Mansell made scoring debuts in a 5-0 home thumping of Bexhill to give the team a lift. But that was as good as the month got as poor performances at home against a depleted Haywards Heath (0-2) and Steyning (1-2) was followed by a 10-1 away stuffing from TSC, in a game where everything that could go wrong did. Already the club was struggling to cope with injuries, with 8 out on the sidelines including new recruits Mansell and Burrows, plus Pitt until April. The month finished with an unjust away defeat to derby rivals St.Francis, with the only high spot being a Ground hat trick.

October ‘Cup success’
With manager Saunders away watching England grab a last minute draw with Greece, the month started with another away defeat at Lingfield. With Rod playing well in goal the 1-0 score line could have gone the other way. A win over Woolbridge Tavern, with Sam Swain playing particularly well, in the Sussex Intermediate Cup gave Hurst a brief rest bite from the league. Jim Thompson took control for the remainder of the month as manager Saunders went in for a 2nd knee op. Forest came to the Rec and won 3-0, the score line flattered the promotion hopefuls as Hurst gave as good as they got and played some of the best football of the season. A 1-1 home draw against Upper Beeding followed, this time Hurst were lucky to pick up their 5th point of the season.

November ‘Thomo leaves as Cup matches fly’
Jim Thompson left the club to take over at Peacehaven on the back of the clubs first away win, a convincing 3-0 success at Ifield. Injuries were again hitting the team hard but for the first time they managed back to back victories with a 3-2 win over Royal Sovereign in the 2nd round of the Sussex Intermediate Cup. A tremendous second half performance could not overcome a 3-0 half time deficit at Upper Beeding (3-2) and ended the league cup challenge, but a 4-1 win over Cowfold in the Mid Sussex senior cup lifted spirits. Mansell returned from injury only to be immediately banned for the whole of December for a booking whilst playing for the Top House, meanwhile Paul Ground picked up a knee injury which rules him out of the season.

December ‘Injuries and suspensions hit hard’
A 2-0 defeat against a poor Uckfield, saw the inspirational Gardiner score on his debut. The result should have been more convincing, and was followed by a 2-0 home defeat against East Grinstead Town Reserves which saw hopes of a Sussex Intermediate Cup vanish, along with Hartless who would be ruled out for 3 months with a knee injury and Tandy for the season with a dislocated shoulder. Injuries had robbed Hurst of their entire front line and Ian Barber was signed from Upper Beeding to fill the gap. Matt Hoadey missed as open goal from 8 yards as Newhaven went away 0-0. The weather took its toll over the Xmas period as matches at Ansty and home to TSC were called off, but somehow the match at Upper Beeding went ahead, one of only 3 games to survive the snow! Hurst wished it hadn’t as their depleted side perished 4-0 in one of their worst performances of the season, sending them bottom of the league.

January ‘Team strengthening’
Only two games were possible in January but the side was strengthened with the returns of Bigsy, Mansell, Burrows, Hoadey, Gardiner, Kentlsey, Stafford plus the signing of Grimsley. The team, played well at should have seen off a spirited Crowborough but could not break the away team down as the game finished 0-0. Hurst then gave a spirited performance away at promotion hopefuls Steyning and took a deserved 1-0 half time lead, but lack of fitness told and eventually they succumbed 3-0.

February ‘Home happiness’
Hurst final cup run came to an end when a last minute goal from Haywards Heath sent them tumbling 2-1, minutes before Hurst missed a golden opportunity to take the lead after coming from a goal down. They suffered defeat to Village by the same score line a week later, having totally outplayed the visitors it was a game the home side could not believe they hadn’t won. Relegation threatened Lingfield were dispatched 4-0 as Hurst finally started to click and get things moving in the right direction. The best month of the season to date ended with another point, this time luckily against a fast improving Ifield. The returning players and experienced heads helped push Hurst up the table.

March ‘Yep more injury woe!’
Just as it seemed Hurst to be getting players fit they picked up more injuries, further knee injuries to Saunders which will keep him out until Xmas 2002 at the earliest and Hartless who missed the remainder of the season. Forest dispatched a weakened visiting team 3-0, but Hurst bounced back to take a 2-2 draw with leagues winner Pottage, having squandered a wind assisted 2-0 lead. Hurst then produced their biggest win of the season 6-2 at Ansty as Mansell tormented the home defence, although they have played much better in other games. As Hurst moved up the league safety looked assured, but somehow they lost 1-0 away to 10 men Bexhill having dominated the game they were caught as the home side scored late on with their only shot. With the other relegation threatened teams all starting to win Hurst were dragged back in to the relegation fight as they lost 5-2 to Newhaven, again a depleted side only strengthened by excellent performances from Mullin and Stafford.

April ‘safety secured with tremendous end of season run’
Easter started with a ding dong battle against relegation and derby rivals Ansty. Somehow they found themselves 2-0 up, but Hurst clawed back level, first scoring in the 56th minute of the first half and the second a very controversial equalizer from Mansell. In the 59th minute of the second half Ansty sneaked a winner to the joyful celebrations of the visiting players and supporters. After match scenes turned a bit ugly but thankfully peace prevailed! With the final 3 games extremely important in the clubs battle for survival Hurst finally had a strong squad to select from, even having the luxury to leave Chinner out of the final squad! Hurst firstly stuffed St.Francis 5-2 and took revenge on TSC winning 4-1 at home and finished the season in style by grinding out a 2-1 win at Haywards Heath, with Mansell ending the season in style with a superb 35 yard chip.

Man of Match Votes 2001-02
Colin Gardiner 50
Lee M 49
Stu Kempton 45
Jim 45
Tim 42
Hartless 30
Ad Rowe 30
Bigsy 28
Davy 27
Paul Ground 26
Ant 24
Matt Hoadey 20
Foggy 18
Ian Kentsley 18
Mark Stafford 17
Ian Barber 13
Neale Austin 11
Sam Swain 8
Chris Stevens 7
Richard Grimsley7
Stu R 6
Si Tennant 5
Tandy 4
Chris Powell 3
Ja Tostevine 3
Paul Kempson 3
Andy Cusack 2
Colin Morris 2
Matt Charman 2
Ash 1
Greg Upcott 1

Dick of the Day votes 2001-02
Davy 64
Lee S 55
Lee M 55
Jim 43
Bigsy 35
Chris Powell 34
Matt Charman 33
Matt Hoadey 33
Paul Ground 31
Ian Barber 29
Ad Rowe 26
Foggy 22
Paul Kempson 21
Ja Tostevine 15
Stu Kempton 15
Hartless 9
Ant 8
Stu R 8
Mark Stafford 7
Ash 6
Dave Basnett 5
Sam Swain 5
Andy Cusack 4
Colin Morris 4
Greg Upcott 4
Si Tennant 4
Tandy 4
Colin Gardiner 3
Tim 3
Craig Wilson 2
Darren Letchzy 2
Neale Austin 2
Gavin Neville 1
Ian McDonald 1
Jason Penicard 1
Martin Schooly 1
Raph Millin 1
Richard Grimsley1
Sonia 1
Chris Stevens 0
Ian Kentsley 0

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