With a 5-0 scoreline against Oakwood, Hassocks chalked up another impressive victory to maintain their 100% winning record in the league.
Following the pattern of recent matches, the game started fairly evenly. Kelly Rushworth, Katherine Chappell and Tallie Bright were involved in an early exchange of passes before skipper Sam Newman had to make a good interception to thwart an Oakwood attack. In the 13th minute, a superb pass by Kirsten Mair found Tallie Bright whose cross was hit just wide by Katherine Chappell. Oakwood then won a free kick which was headed clear by Claire Stevens.
In the 19th minute Hassocks had a goal disallowed for offside but Oakwood’s relief was short lived as Hassocks took the lead in the 26th minute. A Tallie Bright pass and lay-off found Katherine Chappell whose excellent shot from outside the area found the top corner, giving the keeper no chance. This started a period of dominance by Hassocks. Two minutes later, Billie Philpott scored Hassocks’s second and after another three minutes, a Kirsten Mair shot found the net to give Hassocks a 3-0 lead. Three goals in little more than five minutes took the wind out of Oakwood’s sails, although they rallied slightly as a shot went over the bar and then Sarah Chappell had to be alert to claim a cross.
Hassocks were now well on top and it was good to see Gemma Craig slotting neatly back into the midfield forming an excellent partnership with Katherine Chappell and Kirsten Mair. Hassocks nearly increased their lead when from a free kick, a Kelly Rushworth effort was cleared off the line. Rushworth then had another effort over the bar. Defender Emma Young made one of her trademark forceful interception in the 44th minute and provided a through ball which was just out of Kelly Rushworth’s reach, and so the first half ended at 3-0.
Hassocks continued on top in the early minutes of the second half. A shot from Billie Philpott went narrowly wide, but Hassocks were not to be denied and in the 50th minute, Kelly Rushworth found Kirsten Mair whose cross was met by Billie Philpott to score Hassocks’s fourth and her second. Two minutes later, the lead was nearly increased as Philpott intercepted an attempted back pass and played in Kirsten Mair whose shot was just over the bar. Hassocks then won a corner but Claire Stevens’s attempted headed ended with two players colliding.
Jodie Johanson was brought on and immediately Katherine Chappell had a shot well saved with the follow-up being blocked. Oakwood then threatened briefly and Chloe John had to make an excellent interception. Oakwood continued to press briefly but two superb tackles, first by Emma Young and secondly by Chloe John averted any danger. In the 73rd minute, Rea Banitas was brought on and in the 77th minute, a Kelly Rushworth through ball was pounced on by Billie Philpott to complete her hat-trick with Hassocks’s fifth. Banna Haines was also brought on for a taste of the action and Hassocks nearly scored a sixth when Katherine Chappell crossed for Kirsten Mair who shot just over. Hassocks had one more chance when Jodie Johanson and Billie Philpott combined for Banna Haines to strike a shot against the post.
The match ended with the scoreline 5-0. This was another excellent performance to maintain the winning run. Defensively, the team looked strong with Oakwood being given little sight of goal. In the attacking sense, the team are playing with confidence and always look likely to produce something. The players can now look forward to next week’s League Cup quarter-final against Premier League side, Worthing, and they will know that they will have to maintain this level of performance if they are to succeed.