Hassocks kept up their run of excellent performances maintaining their 100% league record with an comprehensive 8-0 victory against Milford and Witley.
Hassocks started slowly and Milford had two early chances. A shot in the 2nd minute had to be blocked and shortly afterwards, Milford were awarded a free kick just outside the penalty area which was hit over the bar. Milford continued to enjoy a spell of possession before Hassocks got into their stride.
In the 9th minute, Billie Philpott was through on goal when she was tackled in the penalty area resulting in a corner. Claire Stevens headed the corner goalwards and Philpott reacted the quickest to head into the net from close range for the opening goal. Amazingly, with all the goals she has scored, this was her first ever headed goal.
In the 17th minute, Hassocks increased their lead. A superb pass by Kelly Rushworth found Billie Philpott whose shot was well saved, but Philpott again reacted quickly and crossed for Kirsten Mair to slot home the second. Hassocks were now well on top and the Milford keeper had to make several good saves. Another effort by Billie Philpott left the keeper helpless but her shot from a tight angle hit both bar and post before bouncing clear.
Milford responded and had another effort with a shot over the bar before Hassocks were awarded a penalty in the 36th minute for a foul on Billie Philpott. Kelly Rushworth calmly found the corner of the net to make the score 3-0. Tallie Bright, who had been industrious on the wing, then displayed great energy by making an excellent defensive tackle. Hassocks had one more chance in the first half with Liz King shooting just wide, before the half ended with the score 3-0. Although Milford started well, the half belonged to Hassocks who ended it well on top.
In contrast to their slow start in the first half, Hassocks started the second half much better and in the 47th minute, Tallie Bright scored the fourth goal with an unstoppable lob from a Billie Philpott pass. Milford briefly threatened and Sam Newman had to make timely interception, conceding a corner. Hassocks reasserted their authority and another effort from Tallie Bright was blocked on the line with the keeper saving the follow-up effort, before Billie Philpott scored her second and Hassocks’s fifth in the 58th minute.
Substitute Lucy Reeder was brought on in the 60th minute for her first appearance since rejoining the club and Hassocks nearly increased their lead with a Gemma Craig header needing to be saved. In the 63rd minute, Liz King, who had linked well in midfield with Gemma Craig and Kirsten Mair, nearly produced the moment of the game with a stunning volley which looked bound for the net before the keeper produced a magnificent save, tipping the ball over the bar.
Jodie Johanson, who had made many good runs on the right hand side and linked well with the front players, was substituted in the 66th minute, allowing Banna Haines to be brought on. Two minutes later, Claire Stevens headed a corner over the bar. In the 75th minute, Kirsten Mair scored the sixth following a neat passing move between Banna Haines, Billie Philpott and Tallie Bright. Philpott had another effort narrowly over the bar. Milford had a rare attack producing a goalmouth scramble in which Claire Stevens had to make a vital block. Hassocks returned to the attack and from a Gemma Craig pass, substitute Hollie Larmar shot into the side netting from a tight angle.
Hassocks scored their seventh from another header by Billie Philpott in the 84th minute following an excellently worked short corner. Like buses, you wait for ages for a Philpott headed goal and then two come along at once! Hassocks were not finished and Kelly Rushworth scored the eighth with a direct free kick hit high into the net giving the keeper, who had made many excellent saves, no chance.
Despite their slightly below par start to the match, Hassocks were good value for the 8-0 victory. The Milford keeper had to make several excellent saves and could not be faulted for any of the goals. For Hassocks, the midfield and forwards always looked dangerous and the defence rarely looked in trouble. Chloe John was her normal tenacious self making many vital interceptions and Claire Stevens and Sam Newman ensured that Milford were restricted to very few chances. Keeper Sarah Chappell only had one moment of concern, a difficult cross which she dealt with calmly. Hassocks can now look forward to a break in league action with next week’s League Cup semi-final against Premier League Saltdean.