Hassocks failed to create many real chances and Mole Valley, as well as demonstrating some determined defending, also created some chances of their own and a draw was probably a fair result overall.
In a sluggish start to the game, Chloe John had to make an early interception after the ball had been given away. After 10 minutes, Billie Philpott shot just wide as the keeper narrowed the angle following a long through ball by Sam Newman. In the 14th minute, Liz King tried another through ball but the keeper was quickly out of her goal to gather the ball.
Claire Stevens then had to make two interceptions as Mole Valley threatened, and as they continued to exert some pressure, Sarah Chappell had to make a great save from a direct free kick hit well towards the corner of the net. Mole Valley gained another free kick after the resultant corner and Claire Stevens had to be alert to head the ball away.
In the 21st minute, Liz King had a shot saved and then headed the resultant corner narrowly wide. Mole Valley responded and Emma Young had to make one of her trademark saving tackles. In the 26th minute, Tallie Bright won a corner and a frantic goalmouth scramble followed but no Hassocks player could force the ball home. Towards the end of the first half, Kirsten Mair had a shot saved and from a well worked short corner, Billie Philpott could not quite get her header on target. Mole Valley had another shot wide, Gemma Craig then made an excellent clearing header from a corner and Claire Stevens had to make another tackle just before the break, ensuring that the half-time score remained goalless.
The second half started much the same as the first and the game became very scrappy for a while with neither side seeming capable of retaining the ball. Billie Philpott had a shot saved and in the 57th minute and there was another goalmouth scramble in the Mole Valley six yard box, but frustratingly, no Hassocks player could get a shot on target. Billie Philpott played a superb cross in the 68th minute which the keeper did well to clear out of danger.
Central midfielders Gemma Craig and Liz King were working tirelessly and Katherine Chappell also worked hard in a slightly unfamiliar role further forward but credit must go the the Mole Valley midfielders who matched them all the way.
Substitute Jodie Johanson was brought on in the 64th minute to play wide on the right and a second substitution was made in the 76th minute with Ria Banitas brought on and both showed some good touches going forward. However, Mole Valley, sensing that they might get something out of the game, had a good spell when firstly, Emma Young had to make another saving tackle, and then Claire Stevens having to show excellent pace and strength to thwart the attacking player who was bearing down on goal.
Another Mole Valley corner was headed away by Claire Stevens before Hassocks had one final chance to win the game when Billie Philpott managed a shot past the keeper, but which went agonisingly wide, so the game finished 0-0.
Whilst giving all due credit to Mole Valley who looked a skilful compact side who defended well and looked dangerous going forward in spells, Hassocks must be disappointed with the result and their performance. Although the one player who stood out was Claire Stevens who made several saving tackles and many clearances. Hassocks need to regroup and realise that one point is better than none, and they must now think positively ahead of the final three matches of the season.
Report by Colin Stevens