Hassocks suffered a disappointing 1-0 defeat at Parkwood, despite having the much of the possession over the ninety minutes, but without finding the cutting edge to make it pay.
Playing against a very strong wind in the first half, Hassocks had to defend well in the early minutes, Kirsten Mair and Claire Stevens both having to make good interceptions and a Parkwood corner was narrowly headed over the bar. Parkwood also had the ball in the net in the 5th minute, but the goal was ruled out for offside.
Hassocks then got more into the game and had a chance to take the lead in the 8th minute, when Katherine Chappell skilfully lobbed the keeper, but the ball went agonisingly wide. Hassocks continued on the front foot and following good work by Jess Craig, a shot by Bethany Purse, making her debut, had to be saved. Parkwood responded and skipper Sam Newman had to make a good interception. Shortly afterwards, as Parkwood pressed, firstly Ria Banitas and then Claire Stevens had to make saving tackles.
Up to this point, Hassocks were coping well against the strong wind, with defenders Sam Newman, Claire Stevens, Ria Banitas and Emma Flin having to make many interceptions and clearances, so it was a cruel blow that saw them fall behind. With no danger, a Hassocks free kick was mishit allowing Parkwood to break and although keeper Sarah Chappell got a hand to the shot, she couldn’t prevent it trickling over the line, giving Parkwood a 1-0 lead. Hassocks quickly responded and from a Claire Stevens free kick, Gemma Craig headed on, but Bethany Purse’s shot on the turn was just wide.
Claire Stevens had to make one more saving tackle in the half and keeper Sarah Chappell saved a Parkwood free kick before the half ended with Parkwood ahead 1-0. With the strong wind against them, the midfielders Jess Craig, Gemma Craig, Katherine Chappell and Tallie Bright had battled well and had a significant amount of possession. Despite the unfortunate nature of the goal, Hassocks would have thought being only one goal behind in the very strong wind was satisfactory.
At half-time, the manager brought on Rose Jump and Jodie Johanson and immediately, Hassocks threatened. A long wind assisted kick from Sarah Chappell found Bethany Purse whose shot had to be saved. Parkwood then had a great chance to increase their lead but shot wide. Hassocks then reasserted the pressure and had two corners in succession but were unable to engineer a chance on goal. With the game now end to end, Parkwood broke away and had another chance to increase their lead, this time keeper Sarah Chappell making a great block.
In the 74th minute, Parkwood looked certain to score a second when the forward rounded keeper Sarah Chappell and hit the ball goalwards. However, a second player, in an offside position, unnecessarily touched the ball into the net and was correctly flagged offside.
Hassocks kept pressing for an equaliser and Gemma Craig had a great run but her cross was cleared. Despite threatening in the closing minutes with a couple of corners, Hassocks could not create a real chance and the match ended with Parkwood the victors 1-0.
The Hassocks players will be disappointed with this result. At half-time, having restricted Parkwood to one goal, they would have expected to make use of the strong wind in the second half, but Parkwood defended well and although having plenty of possession, Hassocks had few chances to score.
By Colin Stevens