Hurstpierpoint started the game full of confidence passing the ball nicely out from the back and created a few chances. The home side had a goal chalked off as Donkey was alleged to have pushed his marker when scoring from a corner. Minutes later he had another headed chance from a set-piece that went wide. There was little threat to the Hurst goal as the midfield battled hard, Dan Tyler in particular putting in some strong challenges.
As the half wore on Hurst started to became a little exposed as the visitors left plenty up top. This prompted Pops to switch to a more favoured 3-5-2 formation just before half time.
Second half, and again the hosts started well, settling into the formation and playing some good football. Unfortunately, the Bluedogs found themselves 1-0 down from a corner when the visitors’ 6ft 6in striker headed home from a corner.
Again though, Hurst got down to business, dominating but not really creating any clear cut chances. The hosts then found themselves 2-0 down when a hopeful long ball found their quick striker who rounded the keeper and passed the ball forward to a teammate, who was in an offside position, to tap in. The flag somehow stayed down and the goal stood.
There was still 20 odd minutes left to play and Hurst carried on where they left off; dominating possession but not having that cutting edge. All their huff and puff was finally rewarded when Hurst were awarded a penalty for handball – dispatched twice by Stefano in impressive fashion after the ref demanded a retake.
Hurst had their tails up and equalised very late on when a huge kick from goalkeeper Dean bounced and Stefano expertly lobbed the on rushing keeper. 2-2 and into extra time.
By this point Hurst were a bit tired and Bas was struggling with an achilles injury so Hurst were effectively playing with 10 men. An error meant Pops couldn’t get the youthful twins on so he opted for Martin, a goalkeeper by trade, to play outfield.
Hurst then went 3-2 down when a free-kick was not dealt with, flicked on and finished by their lively forward. 3-2 then became 4-2 when Hurst tried to force it from the back and lost possession before their sub striker drilled home.
The game ended on a sour note when Martin got sent off for an off the ball incident which saw both squads having some argy bargy. Ugly scenes to end an ugly afternoon for Hurst 2nds.