Hailsham have to settle for point at Forest Row
Hailsham Town earned a valuable point on the road in division one of the SCFL with a 2-2 draw in an entertaining clash at Tinsley Lane.
The Stringers had the better of the early exchanges, with Luyolo Mafu shooting over from the edge of the box on 6 minutes, before Wester Young held from a 10th minute effort from the visitors. Possession ebbed and flowed, with both sides having stronger spells - Hailsham' s best chance coming when Charlie Playford fired inches wide on 23, but it was the home side who made the most of their spell of dominance in taking the lead in 33, with Kieran Jackson shooting into the far corner after a good break down the flank.
Hailsham reacted superbly, trailing for just two minutes before equalising - a well worked move from a throw finding Joey Pout in space to lash home from just inside the box. There were further chances for both sides before the interval - a Forest Row effort over, whilst the busy Mafu's flick on saw Jacob Feasey's effort held.
With Hailsham starting the second half brightly, Feasey was then hauled down 40 yards from goal, with Sammy Townsend's fine effort down the slope grazing the crossbar. On 52 he would go one better - Rhys Taylor's cross only partially dealt with, with the ball eventually coming out to Townsend to fire a low effort into the corner and put Hailsham ahead.
Four minutes later it would be the woodwork that prevented a third - Harry Hughes getting a free kick up and over the wall, but not underneath the bar. The home side then saw a good opportunity of their own, with a header tipped over by Young on the hour after good work from the impressive Ollie Monnery.
Two minutes later the scores were levelled - George Holah's pass taking a deflection on its way through to substitute Jack Leitch, who tucked the ball home from close range despite looking in an offside position. The game was now open, with both sides trading opportunities - Feasey and Townsend both close for Hailsham whilst Holah and Tom Underwood kept Young busy at the other end. Hailsham gradually began to look the more likely - a fine chance on 77 with a through ball finding Feasey in space narrowly going wide, whilst sub Sam Nelson also saw an opportunity from range.
With full time seeing the points shared, home officials were heard to remark that their team had been somewhat fortunate, but Hailsham can certainly take the positives of only their second away point of the season into next Saturday's home match against Roffey.
Stringers: Young, Guest, S Pout, J Pout (Thomsett 65), S Townsend, Grey, Hughes, Playford, Feasey (Hathaway 87), Mafu (Nelson 78), Taylor.