Tuesday night at the TempaPurra ground presented an opportunity for two sides struggling in the Isthmian South East Division to make a statement, neither side capitalised on the occasion, instead Whitehawk and Burgess Hill Town played out a 0-0 draw which does not sound like a negative result, but it emphasises a worrying trend for both teams.
Whitehawk are the joint lowest scoring team in the league with just six goals in eight games, Burgess Hill are the second lowest with eight goals in the same number of fixtures. Both sides created chances, but they fell short in the final third with Henry Muggeridge missing a chance early in the first half and failed to convert a couple opportunities in the second half, Mo Kamara missed the best chance of the game with his free header over the bar. Burgess Hill had their fair share of chances too, Lewis Finney and Connor Tighe’s efforts on goal were frequent but Nathan Stroomsberg was in fine form.
Both Stroomsberg and Taylor Seymour perfomed very well between the sticks, an off day from either goalkeeper could have resulted in a clash full of goals but that just was not the case, it has not been so far this season and unless fortunes change for both teams, it could be the story of their season.
The attacking players in both sides will need to enhance their game if they want to progress. Javaun Splatt’s record so far this season makes for good reading having scored seven goals in 11 games for Whitehawk, the catch is that only three have come in league games. Splatt has scored four in his last three games in all competitions, including a long-range strike against East Grinstead, so continuing his form throughout the league season will be vital for the Hawks.
Burgess Hill Town have shown they are capable of leaving their lack of goals behind them, their recent 4-2 win over Ramsgate proves they can put teams to the sword, the Hillian’s just need to perform that way on a consistent basis. Michael Uwezu is their top scorer so far this season with three goals, however they have only come in his last two games, so the jury is out on whether his form is a purple patch or not.
The stalemate left The Hillian’s in 18th place, they have now gone unbeaten in successive games for the first time this season after being rooted to the bottom of the table after matchday six. Jay Lovett’s side have a kind set of fixtures over the next month, facing Sevenoaks, Lancing, Faversham Town, Whitstable Town, Hythe Town and East Grinstead Town, all of whom are in the bottom half. This run may be the most telling of their season, a series of wins could land Burgess Hill into the top half, but failing to take advantage of winnable fixtures may result in dropping back to bottom.
The Hawks are in a more favourable position of 14th, just like Burgess Hill Town they are in their best form of the season so far, picking up half of their total tally in the last two games. Ross Standen’s team have a tricky set of fixtures coming up, taking on top half sides Corinthian, Ramsgate and VCD Athletic, the latter will be their biggest test as they find themselves in 3rd place in the Isthmian South East Division so far this campaign. It is not all doom and gloom for Whitehawk in the coming weeks however, they also face Faversham Town and Phoenix Sports, both of whom sit below the Hawks with Phoenix Sport sat bottom of the league.
Both Whitehawk and Burgess Hill Town may be comforted by the fact it is still very early in the season, a lot can be made of their initial form but results can change very quickly. They will need to find the net consistently to avoid a relegation battle, the two sides have the talent to get them out of it but can they harness it week in week out?