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19th October 2021

Whitehawk Fc- 0 V Burgess Hill town -0

It was a cold Tuesday night in West Sussex, and as much as the winter weather had started to kick in with rain and wind, the game showed no signs of being called off. Both teams would be hoping that this was not a case of pathetic fallacy . As the two sides prepared for the Isthmian Southeast League. Burgess Hill travelled to play Whitehawk at The Enclosed Ground (Whitehawk’s home stadium). It was a historic venue in non-league club and has been there a number of years. Three different stands, two with covers. Whitehawk has a reputation of being one of the biggest non-league clubs in Sussex.

Unfortunately, fans didn’t necessarily get the game they had bargained for as the points were shared for both sides. The game ended 0-0, a goal-less draw which didn’t benefit either side in the grand scheme of things. Based on performance, Whitehawk will be the happier out of the two sides to get a point but for Burgess Hill they will feel as though it was two points dropped rather than a point gained. The result meant that Burgess Hill went up a position in the table as they went from 20th to 19th and Whitehawk stayed the same in 18th  place, a win for either side could have been the catalyst to their seasons.

Packed out in their numbers, the attendance was 340. An impressive effort for a Tuesday night. There was no doubt it would be an intimidating place to come to for the away side. With the club having such a loyal fan base . The Whitehawk faithful were loud and proud , banging their drums and chanting from minute one to 90. The bond that the fans have is special and unique, something that you don’t always see in the higher professional leagues.

As both teams warmed up with their snoods and warm jackets, you felt as though this game could be the chance for either side to turn the tide on their season. Hawk fans will be looking at their new star man Charlie Lambert, a skilful winger who was recently acquired from national league south side Eastbourne Borough on a loan deal. The ex-Peacehaven and Telscombe player brings bags of experience and was hoping to get off the mark for the season as Whitehawk have struggled to score with just six goals in eight.

Speaking to vice chairman Kevin Miller he had only positive things to say about the club, such as the inclusion of everybody and how the club has aspirations to climb the non-league pyramid. He went on to say, “We want to build this fan base and make it better than it already is!”. The club reached the 6th tier of English football (National league south) in 2016 and the club also found themselves go on a special Fa cup run where they reached the 3rd round”.

The Whitehawk fans were a great advert for semi-professional football ,any time there was a chance to score they got their keys out and dangled them around to highlight a key chance, a light-hearted way of bringing humour to football. However, it’s not all been sunshine and rainbows for the Hawks this season after a tough start to their campaign meant they were early candidates for relegation.

A club that welcomes everyone and does not discriminate, Whitehawk promote inclusion and equality in everything they do, their main stand has a set of stairs that are painted saying ‘Love, peace, no racism, no sexism, no violence, no homophobia’. Miller said “I want to make everyone feel included at the club and everybody is welcome. This is a family community club and we don’t discriminate here”. With the ongoing battle between football and discrimination of all kinds, Whitehawk are a key example of standing against it.

The game kicked off and after a scrappy start it was Burgess Hill who looked more comfortable, getting the ball down and playing through the midfield, it showed how the quality in non-league is really on the rise. After some nice hold up play from striker Michael Uwezu, he slipped in winger Max Miller who cut in to take a shot that looked as if it was reaching the top corner. Whitehawk keeper Nathan Stroomberg-Clarke leaped up like a salmon to tip it away for a corner, a superb save.

A player that had a positive impact for Whitehawk was Henry Muggeridge, a favourite among the Whitehawk faithful. Operating in the false 9 role, dropping deep into the top of midfield to create chances for his team he was playing like a non-league Bobby Firmino. He continued to stand out throughout the game but could not seem to break the deadlock for his side. Many of his attempts  caught the eye of fans but like earlier the keeper came to the rescue.

Both sides will be able to take positives from each game but it’ll be interesting to see when both teams get their seasons off the ground. The two sides have to face each other in January 2022 where Burgess Hill host the hawks.

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May 2024