Herstmonceux dig deep to salvage a draw against Mile Oak

1st July

Herstmonceux produced a battling performance against Southern Combination opponents to secure an impressive 3-3 draw at Lime Cross on Saturday.

In almost tropical conditions, Herstmonceux made the perfect start after five minutes when Callum Holles drove a 20 yard free kick into the bottom corner to put the home team 1-0 up. This stung Mile Oak into action and almost immediately they forced the ‘ceux to clear off the line to retain their lead.

For the next 10 to 15 minutes the game was evenly poised, with the only real incident of note being Connor Middleton’s yellow card for a late challenge, but after 27 minutes TC Johnston hit the bar with an opportunist effort, and a minute later Holles was just wide of the mark as the home side piled on the pressure.

Mile Oak then had their best spell of the game, and with ‘Ceux switching off at the back they equalised on the half hour, before taking the lead three minutes later after Middleton conceded a penalty. A shell-shocked Herstmonceux were hit with a third almost immediately after, and at half time went in 1-3 down.

Manager Gaz Newton brought on Josh Sheldon and Artur Mendes in the midfield, and this injection of fresh legs began to pay off almost immediately. The home side were more competitive, and after some good work by Ade Fermin they netted, only to see it ruled out for offside.

This proved only to be a temporary setback, however, and on 63 minutes the lively Holles burst into the box and slotted home to reduce the arrears. 2-3 and everything to play for. Herstmonceux now had their tails up and TC Johnston was unlucky to see a header just wide, but reaped his reward after 73 minutes to fire home and level the scores at 3-3.

A ding-dong last 15 minutes saw Johnston hit the bar again but, despite applying constant pressure, Herstmonceux continued to be hit on the counter by Mile Oak who were looking to finish off their resilient opponents. 3-3 was the final score, but this now means that the ‘Ceux have now played Combination opponents home and away and remain undefeated.

Next Saturday the 1st team face Seaford -23’s at 1 pm, with the 2nd team taking on Seaford -18s at 3.30 in their first friendly match. Both games will be played at Lime Cross.