MIDHURST fell to a Sussex League second-division defeat at Hailsham.
They went behind to their second-placed hosts in the ninth minute when Jamie Angell’s attempted clearance bounced off a Hailsham player and fell to Richardson, who poked the ball past Scott in goal.
After that, Midhurst responded with a number of good moves. In the 15th minute Ollie Pearce’s fierce free-kick was well saved by Hailsham’s keeper and Dean Platt’s well-timed pass left Pearce on his own in the Hailsham box but he failed to test the keeper.
Another sweeping move involving Angell, Rowland and Pearce found Harry Menah in the six-yard box but his shot was pushed on to the post.
The last action of the first half saw Menah fouled 25 yards out. Liam Dreckman set up Pearce and his shot was well saved.
In the second half another fine move involving Angell and Rowland put Dreckman through on goal but the bobbly pitch came to Hailsham’s rescue as he shinned it from six yards.
Ben Crawford replaced the injured Dan Walker before Menah was put through by Pearce but pulled his shot wide. On 70 minutes, the hard-working Platt was fouled on the corner of the box and Pearce fired home the free-kick.
It looked like Midhurst could go on and win it but a long clearance had Scott Lillywhite, who’d had a fine game until then, hesitating and Stuart Day fouled Leach, who scored the penalty.
Midhurst host Bexhill on Saturday.
MIDHURST: Lillywhite, Castleton, Walker (Crawford), Day (Idriz), O’Leary, Pearce, Angell, Rowland, Dreckman, Platt, Menah. Subs not used: Elcock, Dowsdell.