20 January 2018
Horsham 1 Herne Bay 2
Bay rip up the form book to stop Horsham's winning run
The mere notion of a trip to Guernsey has been something of a modern day tradition for Horsham supporters, with Hornets fans flocking to the island for a mini ‘European’ adventure in recent times.
One of the most eagerly awaited fixtures in the calendar when the fixture list is released, there was a muted response this summer, when the Bostik League Fixture Computer arranged for the away trip to be scheduled on Boxing Day. With the festive period a time when football supporters spend time with their families, there will understandably be reluctance from the Lardy Army to make the 300 mile round trip (as the crow flies), and thus Horsham’s players will have to make do with limited, albeit hugely dedicated support from the hardy souls who venture across the English Channel on this occassion.
Despite optimism that the fixture date might possibly be altered getting dashed early on, manager Dom Di Paola, and Club Secretary Jeff Barrett have worked tirelessly to ensure a squad can be put together to fulfill what has arguably been one of the more logistically challenging fixtures in Horsham’s recent history, with player unavailability proving the most difficult obstacle to the manager in an already busy festive calendar. Thus before even a ball has been kicked, credit should go to them both for their efforts behind the scenes.
The match will be the eighth time the two sides have faced each other, and the fourth visit to Footes Lane. With the Footes Lane crowd notoriously non-partisan, the lack of a Horsham FC supporter presence may will require an extra effort from Di Paola’s men to silence the Green Lions’ fans, if they are to repeat a similar scoreline to the one The Hornets enjoyed last season, when goals from Tom Lawley, Darren Boswell and a rocket from Steve Metcalf helped The Yellows come from behind to register a 2-3 win away from home.
Despite flirting with relegation last season The Green Lions will have no such concerns as the league gets to the half-way stage, but while they sit low down in 20th position, they have twelve points more than all-but-doomed Shoreham. Horsham meanwhile will be wary that a Guernsey victory would put our hosts just a point behind ourselves, currently in 16th. Having trailed 3-0 after just over an hour on Saturday, Horsham will hope they produce a performance more like the final thirty minutes of their encounter at Gorings Mead against Thamesmead, in which they scored three times, but ultimately ended up losing 3-4. Guernsey meanwhile, will be looking to bounce back from a 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Greenwich Borough, after losing their last two on the bounce.
A reminder that our Boxing Day clash kicks off at the earlier time of 2pm.