A bright Sunday morning and we welcomed our sponsors, Cartwood Construction, for team photos in the new strip and to watch this second cup match against Worthing (our previous meeting with them five weeks ago ended in a 5-0 defeat).
After a scrappy start with neither team dominating, Worthing won the first corner which was safely cleared by a Horsham head. Six minutes in and Worthing scored after their player took on three opponents and put in a low shot which would have appeared out of nowhere for Louie and just scraped under our diving ‘keeper. Horsham responded with excellent play down both sides; Keylan and Zak on the left, Archie and Dan down the right, and Adam stealing some important balls. Sam made a beautiful pass to Dan, who fired home to make it one each after ten minutes. Unfortunately, Worthing scored again, a minute later, after a failed Horsham clearance.
The Hornets battled on, though, with shots going just wide from Keylan and Dan. On twenty minutes, Keylan nicked a ball from a Worthing throw in and passed to Zach who scored his first Horsham goal – an excellent strike leaving their goalie with no chance. Two goals each and it remained that way for the rest of the half with end-to-end football, our defenders, Matt, Tate, Harrison and Bernard working well and making good clearances.
The second half started with fresh legs from subs, Finley and Bradley for Zach and Archie. The game continued in the same vein, with both teams pushing forward; Bradley and Adam linking up nicely, passing to Sam. Both ‘keepers made saves, a lovely cross from Finley found Dan but his strike was headed away. When their powerful number forty-two was fouled, deep in the Horsham half, his low free-kick was fired under Louie but luckily the flag was up for offside!
On fifty-two minutes, Dan collected a loose ball just inside the Worthing half and slipped past a couple of defenders to score. But, as is often the case, we slowed down and lost concentration in the last fifteen minutes and Worthing gained the upper hand, equalising soon after. Two more goals from Worthing, on fifty-nine and sixty-nine minutes, sealed their win.
This was a much more competitive game this week and enjoyable to watch. We just need to find a little bit extra for the last quarter when we meet them again later in the season.
Man of the match – Adam