4 May 2019
Horsham 2 Ashford United 1 (AET)
WE'RE GOING UP!!! Horsham seal play-off final with a win to gain promotion as runners up
Horsham will have the chance to cement their second placed league position on Tuesday evening should they manage to beat local Sussex rivals East Grinstead Town at East Court.
A 0-3 win away at Whitstable Town on Saturday saw Dom Di Paola’s side leapfrog Ashford United and Hastings United, who both suffered surprise defeats elsewhere and The Hornets could put some distance between ourselves and third place with a win against The Wasps. Di Poala himself declared the performance ‘a professional display’, but insisted that he was taking things as they come rather than concerning himself with his side’s current league position.
Despite Di Paola’s eagerness to play things down, the rearranged game at East Grinstead is the tenth left of what has so far been a superb campaign from Di Paola’s side, who will certainly fancy their chances of securing a play-off place by the end of April, but the visit to twelve placed Town will once again be a tough test for The Hornets a fourth straight league victory. Horsham’s form has been scintillating of late, The Hornets have only lost once in 2019 (a 0-1 loss away at Phoenix Sports in January), and they have only conceded four goals in eight matches, whilst scoring fourteen in as many.
While Town however have only managed to keep one clean sheet since October, they continue to be a threat going forward. The Wasps indeed did Horsham a big favour on Saturday when they overcame our play-off rivals Hastings United to beat them 2-1 thanks to Gregory Cundle’s late decider, and they have enjoyed some notable results in the last month, including a 4-4 draw against Three Bridges, following that up in their next league match with a 3-3 draw against Sevenoaks. They also managed to hold Bostik Premier League side Bognor Regis Town to a 2-2 draw over ninety minutes in the Sussex Senior Cup Quarter Final, before eventually losing 5-3 after extra time.
The reverse fixture at Culver Road ended up a 3-1 win for Horsham on 20th October, Joey Taylor opened the scoring early on before Dean Gunner equalised a minute later, however Horsham quickly restored their lead in the twelve minute but had to wait until late on to secure the win, when Chris Smith fired in with seven minutes to go.
Horsham’s last visit to East Court saw both sides take a share of the spoils in a 2-2 draw as Horsham twice surrendered the lead in March 2018.
We kick off at 7.30pm.