Only a brilliant individual goal by David Smith stood between the Hornets and an undeserved Sussex Senior Cup exit at the hands of Three Bridges. Just a quarter of an hour remained when the twenty year old left four players in his wake before drawing the ‘keeper and slotting home to equalise after David Gates had given the visitors the lead. There was more than a hint of offside about Bridges’ goal, scored on 67 minutes, but Gates showed a cool head before placing the ball beyond home ‘keeper Chris Porter to threaten a shock win for the County Leaguers.
As controversial as Gates’ effort was, the Hornets had only themselves to blame for not having established the lead when, in a rather uneventful first half, they seemed content to play with their opponents rather like a cat teases a mouse before the kill and caught the visitors offside to the point of monotony. But they offered little imagination up front themselves and only an effort from the ever-active Peter Mitchell, on the stroke of half-time, came anywhere near to breaking the deadlock.
The second half followed a similar pattern although, this time, Horsham’s percentage of attacks increased as the Bridges’ declined. Nevertheless, it still needed Gates’ goal to bring real spark back into the embers of a fireless encounter. The last twenty minutes were all Horsham’s and they duly levelled when Smith collected the ball inside the Bridges’ half, turning the defence inside out before scoring. A minute later, he had an easier chance to score but his powerful drive from the edge of the box hit the side-netting. Horsham’s last chance came Bobby Burse’s way when he was set free with only Bridges’ ‘keeper, Bill Norris, to beat. As Burse tried to chip in, the two collided and defender Russell Rego was able to get back to clear off the line.