A lot can happen in football in the space of a month, but after the 8-0 drubbing at the hands of Cray Wanderers in early October, Horsham made it six games unbeaten as they kicked off November with all three points, curtesy of a 1-2 win in a tricky looking tie in Kent at Faversham Town.
Manager Dom Di Paola spoke before the game about how his side had appeared to put the disappointment of that fateful day firmly behind them, revealing his delight at an impressive victory at Walton Casuals in mid-week, and the importance of having a settled side, and his team didn’t contradict him, as they continued where they left off, as they once again showed steely resolve to come from behind to claim a victory that helped The Hornets climb up the table to 16th place.
The fact that Faversham is famed as a brewery town would have not been lost on the few Horsham supporters who made the long trip to Kent, and a visit to the nearest pub after the game would have surely seen them toast an inspired substitution as Liam MacDevitt scored a sensational solo effort within two minutes of stepping off the bench in the sixty-eighth minute which sealed all three points.
After an initial sloppy opening ten minutes, the first chance of note came when Horsham worked the ball from a throw in found Scott Kirkwood in the centre, high up the pitch, but he could only scoop over from twenty yards out.
A minute later, Faversham dangerman Luke Griffiths’ delicious looking cross towards former Horsham legend Carl Rook needed to be hooked away by modern day Hornets legend Joe Shelley to prevent him scoring against his former side.
The opening goal would soon come in the nineteenth minute. After batting away a dangerous spinning freekick from Danny Walder, the resulting corner was unsuccessfully dealt with by Horsham, and as the ball was flicked backwards towards Oliver Lee, he composed himself and struck through the crowd of players into the bottom left corner.
Spurred on by the vocal home support, The Lillywhites looked to increase their lead, with Griffiths hoping to make it six goals in his last six appearences, but his ambitious shot from thirty yards out never looked like troubling Brannon Daly as it continued to rise before clearing the bar.
George Monger’s deep ball pumped into the box caused problems for the visitors as Mark Lovell looped upwards and over, while the Hornets threatened to implode with shoddy defending as Rook caused panic in the Horsham defence as they struggled to deal with the aerial threat and conceded a cheap corner.
With Horsham finding it difficult to fashion chances of their own, a rare opportunity should have been gobbled up with ten minutes of the half remaining, when Toby House chased a long ball over the top as he tried to evade the last man, but his decision to hold up play on the edge of the six yard box resulted in him being dispossessed by Dan Carrington when a shot would have been a better option with no one in support.
However Faversham generously let Horsham back into the match in the fortieth minute thanks to Simon Overland’s spillage in the six yard box. With House on the wing, the striker did well to bring the ball under his control and his dangerous cross was missed by Lee, and parried by Overland, allowing George Landais to punish the home side as he reacted quickest to draw Horsham level.
H/T: Faversham 1 Horsham 1
Town could have easily gone back in front within the first fifty seconds of the restart, but for the bounce of the ball when Daly hesitated to collect Monger’s cross, only for the ball to bounce up and over the Faversham striker’s head and into the Horsham ‘keeper’s palms.
Horsham were beginning to grow more into the game, as Faversham relied on a Ryan Cheek clearance to prevent Landais getting on the end of a Jack Hartley cross, while a sliced clearance from Matt Bourne nearly resulted in an own goal, but was saved by Overland.
Horsham should have done better when Hartley intercepted a loose pass high up the pitch, but Landais was let down with the pass, after he had wanted the ball played in front of him to run onto, forcing him balloon over.
Di Paola then turned to Liam MacDevitt as he sacrificed Scott Harris, and the move paid dividends two minutes later as he picked up the ball on the halfway line, and tore down the wing with blistering pace, before cutting inside and beating two defenders and firing past Overland to cap a superb individual effort.
Hyde then almost gave The Hornets a two-goal cushion, only for his bullet header to be tipped over the crossbar by Overland following a corner, and the defender then came to the rescue to preserve the lead, as he made an important interception at the other end of the pitch to prevent Town from drawing level.
With the game entering its final ten minutes, Horsham would weather the storm as Faversham desperately tried to salvage the game, with Daly saving off the line from Liam King’s strike as Horsham tried to hold on.
But Faversham could not break Horsham’s resolve, as a final attack in injury time resulted in a looping ball dropping down into Horsham’s box, and being sent wide as King sliced an overhead kick wide with the edge of his boot.
Reporter: Matt Dale