Five league wins on the bounce. Up to fifth in the Bostik South East Division. Things continuing to look rosy for The Hornets. Horsham are simply unstoppable at the moment as the Whitstable Town were the latest team to suffer defeat to a Horsham side bang in form.
Thanks to this latest 4-0 home win, Horsham’s last three league games have now seen Dom Di Paola’s side fire in ten goals, and concede none. In fact, they have only conceded five goals in the league since the start of October. It is form that continues to increase speculation that this side are one of the teams to watch out for this season as the campaign enters the festive period and we approach the half way mark in terms of games played.
In football, they say that when teams are playing and winning well, everything seems to go for you – which can also be said of the opposite – and so it proved as while Horsham didn’t quite hit the heights in terms of the recent performances in recent weeks, they were still a cut above The Oystermen who despite being able to keep the score level at the break, were only able to hold out for three minutes into the second half when visiting skipper Stuart West headed backwards into his own net to help Horsham to what was an ultimately routine victory.
With Horsham making three changes to the starting eleven from Tuesday evening’s 2-0 win against Greenwich Borough, in stepped striker Kieran Lavery signed during the week on a month’s loan from Dorking Wanderers, while Steve Metcalf and Tyrell Richardson-Brown were restored to the line-up.
It was Richardson-Brown who was involved for the first attack of note on five minutes as he chased down a long ball over the right flank and managed to deliver in a cross that found its way to Rob O’Toole, but the striker’s first-time swipe at the ball was not clean and was hit straight into his marker as Whitstable Town turned the ball away.
Richardson-Brown’s electric pace down the wing allowed him to chase down and beat his marker once more, where he switched play to O’Toole outside the box, but the Horsham hitman’s pass into the path of the onrushing Jack Brivio resulted in the midfielder smashing it well over the bar.
Horsham’s final ball appeared to be lacking at times, with the home side only able to take the occasional shot under pressure from distance as Town’s defence limited the hosts, and when Brivio had the chance to shoot, he found himself closed down quickly forcing him to roll out to Harvey Sparks who fired from the angle, but full back Harry Brown did enough to put off his opposite number as the ex-Bognor Regis Town man skied over.
The closest Horsham went close to breaking the deadlock moments later when goalkeeper Dan Eason was called into action to tip out Richardson-Brown’s low diagonal ball across the face of goal as it threatened to creep in at the back post with Town desperately scrambling away. Despite clearly being on top throughout, The Hornets had to settle for half time with the score goalless as a dangerous run at the visiting defence saw Richardson-Brown flick into the path of O’Toole, who struck a dangerous shot from the edge of the semi-circle that was pushed away by Eason.
H/T: Horsham 0 Whitstable Town 0
Whitstable’s resolve would barely last three minutes as the second half however as Horsham came running out of the traps. A fantastic effort from an unlikely source in the name of Steve Metcalf from twenty-five yards out was wonderfully clawed out for corner by Eason, but there was little he could do to prevent his side falling behind from the resulting corner taken by Charlie Harris, who’s delivery was accidentally headed backwards into his own net after O’Toole failed to connect.
Quickly looking for a second goal to gain full control, Lavery’s clipped effort curled just beyond the far post as he looked to mark his debut with a goal as he bamboozled two defenders with some clever footwork.
However, the Hornets only needed to wait less than ten minutes to double their lead in slightly fortunate circumstances. Harris’ freekick was headed back out by Whitstable new signing Sam Welch at the front post, the ball was picked up again by Harris who took a touch and whipped in a cross back into the mix yet with the pace and curl eluding everyone, a disappointed Eason had to retrieve the ball from his own net as Oystermen manager Scott Porter raged at his defence.
Whitstable fashioned a rare shot at goal on the hour mark as Michael Jenner tried his luck with a powerful attempt that never threatened to test Josh Pelling who otherwise had little else to do throughout, but the game continued on with Horsham in full control.
Some super build up from The Hornets around Town’s box saw a flurry of passes exchanged before Sparks was invited to shoot, but his right footed drive was hit over the bar, while on seventy-five minutes, Harris’ delicious whipped cross was headed just wide by O’Toole still looking to score his first headed goal of the season.
Still Horsham attacked as they looked for a third goal to consolidate the victory. Substitute Lee Harding clattering the cross bar with a ferocious shot from the angle on the right side of the box that was touched onto the woodwork by Eason, but Harding still find the net a minute later when he again got into space on the right wing and delivered over a dangerous cross that sailed over Eason and nestled inside the net into the far side netting.
The best goal of the game came in the final minute of injury time. Having earlier had a low shot parried away, Sparks finally got the goal his display had warranted when he was set up cuersty of a wonderfully weighted defence splitting pass from Joey Taylor. It was laid on for Sparks to latch on, and bear down on goal where he finished in off the legs of Eason to add gloss to another fine Horsham win.
Horsham now have another home game on Tuesday evening when we face a tough visit of Eastbourne Borough in the Sussex Senior Trophy, while we head into Kent next weekend for the long trip to Hythe Town.
Reporter: Matt Dale
Match sponsor: Horsham Independent Supporters’ Club
Match photos by John Lines