Football, by Andy Robinson –
A heroic defensive display by Horsham gave them a long-awaited first win of 2013 – and a six-point cushion over bottom-placed Three Bridges.
Manager Simon Colbran described the 2-0 home success against Whitstable, his side’s first win in 15 games, as one of the biggest results in his career.
After watching a dominant display from the Hornets’ defence, the boss believes Horsham need just two more wins to secure safety.
He told The District Post: “It’s an absolutely massive result. We knew this was a great opportunity for us to get three points on the board and we’ve done that.
“This win should push us on. Gary Charman was superb – he talks, he’s experienced and the players look up to him.”
In a frantic start, Matt Simpson’s hopeful chip from 25 yards hit the crossbar before James Everitt’s turn and shot brought out a fine save from Michael Hunter at the other end.
Trevor McCreadie put the Hornets ahead in the sixth minute, slotting home after Tony Nwachukwu whipped in a low cross from the right, and McCreadie almost scored again when he headed over a good corner by Ryan Marriott.
The visitors from Kent had a goal disallowed in the 11th minute when David Raggett was flagged offside.
McCreadie nearly added to his tally when well placed, but his tame chip was comfortably caught by Dean Ruddy and Simpson’s later header was cleared off the line by Laurence Harvey.
Horsham started the second half the way they had started the first. Nwachukwu again linked well with McCreadie, who saw two shots blocked on the line and his third attempt hit a post. So much for third time lucky!
Predictably, Whitstable came roaring back in the last 15 minutes.
The visiting fans began celebrating when Everitt beat the offside trap and squeezed the ball past the onrushing Hunter, but Jahmahl King got back to clear off the line.
Horsham were hanging on for the points as a 20-yard curler by Jake Beecroft was tipped wide by Hunter, Harvey headed against a post, the same player headed against the crossbar and another Everitt effort was cleared off the line.
The visitors were made to rue their misses when Hornets substitute Jamie Ampleford burst down the left and Harvey sliced the teenager’s cross into his own net.
Horsham nearly put a gloss on the scoreline when a cross by new signing Billy Dunn, back at the club for a second spell, found McCreadie whose powerful shot was saved.
A huge cheer greeted the final whistle ahead of two derbies in three days – Crawley Down Gatwick away on Saturday and Worthing at home on Monday.