Horsham’s winning run came to an end on Tuesday night as they were beaten in a scrappy game against Merstham at Gorings Mead.
The only goal came midway through the second half as the visitors took one of the very opportunities in the match to end the Hornets’ three game run.
The first real chance came in the 26th minute when Ashley Robinson attempted to chip Merstham goalkeeper Brannon Daly, but the keeper managed to get a hand to the ball to divert it from goal and the player.
Taurean Roberts then had two chances for the visitors before the break, but saw one comfortably saved and the other fly over the crossbar.
The only goal came in the 67th minute when a cross into the box created pinball, with Tommy Hutchings and substitute Omar Fulkes having shots blocked, before the ball fell to Fabio Saraiva to poke home from close range. That goal forced Horsham manager Gary Charman to go down to the touchline, having chosen to sit in the stands all game beforehand. Charman attempted to change the flow of the game as he made two attacking changes to try and wrestle back the initiative.
The Hornets almost equalised with eight minutes to go as Byron Napper saw his left-footed shot fly high and wide from six yards. The Surrey side nearly caught the hosts on the break as they won a free-kick on the right-hand side, which was ferociously fired towards goal by Hutchings, but Mark Zawadski tipped it over the bar.
Horsham’s best chance came as the game entered injury time. A corner was whipped in and found the head of Ryan Woodford, but his effort was pushed behind by the goalkeeper and Merstham survived to collect three priceless points.
Charman told The District Post: “It’s disappointing because we didn’t deserve to lose. They scored against the run of play and everyone that was here would agree that a draw would have been a fair result.”
Charman added: “It was a bit of a nothing game, our back five were excellent but we didn’t have much in the final third, we missed Jamie Cade a lot today and had to change our strategy because of it.”
The manager also revealed that Jahmahl King picked up an ankle injury and is expected to be out a few weeks, while Tom Frankland has joined Crawley Down Gatwick.
Report by Andy Robinson