Horsham grab last gasp draw

Horsham’s Jack Page celebrated his one hundredth game for the Hornets with a dramatic goal five minutes into extra time, earning a valuable point. Gary Charman’s sickness-induced absence gave an opportunity to Jahmahl King in his first game since returning from Hastings United, Horsham being otherwise unchanged. The Hornets were aggrieved when a controversial refereeing decision seemingly robbed them of an early breakthrough after Anthony Storey’s in-ducking corner looked to have been taken into the goal by the visiting keeper. With protests coming to nought, Walton rubbed salt into Hornet wounds with a goal after a quarter of an hour – an elusive cross enabling Gareth Chendik to post the ball home beneath goal keeper Gareth Williams.

That success invigorated Walton, necessitating Williams first to fend off a shot from  Mensah and then scramble a 35 yard mule kick over the bar at full tilt. With the Hornets unable to seriously threaten the Walton goal Williams needed to produce another good save when Mensah attacked again.

Trailing by the single goal at the interval Horsham came out positively in the second half, Tony Nwachukwu side-stepping the defence to test the opposition keeper with a good save maintaining Walton’s clean sheet. Then the woodwork was called into play, keeping out another Nwachukwu strike with the keeper helpless. In end to end play Walton retaliated, but Chendik’s touch was mercifully off target. Horsham, though, kept going with Nwachukwu again proving a handful, challenging the visitor’s defence, but to no avail. A red mist moment then opened the door for Horsham when the dangerous Mensah was sent off for violently reacting to a Woodford tackle. After Page came on as a replacement Horsham applied some pressure with a thwarted attempt and then a corner. Ten man Walton then resorted to time wasting with a lengthy substitution and a prolonged shirt changing routine until Hornet’s Napper latched onto a Nwachukwu supply, heading it for Page to sensationally back kick it into the roof of the net to the delight of home fans. Horsham were still not quite done but Williams’s booming free kick came just a little too late.

Horsham remaining bottom, two points behind their nearest rival but with a game in hand, now enter a crucial phase in their endeavours to evade the disaster of relegation – because of earlier postponements, Hornets have 12 games scheduled before the end of January.

Horsham team: Williams, Hamilton, King, Storey, Gilbert, Woodford, Nwachukwu, Morley, Miller, Ampleford (Page 76), Smith (Napper 31). Unused subs: Akande, Bidgood, Blaney

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