SCFL Premier Division
Horsham 4 – 1 Lancing
Lancing came to Gorings Mead heading the table with a 100% record. They left – still heading the table – but with their perfect start in tatters after being torn apart by a very fluent and clinical Horsham side.
Having only conceded five goals in their opening seven matches, Lancing uncharacteristically fell behind after three minutes when their ‘keeper Callum Fidler allowed a straightforward Joe Shelley downward header to go under him and cross the line. For a ‘keeper with such a decent record this season Fidler again was at fault seven minutes later when he allowed a Darren Boswell cross to go unchallenged and then hesitated to allow Terry Dodd to scramble the ball past him for 2-0.
Straight from the restart Lancing showed a bit of the form that has given them such a high flying start when Lewis Finney got behind the Hornets defence and beat Gareth Williams with a well taken finish to reduce the deficit.
In the 34th minute Horsham regained the two goal buffer when in similar style to the Lancing goal Boswell got behind the visitor’s defence and made no mistake with only the stranded Fidler to beat. Horsham continued to press and came close to a fourth through both Dodd and Pamment but were unable to add to the score before the break.
Despite a short early spell in the second half where Lancing looked dangerous the Hornets continued to dominate the play. Horsham got their reward with a fourth goal that effectively ended the match as a contest in the 62nd minute when substitute Samir Hadi connected with a Shelley head on to stab the ball over the line off the post. In the unusual position of being 4-1 down the visitors become frustrated collecting a couple of yellow cards and a straight red for Ben Bowra after he caught Jordan Clarke with a late tackle with ten minutes remaining.
Horsham saw out the last minutes in comfortable fashion to take all three points from this dominant and decisive win over a good side and to earn back the badge of championship favourites.
Horsham team: Williams, Hunt (Alex Duncan 73 mins) Knee, Clarke, Jones, Farmer (Gilbert 69 mins) Shelley, Lewis, Dodd, Pamment, Boswell (Hadi 58 mins).
Dave Smith – Sports Editor