Tuesday October 20 – SCFA RUR Charity Cup Round 2
Haywards Heath 3 – 1 Horsham (AET)
Horsham’s participation in the RUR Cup came to an end for this season on Tuesday night as they were knocked out by Division 1 side Haywards Heath. Two extra time goals from the home side were enough to make the Hornets the second Premier League team to exit at the hands of Haywards Heath this season; Loxwood being their victims in the previous round.
Although it was not the strongest Hornets side possible it certainly was not the weakest and despite some very poor refereeing decisions Dom Di Paola will be disappointed his team were unable to overcome a battling and physical Heath team.
Horsham had a very early scare when Williams was called upon to produce a superb save from a free kick. Evan Archibald and Ashley Jones had decent chances that went begging but the half turned into a scrappy affair as the host’s hard working midfield stifled any attempts Horsham made to grab a hold of the game. The referee made the first of many controversial calls when he waved away a blatant hand ball by Heath in their penalty area, leaving things at a goalless stalemate at the break.
Coming out for the second period Horsham looked a little livelier and were rewarded with a goal in the 58th minute. Alex Duncan put in a superb cross that was met by a diving header from Archibald that left home ‘keeper Simon Lehkyt with no chance.
Any thoughts of a goal spree following the opener did not materialise and on 72 minutes the home side were level. Williams saved a free kick but the rebound was followed up by Heath’s Freddie Barker who had the simple job of finding the net. Some nasty challenges went unpunished by the referee who seemed more interested in waving his yellow card for dissent.
Extra time followed and as so often happens it was an old boy who came back to do the damage. Ex Hornet Max Miller hit a low drive from the edge of the area that nestled into the net past Williams to give the home side the lead with 14 minutes of extra time played. Worse was to follow when 11 minutes later a 40 yard effort from Carl Dunk flew into the Hornets net; if he meant it then it was a goal worthy of winning any match.
Back to league action on Saturday (Oct 24) when Horsham host AFC Uckfield Town when Di Paola will be looking to get back to winning ways after two consecutive defeats.
Horsham Team: Williams, Duncan, Lewis, Keehan, Jones, Farmer, Shelley, Hunt, Dodd, Pamment, Archibald. Subs: Chadwick, Hopkinson, Crabb.