Monday December 28 – SCFL Premier Division
Horsham 4 – 1 Horsham YMCA
Martin Read – Sports Reporter
On paper this was listed as a close match in the long standing clubs’ first ever league encounter, but it turned out to be a one sided affair.
Coming in to the fixture in fifth place, YMCA were just a point behind third in the table Horsham and there was nervousness in the Horsham camp – until the Gorings Mead tenants went ahead courtesy of an own goal in the second minute, after YM keeper Mark Fox parried unsuccessfully. Horsham then shot wide and a further strike skimmed over the crossbar before, with some of the 676 spectators still streaming in, Captain Joe Shelley’s completely unstoppable wind-assisted Bobby Charlton-style 40 yard mule kick crashed into the top netting.
Ambitious Horsham fans predicted a six nil drubbing, a distinct possibility midway through the first half when man of the match Mark Knee put Horsham three ahead with an awkward bouncer. Despite a rare YM attack the landlords were making little Impression and matters worsened when Dean Carden was sent off.
Early in the second half Horsham went four nil up after Darren Boswell, open and unmarked on the left, overcame the keeper with another high ball. Horsham then eased off, allowing Luke Gedding YM’s first real shot. But, a Horsham corner ran across the goalmouth and then YM earned two corners of their own, followed by keeper James Shaw running out for YM’s Nick Sullivan to round off the scoring with a late consolation.
YM’s Dean Potter said: “We had a big crowd here and although we drew the second half 1-1 I feel a bit let down – we need to pick ourselves up now”, while Ron Moulding added: “Disappointingly we were rather lethargic and gifted three early goals from which it was impossible to recover.”
Understandably, Horsham were in better spirits – Manager Dom di Paola telling the District Post: “We got off to a flyer and perhaps they were a little unlucky. Eastbourne Town, the only team to beat us to date, keep winning so we need to press on,” delighted Horsham CEO John Lines said: “We took our foot off the pedal in the second half but I’m very happy with the result!”
At a busy time for both clubs Horsham, now second, just two points behind Eastbourne Town, travel to 8th in the table Loxwood on Saturday (January 2) while YMCA entertain Broadbridge Heath (11th). Horsham then visit Whitehawk in the Quarter Final of the Parafix Sussex Senior Cup on Tuesday January 5 before greeting Littlehampton Town (9th) on Saturday 9, when YMCA are at East Preston (19th).
Teams – Horsham: James Shaw, Alex Duncan, Mark Knee, Graham Martin, Ashley Jones, Charlie Farmer, Joe Shelley (C), Adam Hunt, Terry Dodd, Kieron Pamment, Darren Boswell – Sub(s): Brad Lewis – replaced Charlie Farmer 55 mins, Jack Rowe-Hurst – replaced Darren Boswell 65 mins, Evan Archibald – replaced Terry Dodd 76 mins and Shaun Charles & Tom Atkinson, both unused – yellow cards: Kieron Pamment, Ashley Jones & Jack Rowe-Hurst
YMCA: Mark Fox, Dean Carden, Dan Sullivan, Alex Gathern, Ashley Dugdale (C),
Anthony Hibbert, Luke Donaldson, Nick Sullivan, Phil Johnson, Luke Gedling, Dave Brown – Sub(s): Dan Evans – replaced Luke Donaldson 46 mins & Matt Crane, Dean Wright, Lee Wood and Adam O’Carroll – all unused – yellow cards Dean Carden (2) – sent off – Phil Johnson, Alex Gathern & Ashley Dugdale