Saturday April 16 – SCFL Premier Division
Horsham 11 – 1 Hailsham Town
The formality of being confirmed as champions was finally achieved as a rampant Horsham team put relegated Hailsham Town to the sword. Going into the match all the Hornets needed for a certain return to the Ryman League was a solitary point. But as they have shown all season, this is a team who don’t want just enough, they want the best, and Saturday’s amazing 11-1 victory epitomises the attitude manager Dom Di Paola has instilled in them.
Having played at Hailsham on the previous Tuesday both teams held no secrets from one another, however the gulf in class was there to see in a totally one sided match that sorry Hailsham Town could do nothing about. Hailsham’s disorganisation was not only confined to the pitch as they had to play in Horsham YMCA’s home kit having turned up with their home kit of green and yellow.
The match was over by the 13th minute with Horsham 3-0 up following Terry Dodd’s opener on 10 minutes – his 30th league goal of a wonderful season – Kieron Pamment’s run and finish on 12 minutes and then a third from influential skipper Joe Shelley a minute later. Hailsham ‘keeper Levett was beaten for a fourth time in the 24th minute and the only wonder was how it took until four minutes before the break for the fifth, this time it was Darren Boswell getting on the already growing score sheet. Hailsham were already facing an impossible task but that was compounded when Jack Duvall cynically brought down Dodd to receive a red card. The 10 men of Hailsham conceded a sixth in first half stoppage time when again Dodd was fouled, this time in the area, and Alex Duncan slotted home the penalty.
It took only 3 minutes of second half play for Horsham to score number seven and once again it was Dodd who scored it, reacting quickest before turning to fire into the net. After that Boswell got his second with a lovely volley before goals machine Dodd completed his hat-trick on 63 minutes. Double figures were reached 5 minutes later when Pamment got his hat-trick after turning in Evan Archibald’s effort. The fun atmosphere in the ground was added to when after a glaring miss Terry Dodd helped himself to a swig of beer from the glass of one of the Horsham followers; an action that has led to the incident reaching thousands on social media.
Then out of the blue Hailsham Town scored when Adam Daubeney’s long range volley caught ‘keeper Shaw napping – understandably as it was virtually the first bit of action he had seen. There was still time for another and it fell to Archibald to hit the 11th and final Horsham goal when he scored following shell-shocked ‘keeper Levett’s soft parry.
At the final whistle came the prize of the Southern Combination Football League trophy, presented by league Chairman Steve Nealgrove, which Supporters Player of the Year Joe Shelley proudly raised in the air.
Now for next season when the Hornets will be hoping to be a force in the Ryman League where – although there is a large leap in the standard of teams they will face – if Di Paolo can keep the side together and add a few … well who knows?
Dave Smith – Sports Editor