Tuesday April 5 – Peter Bentley Cup Semi-Final
Horsham 1 – 2 Newhaven
Having played and narrowly won a league match against the determined and tough to beat Newhaven a few days before, Horsham knew exactly what would be required of them to reach the cup final and the chance of a league and cup double. However despite leading through Terry Dodd’s early goal and dominating for large parts of the game – especially in the second half – Horsham were beaten by two first half Newhaven goals. In a match played at the neutral Hanbury Stadium – home to Haywards Heath FC – Horsham made several changes from the team that played against the same opposition on Saturday including goalkeeper Steve Phillips who replaced the cup tied James Shaw.
The game got off to a lively start with both teams going for it. Kieron Pamment had a shot parried in the opening minutes and then at the other end Phillips had to be alert to save well at his near post. Dodd then headed over before Newhaven ‘keeper Jake Buss dropped Pamment’s harmless looking cross which led to a goalmouth scramble. Then with 11 minutes gone Dodd collected the ball in the area and after some good close control fired past Buss for a deserved early lead. The match continued with Horsham having the better of the play until in the 20th minute when stand in keeper Phillips made a mess of a clearance that went straight to Lee Robinson who took full advantage of the error to equalise. 14 minutes later and the Hornets were behind. A long cross went unchallenged to the back post from where it was headed back for Olly Davies to tap in with ease. Two poor pieces of defending had given Newhaven what would turn out to be a winning lead. Horsham pressed again for the remainder of the half without reward although Dodd was unfortunate to not have won a penalty.
The second half was virtually all one-way traffic with Horsham recording numerous attempts on the Newhaven goal but all to no avail as some resolute defending and superb goalkeeping from the excellent Buss saw out a goalless second period and a heart wrenching semi final defeat for Horsham.
Newhaven will now fancy their chances in the final against either Little Common or Lancing while Horsham can concentrate on securing the 7 points needed from their remaining 4 matches to be crowned champions and to make a quick return to the Ryman League.
Horsham Team: Phillips, Storrie (Chadwick) Knee, Keehan, Jones, Farmer, Shelley, Arcchibald (Smith) Dodd, Pamment, Boswell (Lewis).
Dave Smith – Sports Editor