Tuesday September 17 – The BetVictor Isthmian League Premier Division
Horsham 2 1 Wingate & Finchley
Martin Read – Sports Reporter
Photo by John Lines: Man of the Match Charlie Harris
Impressive Horsham pulled off their third straight win in league and cup, bossing the first half, going off the boil in the middle of the second, but keeping the visitors at bay to take all of the points. After conceding a free kick in the opening seconds, Hornets’ keeper George Bentley’s diving save denied Henry Ochienge’s low drive, before the same player unleashed an unsuccessful long shot. But, play switched to the other end for Charlie Harris – later voted Man of the Match – to slot home from close quarters in the third minute. Then, another Finchley set piece was headed clear, followed by Alphanso Kennedy foregoing a golden opportunity to equalise by almost hitting the corner flag from a one on one position. Horsham, though, were pressing, first with a Lee Harding shot and then a Chris Smith volley from the right, pushed off for a corner, which was headed wide. Two Finchley attacks were easily negated before Kieron Pamment’s hopeful long range attempt sailed over, but the winger soon made amends, sending a pinpoint cross for Smith to tap in to double Horsham’s lead. Chances came and went at either end, followed by the Smith/Harris combo earning two corners to test Shane Gore in the Finchley goal. The Londoners responded, without looking particularly threatening, their corner ending harmlessly wide, the break coming with Horsham two goals to the good.
The second half began with both sides in action – a high effort from Smith being gathered by Gore, Luke Ifil firing across the goal, and Harding inducing a punched clearance. But, Horsham were creating more of the possibilities, with Harvey Sparks supplying Pamment to be just off target. A Smith shot was fended off for a corner and Joe Shelley’s header was safely pouched, yet although Horsham were introducing more danger, Kennedy broke through on the right, scything forward unchallenged to pump the ball into the far corner, eroding Horsham’s lead. With the game becoming increasingly competitive while Finchley sought an equaliser, suddenly Horsham went quiet, and there was a risk that the points might be shared. But, Horsham revived with two late corners and a prone header from captain Will Miles, successfully closing down the game for a well-deserved win.
On Saturday Horsham revert to FA Cup action with a plum home tie against Dartford from a league higher, and the club will be opening at noon in anticipation of a bumper crowd.