Creative Horsham get through to the Velocity Semi  

Tuesday February 25 – Velocity Trophy Quarter Final

 Football –  Horsham 1-0  Margate

Martin Read – Sports Reporter

Photo Credit John lines

Coming into this game Margate were eight places below Horsham in the league, but they were looking for a hat trick of wins on their third visit to the town this season, having beaten both Horsham – comprehensively – in the league and YMCA – more narrowly – in the FA Cup. But, this time the east Kent side’s 190 mile round trip was in vain, Horsham triumphing in a competitive game in which they created far more goal scoring possibilities than Margate, and kept the visitors at bay after taking the lead with a stunning early goal of which there has been several at the Camping World Stadium this season.

Horsham started brightly and were soon rewarded with a goal, of which any top professional side would have been proud, Steve Metcalf putting in an excellent cross from the right for skipper Jack Brivio to race onto and head home, earning high praise from Horsham’s beaming CEO John Lines, who told the District Post: “Than was a wonderful goal – Brivio’s so fast! He’s our best player, so inspirational.” Horsham continued to press to secure the game, Harvey Sparks unleashing a clean strike from the right and Greg Cundle probing from the left, only to lose his footing at the critical moment. Rob O’Toole and Lee Harding continued the offensive, but both went down in the box, O’Toole clashing with The Gate’s keeper Joe Tupper. Sparks and Harding then fired over, before Horsham had two successive corners, left and right. Sparks fed Cundle, but Horsham’s second goal failed to materialise, sub Charlie Harris blazing over as the first half ended 1-0 in Horsham’s favour, having fashioned numerous promising chances.

The second half began with similar liveliness, Sparks running through and then supplying sub Chris Smith, who hit the post. After a Margate corner was punched clear, their Captain, Ben Swift was sent off, a violent incident being flagged up by the linesman. Margate responded, with Chris Sessegnon testing Hornets’ keeper Geoge Bentley, who was relieved to recover from his spilled save. A likely looking Harris floater was caught by Tupper, ahead of Smith getting into contention but then passing to a teammate when he was in a better position himself, O’Toole heading to the keeper to round off the wave of Horsham attacks. Margate caused a scare when, with Horsham looking uncharacteristically open at the back, a ball was squared across the goal, but no Kentish player was on hand to take advantage. Smith headed over and after Horsham passed the ball around, Harris’ eventual rocket whistled over the bar. Margate number 10, Noel Leighton subsequently dispossessed a defender, his shot crashing mercifully wide when the outcome might have been different had he taken time to compose himself. With Horsham still wanting to seal victory, Harding got into position, but finished weakly to Tupper. Four added minutes were signalled, followed by a Horsham corner, but, strangely, there was only one yellow shirt in the box. However, although Horsham’s creativity did not result in more goals, as it might well have done on another day, they had done enough to be deserved semi finalists.

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