Saturday February 1 – Investec Women’s League – Conference East
Horsham 1-2 Wimbledon 2
Martin Read – Sports Reporter
Photo by Nick Evans
Horsham’s first league game after the prolonged Christmas and New Year break – against leaders Canterbury – was bound to be a tough encounter, and so it proved, yet, only a miracle save right at the death denied Horsham a deserved draw.
A field goal early in the first quarter gave the visitors the lead, and Wimbledon were sharp on the break, but Horsham kept the deficit to 0-1 at the interval.
On the resumption, Horsham pressure led to Tiff Male levelling the score from close range, until – despite Horsham’s control – in the fourth quarter, with a defender floored and keeper Hannah Jackson away from the goal, Wimbledon walked the ball home to retake the lead. A thrusting Wimbledon attack was then averted by resolute Horsham defence before Horsham’s Elle Blakesley embarked on a highly promising home run, only to be prevented at the final hurdle. Horsham debutant Charlie Walder was then sidelined by mercifully only temporary injury, just ahead of a Wimbledon short corner strike being denied by an excellent save. Then, at the very death, Horsham were awarded a much disputed penalty, Rosie Firth launching a goal bound strike from the spot, only to be thwarted when the visiting keeper thrust out her stick to pull off a remarkable full stretch save. Horsham Team Manager Jane Denman told the District Post: “Even though Wimbledon are top of the league, we looked the better team in the second half. It was disappointing not to draw and I know Rosie is devastated to have missed the penalty, but she shouldn’t be – we were denied a share of the points by a truly amazing last ditch save.”
On Saturday the Ladies return to Christ’s Hospital for a 2pm pushback against Canterbury 2s, two berths below sixth-placed Horsham, but who shaded Horsham by the single goal of the match in the early season away fixture.