Tuesday March 10 – The BetVictor Isthmian League Premier Division
Horsham 0-2 Bognor Regis Town
Martin Read – Sports Reporter
Photo by John Lines
This was a very disappointing evening for Horsham, who started busily created plenty of chances but, time after time, were miles off target. In August the teams drew 1-1 at Nyewood Lane, but this time, although it could have been different, Bognor were clear winners simply because they were better at maximising opportunities – with a goal in each half.
Horsham broke through soon after the start, visiting keeper Amadou Tangara saving Greg Cundle’s shot with his feet, before recent signing Alex Clark set the pattern by blazing well over. Then, Horsham centre half Joe Shelley had to quell a challenge from Bognor’s Dan Smith, ahead of the seasiders earning their first corner, and a full stretch save and subsequent catch by Horsham goalkeeper George Bentley. A series of Horsham attacks followed, with Dorking loanee Elliott Buchanan’s left-footed effort going high and wide. Cundle fired straight at Tangara before shooting over wildly, as did Buchanan. Next, with Horsham dominating, Harvey Sparks broke through to gain the first of two consecutive corners. But, it was Bognor who went in front, when Tommy Leigh, in space with nobody closing him down, sent a long, hard, low strike into the bottom left corner of the goal. After Clark had shot straight at Tangara, Bentley’s legs kept Leigh at bay, the first half ending with two Bognor corners, in between which their free kick was palmed over.
Resuming a goal adrift, Horsham soon saw their set piece punched clear, and in a session of sustained pressure, Clark was far too aerial and Alex Kelly sent over a dangerous cross, sadly uncollected. Bognor rallied, the woodwork coming to Horsham’s rescue from a free kick just outside the area, until, in the 54th minute, visiting skipper Harvey Whyte put Bognor further ahead from close range in a goal mouth melee. Cundle might soon have reduced the deficit, but somehow contrived to shoot well wide when one on one six yards out. Both keepers then safely gathered tame shots, before Horsham almost benefited from an own goal when Kristian Campbell’s defensive header appeared destined to evade Tangara. Amid Horsham substitutions, attacks saw a cross and then a shot from Man of the Match Sparks going off for a corner. A Bognor foray soared over, before Bentley, on his knees could only chest the ball away. Horsham kept trying, but three late corners came and went unfulfilled.
Horsham had created some excellent approach play, especially in the first half, but were left to rue missed chances when they were in the ascendancy.
Needing to bounce back quickly, the Hornets have a trip to south Essex on Saturday to meet 14th-placed Bowers & Pitsea, whom they beat 4-0 at home in November. Then, on Tuesday, there is cup action at The Camping World Stadium when, in the Velocity Trophy (League Cup) Semi Final, Horsham play relegation threatened Cheshunt.