FOR the second time this season Peacehaven went out of a cup competition on penalties on Tuesday night, but this time they went out with their heads held high, writes Alex Panton. They pushed Ryman League Horsham all the way, and will probably feel they should have won after spurning a succession of chances in an action packed match.
Horsham arrived with an under strength team, but one which included ex-Lewes men Anthony Storey and Lee Farrell as well as four other first choice players.
They were caught cold though, as Peacehaven grabbed the lead with their first attack. Jamahl King was caught dozing in defence by Ashley Rees, and Hassan Nyang’s attempt to make amends saw him slice into his own goal.The lead should have been doubled when Rob O’Toole broke clear after more indecision in the visiting defence, but he dragged his shot wide. Haven were made to pay for his profligacy when Shane Graham drove in from the left and fired into the roof of Josh Heyburn’s goal to put Horsham level.
Another bit of slack defensive play allowed Horsham to take the lead. Storey, who wasn’t exactly endearing himself to the home side, slid a free kick to Farrell, and the striker slammed the ball home.
With Horsham starting to fizz the ball around it looked as though it may be curtains for Peacehaven, but they rallied and managed to go in level at half time. A quickly taken free kick found Ryan Bradley, whose shot trickled home. They should have gone in ahead, but Tom Levitt was unable to find the target after breaking clear.
The excitement died away rather in the second half, with Horsham growing increasingly dominant against a tiring home side.
With neither side keen on extra time a compromise was reached which saw five minutes played each way in order to try to force a result. It almost worked when a Horsham attack broke down and Peacehaven launched a counter attack which saw Ashley Rees and Craig Bunch both advancing on the Horsham goal. Unfortunately they got in each others way. The penalty shoot out was a disappointment for the home side, with only one of their penalties converted
TYE: Heyburn, Hall, Hill, Kneller, Saunders, Gunn, Bradley (Bunch), Marshall, Rees, Levitt, O’Toole (MacKenzie).