Horsham 1-0 Corinthian-Casuals: Mills spot-kick secures victory for Hornets
A second half penalty from substitute Harry Mills claimed a 1-0 home win for Horsham over ten-man Corinthian-Casuals in the BetVictor Premier Division this (Saturday) afternoon.
After a goalless first half, the Hornets took the win after Mills fired home from the spot on 75 minutes following a foul on Rob O'Toole.
Casuals had Coskun Ekim sent off for dissent late in the game.
The result sees Horsham cut the gap between them and second-placed Folkestone Invicta to three points. Invicta were held to a 1-1 home draw by mid-table Haringey Borough.
Dominic Di Paola made two changes from Horsham's dramatic Sussex Senior Cup defeat to Worthing on Tuesday night. Joe Shelley and Greg Cundle came in for Mills and Kieran Lavery, who both dropped to the bench.
The first half saw little in the way of clear cut opportunities. Shelley had the first real chance of the game on 15 minutes.
A looping Steve Metcalf cross found Shelley but Casuals keeper Danny Bracken made a superb flying one-handed save to deny the defender's bullet header.
The Hornets were controlling possession but were struggling to make that final incisive move.
Just before the half hour mark a slick passing move from the Hornets saw O'Toole pick up the ball on the right flank. The forward zipped an inviting low cross across the face of the goal but no one in a yellow shirt could get a telling touch.
The visitors had a half-chance eight minutes before half-time. A Casuals cross was punched away by Horsham keeper George Bentley but the follow-up was sliced well wide.
The second half saw both sides exchange chances in the opening three minutes. O'Toole fired wide with the outside of his boot before Bentley made a brilliant stop with his legs to keep out Mathias Bakare.
The game then descended into a scrappy contest. Both teams struggled in the final third and were sloppy in their distribution of the ball.
Just after the hour mark Charlie Harris hit a shot from the edge of the area that was deflected out for a corner. A goalmouth scramble ensued from the set-piece but no one could fire home.
The match, again, saw a dearth in goal mouth action but Horsham were handled a golden opportunity to go ahead with 15 minutes to go.
O'Toole was felled in the area by Casuals' Ekim and a penalty was awarded by referee Alastair Higgs. Mills stepped up and, just three minutes after taking to the field, calmly slotted home past Bracken to put the Yellows a goal to the good.
With four minutes to go Ekim, who had been cautioned midway through the second half, was shown a second yellow for dissent
Horsham: Bentley, Metcalf, Sparks, Kelly, Shelley, Miles, O'Toole, Dawson, Cundle (Mills 71), Harris (Smith 71), Roberts (Lavery 82). Unused: Charman, Brivio.
Referee: Alastair Higgs