Many good things to take from Horsham's defeats

Indian Gymkhana 4 Horsham 2; Oxford Hawks 8 Horsham 1
South Premier Division 1: Horsham v London Wayfarers. Tim Upchurch. Pic Steve Robards SR1725951 SUS-171030-155632001South Premier Division 1: Horsham v London Wayfarers. Tim Upchurch. Pic Steve Robards SR1725951 SUS-171030-155632001
South Premier Division 1: Horsham v London Wayfarers. Tim Upchurch. Pic Steve Robards SR1725951 SUS-171030-155632001

Whilst the weekend results looked like a train smash for Andrew Isaacs’ team, there were many good things to take from the two matches played.

Things started badly on Saturday when centre forward Angus MacDonald’s car engine blew up, forcing him to miss the match and reducing the squad to 14.

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Strictly on merit Horsham went two goals up, James Groves scoring within two minutes of the push-back and Sean Pearcy converting a penalty stroke two minutes into the second half. Unfortunately by then Groves was out of the game with a knee injury.

A defensive error let Gym back into the game, then a Gym short corner hit post man Tim Upchurch on the head, taking him out of the game, before cannoning into the net to level the score. Down to 12 men, , Horsham came under pressure and shipped two more goals. Horsham rallied and finished the stronger, but couldn’t find the back of the net.

Sunday saw a Horsham team depleted by the vicissitudes of Saturday and a lack of availability as they travelled to an Oxford Hawks side who had put eight goals past Oxford University the previous day. This was a catch-up game from December’s cancellation and league leaders Hawks were not only on fire but got every break going. Within 15 minutes, with some of the younger Horsham players out of their comfort zone, they were five goals up.

Yet again Horsham regrouped and took the game to the home side. Except for a freak ‘hit-and-hope’ reverse stick strike they would have drawn the second half 1-1, Sam MacDonald scoring the Horsham goal.

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“The scoreline doesn’t reflect how well the guys played,” manager Al Campbell commented. “They grew in confidence and will have learned heaps that will stand us in good stead for the remaining ten fixtures.”

This Saturday the team have a must-win game against bottom side Henley at Christ’s Hospital and are hoping to attract a big crowd.

Horsham’s third team played their first match after the Christmas break this weekend as they took on Mid Sussex seconds in Sussex League Division 1.

Horsham soon took the lead when a driving run into the D was passed across goal for a simple finish for Harry Goodwin at the far post.

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Goodwin was on the scoresheet again before too long, passing the ball around the Mid Sussex defence ending in another simple tap-in finish.

Horsham thought they had added a third, only to have the goal disallowed for a foul in the build-up.

However, they might feel that karma had been restored almost immediately, as a goalkeeping error redirected the ball into the Mid Sussex net for a goal that will be credited to Russell Dale as the last attacking player to touch the ball in the D.

After the restart, barely five minutes had gone before Mid Sussex scored on the break. Horsham’s Harry Goodwin managed to sneak the ball home to complete his hat-trick. The result was put beyond doubt when forward Stephen Grout pounced on a defensive error, to turn in a rebound to make the final score 5-1 to Horsham. Captain Russell Dale said: “The team put in a great performance. We picked up a valuable win just before the Christmas break and with this result we feel we’re starting to build some momentum.

“Next week is another crucial game so hopefully with another win we can start looking up the table.”

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