Horsham U15 3 Rustington Otters 1
Arun & Chichester Youth League Challenge Cup
A glorious morning for football, in which bright sunshine helped dry the overnight rain, brought out the crowds at Southwater Leisure Centre for Horsham U15s’ Challenge Cup tie and they weren’t disappointed as the Hornets went through to the second round with a 3-1 win against Division Two opponents Rustington Otters.
There didn’t seem to much between the sides in the first half and it was very much a midfield battle with not much action in front of either goal. When Otters did get through, Horsham’s defence held strongly and kept them at bay although the home side suffered a blow when captain Callum Jones had to go off after a suspected hamstring problem. The Otters were first to break the deadlock but Horsham fired home before half-time through a nice passing piece of play and a well taken goal from Max Laker.
After the break Horsham seemed to be reinvigorated by the team talk from Manager Adam and Coach Dom. Tactical changes were made and the Hornets seemed to be in control of the match and were unlucky on a couple of occasions not to be in front. Otters, though, had a great chance on the break but Josh Hall saw the ball into touch. At 1-1 with ten minutes to go, and extra-time looming, goalkeeper James Marsh made two brilliant saves to keep Horsham in the tie which pushed the lads on and with some quick passing Otters committed a foul to give Horsham a free-kick. Laker teed the ball up and hit it perfectly in the top corner, giving the Rustington ‘keeper no chance. The visitors pushed for an equaliser but this just gave the Hornets more space to play and debutant Jamie Boniface sealed the victory, making the final score 3-1 in Horsham’s favour.
It was a great result for the lads today after last week and the squad deserved their win and go through to the second round to meet another Division Tow side, Worthing Dynamos, on 16th October. The boys all worked hard for each other and even though the squad have been together for a very short time they seem to already have a great bond.
Horsham: James Marsh, Connor Brown, Tom Searle, Louis Hartley, Max Laker, Kieran Bonner, Cody Balstock , Harry Kent, Josh Hall, Callum Jones, Ryan Atalay
Subs: Kieran Kirby, Jamie Boniface