Horsham U12 Green 3 Worthing Town Red 8
Arun & Chichester League Division A
Fielding a depleted side due to players being away for half term or sickness, Horsham can hold their heads up high for a fantastic team effort against a Worthing team who have not lost a league game or conceded more than two goals in any match so far this season. We only had eight players for the game but Worthing were very sportsman-like and only fielded eight players themselves. This however did pay its price as by the end of the game Horsham had run themselves into the ground and Worthing kept rolling their substitutes on and off to keep their players fresh.
The first half was played at a quick pace with both teams attacking and asking questions of the opposing defence. The first opening attack by Worthing was well cleared by Rupert Gray and the next confidently dealt with by Tate Stowell. However Horsham made it clear from the start that they were “up for the game”. After five minutes Worthing played the ball back to their keeper on the far edge of the penalty box towards the corner flag but Ghyll Bowen was quick enough to respond and tackle the keeper, then round him and slot past him in to the far corner of the goal.
Horsham then kept on putting on the pressure and had another chance to increase their lead. Jay Cunnell passed to Archie Henshaw who crossed through to Bowen but there was just too much on the ball and so ran out over the line before Bowen could collect. Worthing however had plenty of chances to score as they put together a string of good moves to try to equalise immediately. Louis Masters made a series of important saves to keep Worthing out but after thirteen minutes Worthing broke along the right wing and crossed in to the centre of the box where a player was unmarked and calmly fired home the equaliser.
Cunnell did manage to put the ball in to the net but the lineman’s flag had already been put up, though it was uncertain as to which Horsham player was offside. After sixteen minutes, from another great piece of play, Horsham forced a corner. Dan Woodward crossed in to the penalty area and the ball came off the Worthing ‘keeper across the line and the Hornets were back in front.
Horsham then had a couple more chances to further increase their lead. Cunnell lobbed the ball into the box where Woodward hit a fantastic volley which just went wide. Good blocking and positioning by Alexander Ede and Stowell resulted in several Worthing shots going wide. There were quite a few chances which were not taken. On twenty minutes Horsham started a great move from deep in their own half. Gray and Cunnell passed to each other from the left wing in order to get away from a group of Worthing players. The ball was taken by Henshaw who crossed from midfield to Bowen who took the ball towards the goal and shot past the keeper in to the bottom right corner.
H/T: Horsham 3 Worthing Town Red 1.
The second half kicked off with Worthing sustaining continual pressure on the Horsham goal, but solid defending by Ede, Stowell and Gray kept Worthing out and Masters pulled off one great save after another. But Worthing managed to pull a goal back four minutes into the second half with a cross in to the box which was not dealt with and was easily put away to score. 3-2.
Tate conceded a penalty for an alleged push in the back but this was brilliantly saved by Louis who anticipated which corner to dive to. However from now on Horsham’s tired legs began to show and Worthing rattled in goal after goal without reply. Four more goals were scored within a space of five minutes. They simply passed to each other to get through the defence, which we couldn’t deal with. One of the goals was from a short goal kick which wasn’t held by Rupert so lost to a Worthing player who went on to score unchallenged.
Horsham did not give up, however, nor did their heads drop. They still tried to pass through from midfield and to get a goal back. Cunnell’s cross into the box just went over Bowen’s head but Woodward was on hand to shoot and narrowly put the ball over the bar. Bowen had another effort thwarted where he was one on one with the ‘keeper, who managed to take it away from his feet at the last minute. Stowell crossed to Bowen, who passed to Cunnell, but his shot was saved. Despite all the pressure Worthing held firm and Horsham just could not get through to score.
Then with ten minutes to go a breakaway attack by Worthing, passing through the defence, again resulted in another goal which effectively sealed the win for Worthing, followed by an eighth four minutes later when a Worthing player ran through the Horsham defence unchallenged and sidefooted into the net. Another shot from the edge of the box just across the face of the goal was well saved by Masters, who just managed to get a foot on it to prevent another attacker putting it away. With only a few minutes to go, Cunnell took a free-kick from outside the penalty box which went just wide of the far post, unfortunately not connecting with any of the Horsham heads.
Full-time score was 8-3 to Worthing Town, but Horsham can hold their heads up high as they all put in 100% effort or more but just couldn’t last the full sixty minutes with only eight players and no substitutes. Not for the first time this season the result does not reflect how the game was played and the final score certainly flattered Worthing though they are a well-organised team with plenty of confidence and play a brilliant passing game. It was a great Horsham team performance and no-one should be ashamed of their attitude or input.
Special mentions should go in particular to Alexander, Tate, Rupert and Louis but the Man of the Match award goes to Ghyll.
Horsham: Louis Masters, Alexander Ede, Tate Stowell, Rupert Gray, Archie Henshaw, Dan Woodward, Jay Cunnell, Ghyll Bowen,