Thursday 31 August 2017
Horsham Youth U11s visited Jubilee Fields for their second friendly of the summer in what was expected to be a good game of football with two strong sides that like to get the ball down and play. As it turned out it was a closely fought game, however the length of the grass made it very difficult for both teams to get their passing game together.
Billingshurst started the game well and were putting the back three of Jacob Pugh, Stanley Hague and Elliott Evans under pressure by playing some good balls in behind them and putting them on the back foot. All three were putting in some strong challenges but it was only a matter of time before the hosts went into a well deserved lead. The centre forward just nicked the ball away from the Horsham defender conceding a penalty, fourteen minutes in. Having made some good saves there was nothing that goalkeeper Jayden Nicholls could do about the resulting penalty scored low down to his right.
Horsham came close on a few occasions with some strong running from Theo Imperiale and Jacob Prescott on both wings setting up some good chances. Harry Clark, on his return from injury, was also showing up and holding the ball up well, but Horsham found it difficult to get support to the lone striker. Horsham’s best effort came on twenty-five minutes when Stanley Hague fizzed a low drive from range which hit the bottom of the near post with the ‘keeper rooted to the spot. The first half ended with Billingshurst 1-0 up.
The second half started and this time it was Horsham that were firing on all cylinders. Two minutes in and Stanley Hague again hit another rasping shot from range which came back off the upright and were unlucky not to draw level. It didn’t take long, however, with the midfield duo of Sonny Barton and Harry Lawson starting to get their usual stronghold on the game as they started controlling the midfield. Aided by George Lee’s constant threat with his skilful running with the ball, Horsham hit three quick fire goals in a dominant seven minute spell.
The first was teed up following a superb turn in the middle of the park by Harry Lawson, laid off to Jacob Prescott who coolly slotted under the onrushing ‘keeper. The second was a great finish by Harry Clark, leaving the keeper no chance as it slammed into the roof of the net from range. The third quickly followed after Theo Imperiale and Sonny Barton combined down the byline with the latter bursting into the box and beating the keeper from an acute angle after shrugging off two defenders en-route.
With Horsham now in the driving seat it seemed they would go on to win. However, Billingshurst fought back and got a goal back to close the gap to one goal with ten minutes to play. Billingshurst now had their tails up and, despite the best efforts of Jayden Nicholls in goal, Elliott Evans, Jacob Pugh, Stanley Hague and George Lee who defended superbly all game, they just couldn’t keep Billingshurst from scoring the equaliser with just five minutes left on the clock.
The game finished 3 – 3 on a tough playing surface for both teams.
Horsham: Jayden Nicholls, Jacob Pugh, Elliott Evans, Stanley Hague, Sonny Barton (C), Harry Lawson, George Lee, Jacob Pescott, Theo Imperiale, Harry Clark
Scorers: Jacob Pescott, Harry Clark, Sonny Barton (C)
Man of the Match: Stanley Hague