Sunday 5th October 2017
Arun and Chichester Youth League Division B
Venue: The Littlehampton Academy

On Sunday, Horsham U13 Greens incurred their first defeat of this season, playing away in the league against Littlehampton Town Youth at the Littlehampton Academy ground, the hosts winning the match by six goals to two.

Horsham started brightly and had the better of the play for twenty minutes, much of it in Littlehampton’s half. They had three shots: Cameron’s on target and saved by the goalkeeper, Sam’s first sent over the bar after getting on the end of Dan’s corner, and his second in front of goal, blocked on the line – that was a big chance missed.

Littlehampton scored their first pair after eighteen minutes, their first deep penetration into Horsham’s penalty area from a throw in down in the right corner. That long throw was headed in by an unmarked Littlehampton player. They then scored a second goal shortly after. Two goals in two minutes was a blow to Horsham from which they couldn’t recover. Louis saved another Littlehampton shot but the home team struck again with two more goals in quick succession on the half hour.

In between, at the other end for Horsham, Tate shot over the bar from the centre of the penalty area after getting on the end of another of Dan’s corner kicks. In the last minutes of the half, Cameron and Alex also had shots for Horsham; both on target but saved by the goalkeeper. Horsham had their chances too but were unable to find the finishes.

The first half ended with the ball loose in central midfield. Horsham had four shots on target to Littlehampton’s five. At the half-time whistle it was Littlehampton 4, Horsham nil.

Littlehampton applied pressure straight from the second kick off, attacking Horsham’s left side and through the centre. Laurence and Tate resisted them with Cameron coming back to reinforce. Things were tough on the right, too, as Bernard and Alex fought their own battles.

There was some respite at the other end. Dan and Sam sent useful crosses into the penalty area but the Littlehampton defence held firm and cleared. Cameron saw his effort go just wide of the post after beating two defenders to get his shot in. Callum put in a second half performance worthy of ‘man-of-the-match’, winning balls in midfield and combining with Tate, Sam, Reggie, Bradley, Finley and Adam to create chances for Horsham. Well done Callum!

Littlehampton’s two second half goals followed a pattern: a ball played into the penalty area for an attacker to run onto; Louis saved the shot (the first with his legs as he came off his line, the second parried with hands); and a second runner following up unmarked who knocked the rebound into an open goal, giving Louis no chance.

Horsham retained some pride with two goals of their own in the second half, arguably the pick of the eight goals that afternoon. For the first chance, Reggie started the move by winning a tackle in the centre of Littlehampton’s midfield. A string of passes delivered the ball out to Dan on the right. He ran with the ball into the penalty area, beat a defender and scored. Reggie to Bradley to Callum to Reggie to Dan. What a superb team goal, completing a move of four passes via four players and fine individual skill and determination by Dan to finish.

Horsham’s second came late on in the 66th minute. Dan sent a corner kick in from the left to the near post. This was headed out clear by a defender. Finley did well to get to the loose ball first, just outside the penalty area. He took a couple of touches for control, kept his nerve and struck a shot. Good technique, strong shot, great goal! Finley played well in the second half, grafting up and down the left midfield winning many fifty-fifty battles and claiming loose balls. Well done.

Horsham provided the last excitement when Cameron’s shot went wide of the post in the 70th minute. Shortly afterwards, the second half ended with the ball cleared into touch by Horsham. In that period, Horsham had two shots on target to Littlehampton’s five. At the full-time whistle it was Littlehampton 6, Horsham 2.

The stand out statistic this week: Littlehampton’s ten shots on target out of ten with a 60% success rate versus Horsham’s six on target of ten with a 33% success rate… An equal number of shots each; Littlehampton made theirs count on the day.

Manager Ian Scott commented: “Unfortunately we’ve lost our unbeaten run today but I think, first half, they wanted it a bit more; but second half we drew two-all with them. We just needed a bit more fight in the first half. I think when we have the return leg, we’ll win.”

Man of the Match: Callum

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