13th December 2017
Arun and Chichester League Division B
Southwater Leisure Centre
On Sunday, Horsham U13 Green played their return match against Littlehampton, this time at home. It was chilly after an overnight frost but the match was confirmed on after a pitch inspection.
Horsham started well; a promising first five minutes, with good attacks up the wings on both sides spearheaded by Dan Woodward, Cameron Stevens and Sam McMinn and with the defence repelling Littlehampton’s first attack.
However, Littlehampton struck twice after ten minutes to take a two goal lead. The first, a fine header from a corner, the second from a shot inside the penalty area. From then on Littlehampton put Horsham under pressure and created more chances. The Horsham back four dug in and contained that pressure with decisive tackling by Bernard Wraith, Harrison Bradley and Adam Fitter. Horsham pushed back, creating two chances of their own and Cameron was unable to connect to Dan’s cross in from the right and he also saw his shot from long range go wide.
Horsham ended the half with a goal scored by Bernard, his first for the team. It came from a long shot in midfield, just yards inside Littlehampton’s half, when a high ball forward bounced in front of, and then over, the goalkeeper who couldn’t stretch up to stop it. Cheers all round!
At the half-time whistle it was Horsham 1 Littlehampton 2. Horsham’s defence had played well and were unfortunate to concede the two early goals. Some good fortune for Bernard’s goal got them back into the match before half time.
Horsham had a big chance in the 43rd minute with a shot on target by Cameron. A free-kick taken long by Harrison went to Cameron on the edge of the penalty area. The goalkeeper rushed out to close him down and made the save. Another big chance, two minutes later, fell to Littlehampton when a corner taken to the near post bounced across the front of goal to go out behind beyond the far post. They had players in the box but had no-one there to put the ball in the net.
The Horsham defence battled throughout the second half against sustained pressure from Littlehampton. Bernard, Harrison, Tate Stowell and Alex Power made decisive tackles and clearances. Adam came back to help out too, with some last ditch tackling. In goal, Louis Masters was kept busy, making five saves. Tate, exhausted, was seen being sick behind the goal with four minutes to go. He struggled on but had to come off before the final whistle.
On the hour, fine play by Cameron created a shot on target from the left corner of the penalty area. A strong shot, taken on the turn, bounced in front of the goalkeeper who gathered it to save a goal.
The match came to a crescendo in the last ten minutes. Another big chance for Littlehampton, a shot from the left of the penalty area to the near post, was thwarted by the Horsham defence in the 66th minute. It was saved by Louis who parried the shot for Bernard to clear out. A minute later, though, Littlehampton regained their two goal cushion by scoring from a direct free-kick, well taken from long range out in right midfield. That was their second goal scored from a set piece.
Horsham were not beaten yet, though, and fought back. Their determination paid off two minutes later when, out on the left wing, Cameron evaded two tackles, turned on a sixpence and crossed in to the far post. Finley got on the end of the cross and deftly guided the ball on for Bradley to score. Great goal by the twins!
At the full-time whistle the score was Horsham 2, Littlehampton 3.
This was a frenetic and very physical second half. Littlehampton piled on the pressure and showed their frustration at Horsham’s stout defence. They were a significant threat at set pieces: well organised at corner kicks and their winner came from a direct free-kick. Horsham pulled a goal back but, despite throwing all players forward towards the end, could not get the equaliser. “Well played!” to both sides.
Manager Ian Scott commented: “Terrific game of football. A good old-fashioned battle of a game. It was unreal; a brilliant game. The man of the match for me, who gave everything at the end, was Tate.”
Man of the Match: Tate Stowell