There were contrasting fortunes for two of our youth sides yesterday, as 2018 began with cup football for U13s Amber and the U16s. Amber came up against a Rustington Otters side who top the A Division with a 100% record and suffered a heavy loss, going down 6-1 with Otters’ Ethan Lloyd contributing to Horsham’s Challenge Cup semi-final defeat with a hat-trick. Joe Simpkin scored the Hornets’ sole reply.
There was better news, though, from our U16s who reached the final of the Invitation Cup thanks to a 4-1 victory at Selsey at Arun Leisure Centre. In freezing conditions, Horsham were red hot at the start and quickly went one up against a physical Selsey side but, despite the Hornets playing the better football on the 3G surface, it wasn’t long before Selsey equalised. In very windy conditions, the rest of the half saw both sides struggle with misplaced passes with clear-cut goalscoring chances limited. Half-time provided everyone with a quick escape to some warmth inside the leisure centre and, after some very welcome coffee to warm the hands, the match got under way The Horsham boys seemed to have the bit between their teeth and started the half more determined, with better passing and more desire it wasn’t long before they were 2-1 up. This spurred on Selsey but the Hornets weathered the storm and extended their advantage to 3-1, adding a fourth towards the end as they used the closing stages to shuffle their pack. The squad got their rewards for a hard-working performance, in very cold and windy conditions, and now look forward to a final against Bognor Regis Town on Friday 2nd March, kick-off 7.30pm. The match will take place at Arundel FC.
In the only other match to escape the ravages of the January weather, the U11s went down to defeat away to Chichester City Colts White in the Arun & Chichester Development League, with Tom Ongs scoring Horsham’s only goal.