It was the Quarter-Final of the Sussex County Cup on Sunday and Horsham were hoping to follow up with another win after the fantastic result against Oakwood the week prior. With this being the first home tie of the competition for the young Hornets, there was a big crowd that had come to support the team and hoped to see them progress into the semis. Horsham have been on fire this season and the treble is still on!! For the stattos out there they have been averaging 3.92 goals a game scored and just 1.15 goals a game conceded.
The game kicked off and it was clear the Horsham players were up for it. The first goal came on two minutes. Sonny Barton, who had an excellent game in the middle of the park, was fouled on the edge of the box in a central area. With Bailey Moyo, the usual free-kick taker at this range, off the pitch, Luke York placed the ball down and drove the ball over the wall into the roof of the net and left the ‘keeper with no chance. Two minutes later Horsham went on another attack. Jacob Pugh played an excellent pass out wide and George Lee jinxed his way into the box from the left and chipped the on-rushing ‘keeper superbly only to see his effort blocked on the line by a covering defender. Fortunately Thom Ong tucked away the clearance from close range, having followed in as all good strikers do.
Horsham weren’t really being troubled by Worthing but did look a bit vulnerable to the counter-attack, with Worthing getting numbers forward at pace with any turnover of possession. Fortunately Jacob Pugh and Zack Bull were putting in some good challenges, with Luke York sweeping up behind them superbly. They were also playing some good football out from the back with Zack and George linking up well down the left.
On nine minutes Worthing got a free-kick on the edge of the Horsham box in a similar position to where the Hornets scored theirs from. The set-piece was struck well but Horsham stopper Alex Maynard look to have it covered low down to his right, only for the ball to take a horrible kick in front of his dive and Worthing had got a goal back. On fifteen minutes Harry Lawson restored the two goal cushion with a superb near post header following a Sonny Barton corner.
The remainder of the half saw Horsham with some good opportunities, the ball frustratingly just not falling for them in the box to put this game out of sight. Adan Rubin played the pass of the game with a superb forty yard diagonal pass to Stanley Hague from the left-back position. Stanley was especially unlucky with an attempted back heel just before the break as well.
H/T: Horsham U12s 3 Worthing Brazilian Masters 1
The second half kicked off and looked to be following a similar pattern to the first. Within a minute of the restart, Jacob Pugh put in a good tackle by the corner flag to concede a corner. The ball was cleared and Harry Lawson went on one of his driving runs, having picked up the ball ten yards inside his own half. As he drove into the Worthing box he was bought down for what looked to be a Horsham penalty. Unfortunately the referee saw it as a foul on the edge of the box and only awarded a free-kick, which was deflected for a corner.
On thirty five minutes Horsham came close again. Bailey Moyo was released down the left and put in a dangerous ball that was deflected off a Worthing defender and onto the crossbar. At this point the game was only going one way and Horsham looked comfortable until a major potential turning point on forty-two minutes! Following a Horsham corner, Sam Ayling nudged a defender in the back to concede a free-kick. The players retreated and all appeared okay but then the referee called the player over ,seemingly just to have a word. But unfortunately Sam was sin binned for eight minutes for something he had apparently said. This left Horsham a man down and galvanised the Worthing side, with a shout from the sidelines suggesting this had now levelled out the teams!
The worst case ensued and Worthing pulled a goal back just two minutes after the sin bin and Horsham were up against it for the first time in this match. The Horsham coaching staff didn’t look happy and I would be surprised if there is another case of dissent in any future games. The question was constantly being asked as to when the player could rejoin the game. Finally on fifty two minutes the referee waved Sam back on to the pitch and he immediately sprinted back into the action and, following an excellent pass from joint Man of the Match George Lee, he redeemed himself by finishing brilliantly to regain the two goal cushion.
Then two minutes later, following a mesmerising run down the left and along the goal line by Bailey Moyo who beat three players along the way, the ball was squared for Sam Ayling to get his second of the game and Horsham’s fifth to put the game well and truly out of sight. Horsham closed out the game from here, there were two further chances when George Lee’s pass found Stanley Hague, whose left footed effort was well saved. George Lee also had a chance himself following a good run but the effort was well saved again. The final whistle went and Horsham are away again in the Semi Final against a quality Withdean Youth side on the 3rd February.
F/T Horsham U12s 5 Worthing Brazilian Masters 2
“I was really pleased with how we started the game. Overall it wasn’t the best performance from us in terms of passing the ball. We showed glimpses but there were still too many players running with the ball and the decision making wasn’t the best at times. However, it was a quarter-final of a tough competition and they got the job done in the end.”
Alex Maynard, Jacob Pugh, Luke York, Zack Bull, Adan Rubin, George Lee, Sonny Barton, Harry Lawson, Bailey Moyo, Stanley Hague, Sam Ayling, Thom Ong
Luke York, Thom Ong, Harry Lawson, Sam Ayling (2)
Man of the Match
Sonny Barton and George Lee