Horsham U11s’ dreams of reaching the final of the President’s Cup came to an end in the group A play-off match against Felpham Colts. There was a much to be positive about in advance of this game. The Hornets had progressed to the top cup competition and had been placed with the best twelve clubs in the league. Three wins and two postponed games placed them joint top of Group A and a play off semi-final would determine the team to progress.
Felpham Colts started this match undefeated and clear favourites, but Horsham were boosted with Jack McM and Charlie L returning to the side. Felpham dominated the first fifteen minutes of the match and scored within four. Horsham’s defence were having to work hard, with Zac R in goal having to make some important saves throughout the half to keep the Hornets in contention. Felpham hit the woodwork twice and looked likely to add to their opener. Callum W was battling well down the left flank and was winning possession more than his opposite number, but it was the strength of Felpham’s number seven and number nine doing most of the damage through the centre of midfield.
Jack McM and Alfie joined after twenty minutes and Horsham started to get more in to the game. Jack McM equalised from a long range cross/shot that was fumbled by the keeper, but the the large number of travelling Horsham fans cheered nonetheless. With such a strong opponent we had to take what we were given. The first half ended strongly for Horsham and at the break were still in with a chance with the scores level.
Felpham started the second half strong again with the second goal on thirty-five minutes followed by a fourth on forty. Sam changed the tactics and went all out with three forwards but before the players could even make an impression on the pitch, Felpham added a fourth.
The remaining fifteen minutes produced no further goals but Felpham had to commit players to the three attackers as Horsham’s defence played admirably to keep the score down and give Horsham a fighting chance of some kind of attacking force.
The result set a new bar for the youngest Horsham team to aim for in the first season as a team.
Manager Sam Jones commented, “we knew we would would have to be at our very best today. It was a great test not only for the players but us as a coaching team to make the necessary changes to our usual style of play.
We have a few tactical issues to work on following the game. Our “A Game” is very good, but we now need to improve our B , C and D”