Horsham U12s hosted Worthing Town Blue at the Leisure Centre on Sunday in what is a precursor for the League Cup Final to be played at Culver Road at the end of March. Horsham were expecting a tough, physical encounter as it was in the reverse fixture earlier in the season. Now it is at the business end of the season every match is a must win game and the young Hornets couldn’t afford to slip up with Chichester City Whites visiting the following week in what could be a title decider!

The game kicked off and Horsham got off to the best possible start on two minutes when captain Harry Lawson hit a left-footed shot which spun into the corner with the ‘keeper appearing to think it was going wide, the player himself seemed surprised it had gone in. On nine minutes Luke York player a superb crossfield free kick from deep in his own half into the path of Bailey Moyo who took it in his stride and delivered a fantastic cross which was met by Sonny Barton but was unfortunately off target. On fourteen minutes George Lee won a bouncing ball in the midfield using his body well and then had the presence of mind to feed Markos Panoutsos in who hit a fierce drive across the ‘keeper which unfortunately went wide of the far post. A minute later, Bailey crossed and Markos’ effort was blocked for the ball to squirm through to George whose shot was well saved. On 25 minutes, Luke had the last chance of the half. Harry had won a free-kick in a central area twenty yards out but Luke’s effort unfortunately went wide of the post low down with the ‘keeper well beaten. The first half was well contested with Horsham having the majority of the chances, although at 1-0 the tie was still open.

The second half kicked off and like Horsham in the first half Worthing scored with their first attack a minute after the restart. They had won a corner and a good delivery was half cleared and then ended up going in off the underside of the bar to make 1-1. Fortunately for Horsham they were back in front a minute later. Harry picked up the ball just inside the Worthing half and went on a driving run into the penalty area where he was bought down. Luke despatched the penalty low down to the ‘keeper’s right to restore the lead. The remainder of the half was a tense affair and Horsham were defending resolutely. Alex Maynard made a good save pushing the ball round the post on 47 minutes. As Worthing were pushing for the equaliser at the end of the game, Horsham looked dangerous on the counter attack. Sam Ayling had a chance, five minutes from time, when Harry fed Markos in the box who in turn played a pass for Sam, unfortunately the ball was just screwed wide of the upright. The last chance of the game fell to Sonny. Harry went on another run and fed Sonny on the edge of the box, the resulting shot cannoned off the top of the crossbar and following the resulting goal kick the final whistle blew and Horsham came away with a well earned three points.

Full Time: Horsham Youth 2 – 1 Worthing Town Blue

Manager’s Comments:

”This was always going to be a tough game against a well organised, physical side. We had to dig deep in a tense encounter. The boys were all brilliant and we move onto next week in what is a massive game for us and a win will see us win the league!”

Alex Maynard, Elliott Evans, Luke York, Adan Rubin, George Lee, Sonny Barton, Harry Lawson, Bailey Moyo, Stanley Hague, Sam Ayling, Markos Panoutsos

Harry Lawson, Luke York

Luke York & Harry Lawson

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