Horsham U12s entertained their closest rivals in the title race in this penultimate game of the season, with just two points separating the sides. It was touch and go as to whether the game would go ahead after the overnight rain but, after an early morning pitch inspection, the game was given the green light.
The game kicked off and a heavy pitch and strong winds should have suited Chichester, being the bigger and more physical side. However, it was Horsham that had most of the play in the opposition’s half and the better chances in the first half. The first chance came on eight minutes when Luke York’s free-kick went just wide of the upright. A minute later Bailey Moyo advanced well down the left wing, beating a player before delivering an excellent ball in which found Harry Lawson whose effort on goal was unfortunately cleared off the line by a covering defender with the ‘keeper beaten. On fourteen minutes Horsham won another free-kick on the edge of the box, this time Bailey struck a great effort that was clawed out of the top corner with an excellent save.
Two minutes later, Markos Panoutsos was released and nicked the ball past the solid Chichester centre-half only to see his shot on goal go just wide of the far post. The same player was unlucky with another chance that came his way in Horsham’s next attack, when the ball was squared in a slippery penalty area the player just lost his footing before shooting and his effort was saved. Sonny Barton’s delivery from a corner, twenty minutes in, was met superbly by Luke York with a towering header that just went wide of the far post and Adan Rubin also had a good effort saved, shortly after, when the ball was cleared to the edge of the box following another Horsham attack.
H/T: Horsham 0 Chichester City Colts White 0
The first goal in this game was always going to be key and, at the start of the second half, Horsham goalkeeper Alex Maynard made sure it wasn’t Horsham that fell behind by making an excellent diving save to his right to keep the ball out when it looked like the wind may have assisted and got the better of him. It was a great save and a turning point in the match because, four minutes later, Horsham scored two goals in two minutes. The first was an excellent goal with a neat passage of play that deserved to open the scoring. Stanley Hague played a ball into Harry Lawson from wide left, who switched play brilliantly and clipped an excellent pass into the path of Sam Ayling out wide right. His control and cross was met by Thom Ong from close range to put Horsham one nil up. The second goal was scored when Luke’s free kick was wickedly delivered under the ‘keeper’s crossbar and he could only parry down to the edge of the six yard box where Sonny pounced to fire the loose ball high into the roof of the net from close range.
The central midfielder was having an excellent game and got his second, and Horsham’s third goal on forty-nine minutes. The ball broke to him following a mazy trademark George Lee run into the penalty area and the number ten fired the ball low and hard under the ‘keeper to put the game out of sight. The icing on the cake came on fifty-three minutes when Sam was bought down in the box and a penalty was awarded. Luke handed over the honour to his teammate as he had won the foul and Sam dispatched the ball hard and low into the bottom left corner and it was 4-0 to the oung Hornets. The referee blew his whistle for full-time and the Horsham players and fans celebrated having won the Division A league title with a game to spare.
F/T: Horsham Youth 4 Chichester City Colts White 0
”I’m so pleased for all the boys. They’ve all been superb throughout the season and deserve this title. There’s a really good team spirit within the group and they battled well in tough conditions and worked hard for each other. We’ve got another massive game with the League Cup Final in a few weeks to look forward to!”
Squad: Alex Maynard, Elliott Evans, Luke York, Adan Rubin, Jacob Pugh, Zack Bull, George Lee, Sonny Barton, Harry Lawson, Bailey Moyo, Stanley Hague, Sam Ayling, Markos Panoutsos, Thom Ong
Scorers: Sonny Barton (2), Thom Ong, Sam Ayling
MOTM: Sonny Barton