An own goal saw the Horsham U23s beaten in their final pre-season friendly, as they went down to local rivals Horsham YMCA at The Camping World Community Stadium last night.
Having taken an early lead through striker Archie Goddard after seven minutes, the visitors pegged Horsham back on the half-hour mark to go in level at the interval.
However, a Horsham own goal gave YM the lead just after the break, and, with the Hornets unable to draw level, it would be our near neighbours who left victorious.
The home side broke the deadlock in the seventh minute after a hopeful long ball found an alert Goddard, with the striker taking full advantage to convert from close range.
The Hornets enjoyed plenty of possession in the opening exchanges, with senior player Jack Brivio brought in to improve his matchday fitness after beginning the season with a knock.
Keanu Carombu’s 11th minute effort flew well wide before Horsham blew another chance when an in-swinging cross from the left was placed just beyond the reach of striker Goddard.
The visitors finally carved their own chance in the 20th minute when a long through ball was chased down but Hornets keeper Lewis Blaney was alert to the danger, racing to the ball first to clear. Leon Eales then fired wide for the away side shortly after.
By now, YM had stepped up a gear, forcing the Hornets into mistakes, and it was no surprise when they grabbed the equaliser in the 30th minute. A whipped cross appeared to drift behind Jake Lindsey, however the striker managed to swivel his trailing right foot, deftly flicking the ball past Blaney.
Brad Curtis went close with a venomous 25-yarder in the 35th minute, but Blaney was equal to the task, pushing the ball over at full stretch.
The visitors made four substitutions at half-time, but it was the home side that were all at sea just after the break, conceding a second, from an own goal, following a defensive mix up.
Horsham were still in the contest however, and a classy move from Brivio sent the Hornets away, but a cross was cut out. The resulting corner, accurately delivered into the box, was headed over by substitute Harry Brooker.
A looping cross from Horsham’s Aron Danquah caught out the YM keeper, clipping the bar before rolling out.
There was little to choose between the sides as the game entered its final phase and, although Brooker went close, the visitors managed to hold on for the win.
The young Hornets get their league season underway in just over two weeks’ time, with a trip to Three Bridges, in the Bluefin Sports Insurance Isthmian Development League South.