Horsham FC Youth U16 went on the road for the first time this season to Lewes to experience their first game on grass this league campaign, with a depleted squad due to injuries this early in the season.
With strict instructions from the management to move the ball quickly and to gain that all important first touch when playing on grass the squad tried their best to implement this plan. However, it was Lewes who had the first sniff on goal, but the newly signed Luke Reeves in goal came out well to clear the ball from the feet of the advancing Pumas striker. This generated a reaction from Horsham, with some good wing play the ball was delivered from Callum for Harvey Woolard to stab home, 0-1 to Horsham. The young hornets calmed down after this early goal and started to control the game, despite some half chances from Lewes it was Horsham who grabbed the important next goal, when a corner from Aden was bundled over the line by Jamie Rodd, 0-2 yellows. With the hornets on the charge it was down to the Lewes keeper to keep the score down as the half time break approached seeing Horsham lead 0-2 into the interval.
With a few reminders on how to approach the second half the young Horsham side opened up in confidence, with Thomas Ayling working hard on the left flank he found himself in on goal to fire past the Pumas goalie, 0-3 yellows. This pushed Horsham into another gear, Thomas Ayling was on a roll, he closed down the Lewes defender, stole the ball to advance on the keeper and slot the ball home for his second and the hornets fourth, 0-4. This was a real display of great team work and individual skill, which Aden showed when he cut inside the defender to smash a thunderbolt over the keeper, 0-5 Horsham. The hornets really went for the jugular now with Aden Radojevic buzzing for another goal, he was able to turn away from the defence and fire low into the bottom corner, 0-6 to Horsham. There was still time on the clock and with two players both looking for a first U16 hat-trick it was a gamble on who would get it, this one went to Thomas Ayling, who delivered a stunning “top bins” effort that smashed past the keeper and for him to grab his three goal haul (but no match ball at this level), the hornets 0-7 to the good. There were several chances to extend the lead further but the Pumas keeper did his best to keep them out allowing the game to run down seeing Horsham victorious on the road for the first away game of the season.
Manager Dixie was full of praise for the lads today “with us having to draft in a new keeper due to an injury to Dylan, it was a pleasure to see the lads gel together today and I can see us getting better. The team spirit is fantastic with a great camaraderie between the squad and management, this is a great journey to be part of”. Also from the management team, “if we shout an instruction and the players don’t listen I am sure that by the fifth shout the instruction will sink in, well I hope so anyway!”
Horsham: Luke Reeves, Diego Carmo, Ryan Baldwin, Jack Charman, Callum Chesworth, Zach Hobson-Hughes, Matty Pepper, Aden Radojevic, Jamie Todd, Jonny Ruiz, Harvey Woolard.
Subs: Thomas Ayling, Gui Costa.