The Horsham U16 squad were back on their home surface in the real first test of this league campaign when they welcomed a strong and determined Eastbourne Borough side to The Camping World Community stadium.
From the start Horsham realised that this was going to be a different prospect from their recent opponents, as both teams traded early blows with some neat passing patterns and Eastbourne delivering some dangerous diagonal forward balls. As the half wore on, the Hornets started to misplace passes, offer space to the Eastbourne players and be slow in the distribution, with more touches than seemed necessary. This saw the opposition win a corner, from which they took the lead with a well-directed header, 1-0 down for the first time this season.
The management hoped this served as a spark for Horsham to kick on, however things did not work out as the Hornets never really got going and Eastbourne grew stronger through the half. It was here that they doubled their lead after some well worked passes saw them through on goal to make it 2-0.
Some changes came and there was some life still in the yellows as, on the stroke of half-time, the ball was crossed into the Eastbourne Borough penalty area where Tom Ayling hit the half volley only for it to thunder off the crossbar. Chance missed as the whistle blew for the break.
The lads were sent out with strong instructions to change their ways and to win the second half. However, it was pretty much the same in the early exchanges until the team settled and started to find passes, patterns and movement. Chances were created and long shots taken but unfortunately to no avail, as the Eastbourne goalkeeper came to collect crosses, low drives and palm away anything directed towards the net! As the second wore on, Horsham managed a breakthrough when some good play saw the ball put into the opposition penalty area, and Ryan Baldwin pounced to steer the bobbling ball home. However this was only to be a consolation goal, as the half was nearly up and Eastbourne were able to see the game out winners, inflicting a first defeat on this new Horsham squad.
The lads were distraught and frustrated as they knew this a poor performance. Captain Jamie Rodd summed it up “they looked after the ball better, we were sloppy in possession and distribution which allowed them time on the ball to find their passes. We can do better and hope to show this in our next fixture”
Horsham: Luke Reeves, Diego Carmo, Matt Pepper, Jamie Rodd (cpt), Jack Charman, Ryan Baldwin, Sam Andrews, Harvey Woolard, Callum Chesworth, Aden Radojevic, Ben Auberey
Subs Tom Ayling, Gui Costa, Harry Sutton, Charlie Nunn, Jonny Ruiz