The young Hornets disposed of their Sussex Challenge Trophy 1st round opponents in devastating fashion last night with an 8-0 thrashing of Arundel U23s at The Camping World Community Stadium.

Prolific marksman Archie Goddard led the demolition job with four goals, Harry Brooker scored two and Torin Paget and Mateus Mulugeta chipped in with a goal each.

Horsham started brightly with a couple of breaks down the left forcing an early corner, but the set piece was cleared by the Arundel defence. Just after that, the Hornets won a free-kick on the left, about 40 yards from goal. The ball was delivered with pace and height into the Arundel penalty box and although striker Goddard rose heighest, he was unable to keep his header down and the ball flew over the bar. The opening exchanges were not all one way and, on ten minutes, Arundel’s James Ayling had a half chance but dragged his shot well wide of goal.

Horsham had been guilty of some overhit passes early on but started to get to grips with the zippy surface and, as a result of this, began to dictate most of the possession. In the 20th minute, receiving a ball from midfield, Kieran Holmes smartly slipped right winger Torin Paget through on goal, one-on-one with the Arundel ‘keeper. However he seemed to have stumbled and missed the chance, but got clattered in the process and the referee pointed to the spot for what seemed a rather soft penalty. Up stepped Goddard who confidently, with that sweet left foot of his, put the ball to the ‘keeper’s left to open the scoring. The Hornets should have extended the lead just after when Paget was again through on goal but his shot was blocked and Holmes, following up, made a bit of a mess of the chance, missing from close range.

It was not long, however, before the Hornets added to their lead when, in the 33rd minute, speedy winger William Gordon slipped in Goddard who, in acres of space, was able to advance on goal to pick his spot. The game was effectively over in the 37th minute when the Hornets were awarded another penalty and, once again, Goddard converted with aplomb for his hat-trick, this time hitting the ball a little straighter and lower but with the same positive result.

The young Hornets were now smelling blood and against a slow, square, defence Goddard was a constant threat. Thinking much quicker than the opposition he punished them once more, receiving a quick throw in and then racing towards goal with defenders in his wake before sliding the ball in from a tight angle. Just before the break, the Mullets were able to mount a rare attack which led to a corner. The ball was well delivered, deep into the box, but although the Arundel header was on target, it was comfortably dealt with by Horsham keeper Jack Gunn.

H/T Horsham 4 Arundel 0

At half-time, manager Mark Hawthorne took off Holmes, who is working his way back to match fitness after a minor surgical procedure, in favour of midfielder Mateus Mulugeta and it did not take the substitiute long to have an impact on the game. A run down the left wing by Gordon saw him evade a couple of tackles and he was able to slide the ball across to Mulugeta, who made room for himself and coolly hit a low drive into the bottom left hand corner from 20 yards.

Goal number 6 came from Paget, who hit a speculative shot from distance which shouldn’t have unduly troubled Arundel goalie Nick Fisher. But he made a compete mess of it, allowing the ball to go through him into the net, much to the surprised delight of Paget. It was now damage limitation for the visitors and they would have been relieved to see the Hornets’ manager take off the outstanding Goddard, just on the hour mark, for Harry Brooker, but if the Arundel defenders thought their task would be any easier they were wrong. Brooker carried on where Goddard had left off, chipping in with goal number 7 and finishing smartly from yet another through ball that split open the visitors defence.

Although the Arundel youngsters had not given up, there were some frustrations creeping in with one or two late tackles and some bickering aimed at the referee. And to cap a miserable night for the Mullets, their player Ollie Stonefrost got involved in one argument too many with the referee and, already on a booking, he was sent to the sin bin for 10 minutes. There was just time for one more goal, which was probably the best of the match. A wonderful through ball picked out the galloping Paget down the right wing and he continued into the box before unselfishly pulling the ball back for Brooker to stroke it into the net for his second and Horsham’s 8th goal.

The Hornets will now meet local opponents Broadbridge Heath in the next round , venue and date to be announced shortly.

Team: Jack Gunn (Lewis Blaney,65), Ned Pierre, Kieran Britland, Alexander Parsons, Trent Fawcett, Joel Mann (C), Torin Paget, Lewis Kelly (Ross Butterfill,88), Archie Goddard (Harry Brooker, 60), Kieran Holmes (Mateus Mulugeta,45), William Gordon

Match report by Darryl Jacobs

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