The young Hornets leapfrogged above last night’s opponents Hastings United into 3rd place in the Bluefin Sports Insurance Development League following a well deserved 1-0 victory at the CWCS.

On a freezing night, in a game of few chances at either end, Horsham’s new signing Kofi Joseph-Buadi was the man to make the difference, producing an excellent finish with his left foot in the 30th minute. It was a lead that the Hornets hung on to quite comfortably with another excellent team performance.

Manager Mark Hawthorne made three changes to the team that performed so heroically in defeating Loxwood last week and earning a place in the Sussex Under 23s Challenge Cup final. In came recent signings, striker Noble Rumsey, defender Rogerio Morais and midfield player Joseph-Buadi, all of whom were ineligible for the cup match. The latter was a late inclusion to start the match, coming off the bench to replace Kieran Britland who was injured warming up before the game.

Both teams settled quickly, looking to play controlled possession football. The first half-chance fell to Horsham when, in the 6th minute, Rumsey slipped a ball through for Archie Goddard but Hastings ‘keeper Ben Cornelius was alert to the danger and smothered the ball. Just after that, a fine defence splitting pass from skipper Alex Parsons found Joseph-Buadi whose cross, from wide on the left, was cleared for a corner. Another chance for the Hornets came on 25 minutes. Rumsey slipped in Matieus Mulugeta who went round the keeper on the edge of the box but, from an acute angle, put the ball well wide.

Hastings were keeping the ball well, often playing out from the back via the goalkeeper, but the build up was all a bit too slow and predictable and not causing too much trouble for the Hornets. The hosts were more of a threat and deservedly took the lead just short of the half hour mark. A crossfield ball from Ned Pierre, right to left ,was picked up by Rumsey who fed on to Joseph-Buadi and he finished confidently with a left foot shot into the corner that gave the ‘keeper no chance.

With little in the way of chances being created by The Arrows, apart from a couple of runs and crosses from the right flank by Charlie Curran, it was the Hornets who nearly extended their lead just before half time when Goddard, put in by Rumsey, unleashed a great shot from 25 yards which rattled the crossbar. With Joseph-Buadi catching the eye with a nice dummy and turn, enabling him to beat his marker and get a cross in, it was the home team that finished in the ascendancy.

H/T Horsham 1 Hastings United 0

Hastings kicked off to start the second half and were straight on the attack with a run and cross from Freddie Warren down the left wing, which was cleared for a corner. Just after, a loose ball played back from Rumsey put his defence in trouble but Hastings failed to capitalise. The visitors were pushing forward and having a go now but the Horsham defence, well marshalled by Joel Mann and Trent Fawcett, were  coming out on top in most of the physical duels.

On 60 minutes Hawthorne made his first substitution, replacing Joseph-Buadi with Will Gordon who slotted in to a central midfield position and Goddard moving to the left. And shortly after Kieran Holmes came on for Morais, taking up a position on the right wing with Pierre slotting in to right-back .

Hastings were now seeing more of the ball, neatly playing out from the back, but with very little end product. Lewis Blaney, in goal for the Hornets, had hardly been called in to action all game. After Horsham made their final substitution in the 73rd minute, Joel Mann replaced by Harry Brooker, they were able to see out the game and in so doing inflict only the second defeat of the season on Hastings, a side with no less than seven players with first team experience this season.

Pleased to report that this match ,unlike the earlier fixture back in October, was played in a good sporting manner and that the referee was not required to issue a single disciplinary sanction.

Team: Lewis Blaney, Rogerio Morais (Holmes,69) Joel Mann (Brooker,72), Trent Fawcett, Sam Gallagher,  Ned Pierre, Alex Parsons (C) , Matieus Mulugeta, Kofi Joseph-Buadi (Gordon,60), Noble Rumsey, Archie Goddard. Subs: Harry Brooker, Will Gordon, Kieran Holmes  Sub not used: Seb Jacobides (GK)

Man of the Match: Trent Fawcett

Attendance: 54

Match report by Darryl Jacobs

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